J. Cole releases “Be Free” as a tribute to Michael Brown and Ferguson

I’m sure you know all about the tragedy of Michael Brown and what’s going on in Ferguson. From the death of a young man to police retaliation and journalists getting jailed, it’s a shocking and sad state of affairs. Yesterday, I posed the question of hip-hop’s commentary (or lack thereof) in what’s going on. As the voice of young black and brown kids, hip-hop needs to take a stand. I got a lot of Twitter response and today, J. Cole put out a track called “Be Free.”

“Be Free” is a heart-wrenching song and you can hear Cole’s emotions pouring out. I really respect Jermaine and the whole Dreamville team for doing this. It’s easy to forget your roots once you become a big star and J. Cole hasn’t. Also, make sure to read Killer Mike’s heartfelt words dedicated to the Brown family.

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Action Bronson is awesome and weird on “Easy Rider”

At a time when everyone and their mama seems to be trying to capture a sound (You know what I’m talking about), I love when artists go left and do some weird shit. Kudos to Action Bronson for dropping the awesome single “Easy Rider” from his forthcoming album Mr. Wonderful.

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Thanks for the Sam Smith nifty gifty

Clearly the good folks at Capitol heard that I was in emo land this week with Sam Smith. Thanks for an advance copy of his album! Cop In The Lonely Hour on June 17th.

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Stream Sam Smith’s ‘In The Lonely Hour’

Monday blues? Get even more emo and stream Sam Smith’s awesome In The Lonely Hour. I’ve been into this Brit singer ever since I saw him live last year at the SoHo House in NYC. Since then, his acoustic version of “Latch” has been on repeat. Peep the stream here and cop the debut on June 16.

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