The song is stripped down to bare pianos, with mournful vocals, telling everyone that despite the age-old proclamation that “change is gonna come,” it actually “might not be ok” after all.
“I won’t tell you that it’s gonna be ok,” Whalum admits on the melancholy hook, that at times feels more like a haunting hymn.
K.R.I.T.’s furious verse, however, takes the track to another level.
“Mamas been cryin’ and they gon’ keep cryin’/black folks been dyin’ and they gon’ keep dyin/police been firin’ and they gon’ keep firin’/the government’s been lyin’ and they gon’ keep lyin’,” K.R.I.T. spits over a haunting piano backdrop. “Propaganda news channels, that shit is all for show, camera phones videos is like all we know/diluting what an eyewitness might really say/because the whole world saw them murdered yesterday.”
While his rhyme starts off as almost observational about the police terrorism that has rocked America, as the verse continues, K.R.I.T.’s urgency builds until he’s shouting feverishly, all but daring listeners to deny the veracity of his words. In his searing verse, he references Jordan Davis, Eric Garner, Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, while not mentioning names, only the scenarios under which they were killed.
“Hands behind your back, face down, they still say you shootin’/Can’t breathe’Knee where your neck be like why you moving/ kids in your car heading home, like ‘what you doin?’” he raps.
The song is both somber and beautiful, furious and mournful, a soundtrack to the times. Whalum, who has worked with D’Angelo, Maxwell and Robert Glasper among others, offers minimalist production that speaks volumes, making the song that much more powerful.
Listen to “Might Not Be OK” below.