Joe Budden powerfully demands “Freedom” on his freestyle over Beyoncé’s LEMONADE cut.
Mentioning Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, Eric Garner, and Sandra Bland, among others, Budden uses the song to address race relations in this country. “We just keep on praying, all while we feeling it,” he raps. “Racism still alive, now they not concealing it.”
Budden uses a soundbite from Jesse Williams’ powerful BET Awards speech and audio from Castile’s fatal shooting incident that his girlfriend Diamond Reynolds live streamed. Both add to the jarring images shown in a moving YouTube video featuring scenes from protests across history.
“They sayin’ let’s make America great again,” Budden raps. “I’m curious, what time would you like to place us in? / Were we degraded then? Did they enslave us then? / Or is it ignorant of me to even say again? / If it’s Civil War, then what are we civil for? / If this is freedom to y’all, you better get us some more.”
Joe explained the root of the track. “I was told there was once a world where slaves communicated with each other via music, and tho I wasn’t present for that, the Hip-Hop I fell in love with always encouraged me to do the same (Thank you Public Enemy),” he said. “Let this act as an unfortunate reminder that times change and they don’t. #BlackLivesMatter #YallLivesMatter #OurLivesMatter … I’m afraid to wonder what happens when we as a ppl decide to stop saying it. Some deem us threatening now by sheer design. We are not.”
Liberate Budden’s “Freedom” freestyle below.