J Cole appeared on US chat show Late Night with David Letterman last night (December 10), performing the song ‘Be Free’.
The rapper originally released the track in August as a tribute to Michael Brown, the unarmed African-American teenager shot dead by police in the St Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri.
While ‘Be Free’ doesn’t appear on Cole’s new album ‘2014 Forrest Hill Drive’ (which he was on the show to promote), it was nevertheless timely given recent US protests following grand jury decisions not to indict the officers involved in the deaths of both Brown and New Yorker Eric Garner, who died of neck compression in July after being restrained by a police. Click below to watch a visably emotional Cole perform the song.
The deaths have sparked furious debate in the US about police brutality and race relations. In London, as reported by the BBC, appoximately 600 people gathered at Westfield in Shepherd’s Bush yesterday (November 11) for a ‘die-in’ demonstration in solidarity with protests.