This past March, former Empire star Jussie Smollett was released from Chicago’s Cook County Detention Center. The 39-year-old was convicted on five counts of felony disorderly conduct and ordered to serve five months behind bars, Celebrity friends like his younger sister Jurnee, Samuel L. Jackson, and his Empire co-star Taraji P. Henson questioned why the severity of Smollett’s penalty for a non-violent offense, and Smollett would only complete six days before being released. And before he’s even finished his first month “back on the outside,” Smollett is celebrating his freedom with his new single, “Thank You God.”
The actor/singer shared a nearly two-minute clip of the song on his IG page. Smollett switches between singing and rapping throughout the five-minute, forty-one-second-long track, maintaining his innocence and suggesting he was the victim of police corruption. “It’s like they’re hell-bent on not solving the crime / Tаking out the elements of rаce, trаns, аnd homophobiа thаt’s strаight killing people / But turn аround аnd аct like I’m the one who killed the strides,” he rhymes at one point.
Smollett also took aim at those within the Black community whom he felt betrayed him, especially calling out CNN anchor Don Lemon and Empire co-creator Lee Daniels. In fact, Daniels spoke with Vulture in May 2019 and said the knowledge that his young star (whom he compared to a son) might have been lying the whole time left him “beyond embarrassed” and was “painful. It was a flood of pain.”
Smollett was summarily canned from the show three months later, and today he told Daniels and Lemon – in song format – he has unfinished business with them, too. “They had my own people, thoughts going off the wall/That’s why from L.D. to Don, I still got love for ya’ll/ I know we’ll meet again, talk like real men/ Instead of sharing shade in rooms and up on CNN,” Smollet crooned.
According to his IG caption, all proceeds generated by “Thank You God” will go to the following three organizations: the Rainbow Push Coalition, the Illinois Innocence Project, and Secure the Bag Safety.
Listen to the full single below, and you can also stream or purchase it on other platforms via clicking here.