The rapper debuted the song on Tidal, his first as a lead artist since the release of his 2013 Magna Carta Holy Grail
album. It was accompanied by a statement where Jay-Z explained that the track had been several years in the making. He stated that it dates back to the time another black man, Michael Brown
, was murdered by white police officer Darren Wilson on August 9, 2014, in Ferguson, Missouri.
"I made this song a while ago, I never got to finish it. Punch (from Top Dawg Entertainment) told me I should drop it when Mike Brown died, sadly I told him, "this issue will always be relevant." I'm hurt that I knew his death wouldn't be the last...... I'm saddened and disappointed in THIS America - we should be further along. WE ARE NOT. I trust God and know everything that happens is for our greatest good, but man.... it's tough right now. Blessings to all the families that have lost loved ones to police brutality."