"Sometimes I don’t have the words and music is the only thing that can speak. I hope this speaks to you. I hope one day this song won’t be so relevant. Let’s NEVER stop fighting for justice," the singer tweeted after the song's release. And though the elegant track's chorus muses on the unimaginable grief of a mother saying her final goodbye -- "'Cause this could be our final time/ And you know I'm horrible at saying goodbye/ I'll think of all you coulda done/ At least you'll stay forever young/ I guess you picked the perfect way to die" -- the singer said even she doesn't understand what that means.
"Of course, there is NO perfect way to die," she wrote. "That phrase doesn’t even make sense. Just like it doesn’t make sense that there are so many innocent lives that should not have been taken from us due to the destructive culture of police violence." Earlier this week, Keys told Trevor Noah that "Perfect Way to Die" was inspired by the killings of Mike Brown and Sandra bland, respectively, by police in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014, and of hanging in her jail cell in Texas in 2015 after police stopped her for a minor traffic violation.
"You hear these stories, and you hear their stories in these lyrics and the devastating thing is that it's never not going to be relevant," Keys told the Daily Show host. "And where we are right now, in the world and in this country, in American particularly, we are in a real, a real place that we can all see that this is the most major pandemic of all. This deeply rooted racism, this police brutality, this treatment of black people that is just completely unacceptable. To the point where daily daily we are seeing lives lost, people murdered for... nothing, nothing. For being black."
Keys is gearing up for her Verzuz battle with John Legend, in which she and friend Legend will pull up to their pianos and throw down in a celebration of Friday's Juneteenth holiday.
Update: Keys has also launched a special "Perfect Way to Die" merch collection, with proceeds going to The Gathering for Justice.
See Keys' tweets and listen to "Perfect Way to Die" below.