Much like he did following the death of Michael Brown in 2014 as well as Eric Garner that same year, J. Cole found himself once again on the front lines of protest May 30. This time he was back in his hometown of Fayetteville, NC, alongside NBA star Dennis Smith Jr., marching towards the Fayetteville Police Department in the name of George Floyd. Floyd, who was born there, died on May 25 in police custody in Minneapolis, MN.
— RachaelRiley (@RachaelRiley85) May 30, 2020
Cole spoke with individuals who had gathered at the protest but informed them that he did not want to take pictures as it would “detract” from the protest’s overall message regarding police brutality and justice for Floyd.
.@JColeNC is in downtown @CityOfFayNC now attending the protest. Snapped this picture before the crowd started moving down Hay Street. I’m told they are heading to the @FayettevillePD. #abc11 pic.twitter.com/RCNcU0AVHm
— Akilah Davis (@DavisABC11) May 30, 2020
Recently, fans have been resharing Cole’s “Be Free” performance from Letterman in 2014 to signify how much has not changed since then. “All we want to do is break the chains of pain, all we want to do is be free,” Cole sings on the song.