The Limits of “Freedom”

J. Cole performed this song on the David Letterman show in the midst of the Black Lives Matter movement. Throughout his performance and lyrics he explains that African Americans are still not considered free people. They are prisoners of sterotypes, judgement, racism and constant victims of police brutality. This song supported the ideas leading that led to protests all over the nation. This piece of media is important because it shined a light on such a serious issue and the flaws of society and also the United States government. This is a prime example of using media like television and music and also important figures in pop culture like J. Cole to promote, share and talk about major issues.

J. Cole mentions the common murders of African American men by police officers and the culturally selective stop and frisks many of them face. He uses the platform he has as a popular music artist to share the struggles of African American men with those who cannot relate or do not share similar experiences. An interesting point he made during this song is the limit of President Obama’s power as a U.S president. I think this is to stress the idea that no matter how successful and how far an African American man has come, he will always fall short in the eyes of racist Americans because of his race.


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