Women in Music 2016

J. Cole's 'Be Free' Hits Trending 140 Chart After Eric Garner Decision

Photograph By Jill Greenberg
J. Cole

Cole's Michael Brown tribute song rallied on the Twitter chart after today's grand jury decision.

Hours after a Staten Island grand jury voted against bringing criminal charges against NYPD officers in the death of Eric Garner, J. Cole's tribute to Michael Brown -- "Be Free" -- flew to No. 2 on the Billboard + Twitter Trending 140.

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The track, Cole's pained outcry for understanding and equality, sees the rapper sideline his rap skills to sing the entire song, reserving heightened anguish for the hook: "All we wanna do is break the chains off/ All we wanna do is be free." Throughout the minimally produced song, Cole incorporates recorded descriptions from eyewitnesses to Brown's death.

Given some parallels in the circumstances that led to Brown's and Garner's deaths (the officer who killed Brown, Darren Wilson, was also not indicted by a grand jury), Twitter users repeatedly referenced the song in the wake of the Garner decision:

J. Cole is gearing up for the release of his next solo album, 2014 Forest Hills Drive, due Dec. 9.