Entertainment Weekly


Stay Connected


Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content


Jay Z highlights social injustice with Songs for Survival playlist

Posted on

Getty Images (4)

In response to ongoing discussions of police brutality after both Alton Sterling and Philando Castile died last week at the hands of law enforcement officers, Jay Z has released an exclusive Tidal playlist featuring songs highlighting social injustice.

The collection, dubbed “Songs for Survival,” features contributions by prominent pop, R&B, and hip-hop artists such as Nina Simone, Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield, Fela Kuti, Outkast, Gil-Scott Heron, and Jay Z’s wife, Beyoncé. The playlist’s cover art shows a black-and-white photo of Martin Luther King, Jr. shaking Malcolm X’s hand.

Jay Z previously released the track “Spiritual” on Thursday following the deaths of both Castile and Sterling. “I made this song a while ago, I never got to finish it,” he wrote in a statement, acknowledging the song is not a new recording. “Punch (TDE) told me I should drop it when Mike Brown died, sadly I told him, ‘This issue will always be relevant.’ I’m hurt that I knew his death wouldn’t be the last.”

At a Glasgow performance Thursday evening, Beyoncé also paid tribute to Castile, Sterling, and “countless others” who have been killed by officers in the United States, asking the audience for a moment of silence as the names of victims of police brutality appeared on a screen behind her.

Check out Jay Z’s full “Songs for Survival” playlist, which is available to stream exclusively on Tidal, below.