Here, Leon Bridges sings from the perspective of a black man taking his last breath. Hoping for a life more sweeter
Instead I'm just a story repeating
Why do I fear with skin dark as night?
Can't feel peace with those judging eyes
The character in the song is wrongfully killed just like George Floyd
and many others before him.
Bridges explained on Instagram that this pained elegy for a life cut short came from personal experience with racism as an adolescent.
"Growing up in Texas I have personally experienced racism, my friends have experienced racism. From adolescence, we're taught how to conduct ourselves when we encounter police to avoid the consequences of being racially profiled," he wrote.
"I have been numb for too long, calloused when it came to the issues of police brutality," Bridges continued. "The death of George Floyd was the straw that broke the camel's back for me."
"It was the first time I wept for a man I never met," he added. "I am George Floyd, my brothers are George Floyd, and my sisters are George Floyd. I cannot and will not be silent any longer."
Terrace Martin adds his signature saxophone magic to the track. The Los Angeles singer, musician and producer also works with Snoop Dogg and Kendrick Lamar.
Leon Bridges performed the track during the June 18, 2020 episode of The Late Late Show With James Corden. The singer noted that he and his co-writers made the song back in 2019. "As you can see, it's a perpetual narrative," he continued. "I would say George Floyd was a tipping point for me. Everything in me wanted to be there in that moment with him. I feel like my role is to let my music reflect my heart, and it was important to release that song now."
The music video finds Leon Bridges returning to the Black community on the Southside of Fort Worth, Texas, where he grew up. Old friends and Bridge's father both feature in the clip. "This is a celebration of our Blackness," Bridges said of the visual in a press statement.