Breland’s ‘Real Men Don’t Cry’ Expresses ‘Rage & Sorrow’ Over Racial Injustice [Listen]
Breland's new song "Real Men Don't Cry" expresses one piece of his emotions surrounding the current civil unrest in the United States following the late May death of George Floyd. Readers can press play above to hear the beautiful piano ballad.
"A million things been on my mind / I smile and say I'm doin' fine / Anything to keep it all inside / 'Cause real me don't cry / At least that's what we tell ourselves / And hurt the ones that try to help / Wish that we could leave it all behind / That real men don't cry," Breland sings in the chorus, over finger snaps and an R&B-influenced melody. His harmonies, which stretch to the upper parts of his vocal range, would make both Rascal Flatts and Boyz II Men proud.
"Go ahead, dry your your eyes / Nothing's wrong with you and I," he adds in the final line.
"Real Men Don't Cry" is one of two tracks that Breland dropped on Friday (June 19), as protests over the deaths of black men and women -- Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks and many others -- at the hands of white police officers continue throughout the country. His other release, a rap called "A Message," expresses anger over those deaths, and encourages fans to use their voices for change.
"How many murders 'til it really hits y'all / What it means to be Black and American? / The fact that you could overlook the fact is embarrassing ... Took all this for y'all to act like you care again," Breland raps. "You either part of the problem or the solution / And anybody can play a part in the revolution / You do it with your money, your ballot or your voice / 'Cause at this point I don't really think we have a choice."
"Many of us have been oscillating between inspiration and desperation over the past few weeks, and I haven’t always known what to do or say about it. Inside me at any given moment lie two distinct emotions: Rage & Sorrow," Breland explains in a statement. "We focus a lot on the rage because it makes us feel powerful, but without acknowledging the sorrow, sometimes we end up only hurting ourselves. It is okay to feel both of these emotions, and to feel them deeply. The two songs I’m dropping tonight speak to my journey toward this emotional balance, and I hope everyone who listens finds similar peace."
Breland's two new tracks arrived on Juneteenth, a holiday that commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. The New Jersey-born artist recently released a new EP, featuring a collaboration with Chase Rice and Lauren Alaina and his song "My Truck," which he remixed with Sam Hunt.
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