Alex Faith and Dre Murray had already written verses for their race-focused track “Wake Up Music” when the police officer who killed Michael Brown was acquitted on Nov. 24.
“The conversation became, ‘Should we drop this song in response to this incident happening,'” Faith told Rapzilla.com at SXSW 2015. “And I was like, ‘I don’t want it to look like a gimmick or like we’re trying to capitalize off of some young man’s murder.'”
Collision Records’ decision to not release the song then was calculated, as was its eventually release of the song. The label dropped music videos for Faith and Murray’s individual verses, as well as a lyric and music video for the whole song — the last of which they put out on Tuesday.
In the interview, Faith and Murray also expounded upon not only how the song happened, but also the burden behind “Wake Up Music,” track No. 3 of their upcoming album Southern Lights: Overexposed.
“I’ve realized we’re making black music for white kids,” Faith said. “Everywhere we go, it’s nothing but white kids. And so, for me, when I think through it, I’m like, ‘Yes, I need to say this because I’m in front of y’all constantly.'”
Southern Lights: Overexposed will be released on April 28.