It is a heart-wrenching melody from the perspective of a mother whose son has been “gunned down”. Alicia Keys moves us to find that place in heart where this emotion chills us and comforts us right there.
The lyrics are bold as well. She sings in the chorus, “And I think of all you could have done/ At least you’ll stay forever young / I guess you picked the perfect way to die”
In a press release Alicia Keys added to the song release with these words, “The song title is so powerful and heartbreaking because WE are heartbroken by so many who have died unjustly,” she wrote in an Instagram post. “Of course, there is NO perfect way to die. That phrase doesn’t even make sense. Just like it doesn’t make sense that there are so many innocent lives that should not have been taken from us due to the destructive culture of police violence. Sometimes I don’t have the words and music is the only thing that can speak. I hope this speaks to you. I hope one day this song won’t be so relevant. Let’s NEVER stop fighting for justice.”
She continues to say, “written from the point of view of the mother whose child has been murdered because of the system of racism that looks at Black life as unworthy.”
Alicia Keys sang at the beginning of the track, “Simple walk to the corner store/Mama never thought she would be getting a call from the coroner. Said her son’s been gunned down, been gunned down/Can you come now/Tears in her eyes/Can you calm down/Please ma’am can you calm down?”
By: Nupur Saraswat