The fiery song finds the R&B singer channeling his righteous anger over the senseless killings of Black men and women including the recent deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery into a protest anthem for the times.
“How many mothers have to cry?/ How many brothers gotta die?/ How many more times?/ How many more times?/ How many more marches?/ How many more signs?/ How many more lives?/ How many more times?” the R&B star demands on the track’s gospel choir-backed chorus.
“Three or four nights ago I woke up in the middle of my sleep…I couldn’t sleep. My chest was hurting. I got up and called my producer, Troy Taylor and I said, ‘We’ve got to make music that really touches the soul, that really addresses what the world is feeling right now. Especially our people.’ So we came up with ‘2020 Riots: How Many Times,'” Songz said in a statement about what inspired the single.
“With the words in this song I just wanted to speak to everyone’s hearts and acknowledge the pain and anguish everyone is going through right now. I know this ain’t usually my message and you’re not used to hearing this from me, but this is the person I’ve always been.”
“2020 Riots: How Many Times” follows Songz’s 2020 collaboration with Summer Walker, “Back Home.” Most recently, he also re-released his 2009 and 2011 mixtapes Anticipation I and Anticipation II on streaming platforms.
Listen to the powerful protest anthem below.