Prince is getting political, again. This time, he’s releasing a tribute to Baltimore, in response to the death of Freddie Gray.
The as-yet unreleased track, simply titled “Baltimore,” will address “the unrest in Baltimore and the socio/political issues around the country in the wake of a slew of killings of young black men,” according to Prince’s publicist. On Sunday, Prince is set to play a “Rally 4 Peace” concert at Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore. He is expected to unveil the new song at his upcoming Charm City gig, and other stars are expected to join in.
“As a symbolic message of our shared humanity and love for one another, attendees are invited to wear something gray in tribute to all those recently lost in the violence,” a statement read.
Here are the lyrics:
Nobody got in nobody’s way So I guess you could say It was a good day At least a little better than the day in Baltimore Does anybody hear us pray? For Michael Brown or Freddie Gray Peace is more than the absence of war Absence of war
Are we gonna see another bloody day? We’re tired of cryin’ and people dyin’ Let’s take all the guns away Absence of war—you and me Maybe we can finally say Enough is enough, it’s time for love It’s time to hear It’s time to hear The guitar play!
“‘Baltimore’ may likely be among Prince’s most powerful socio-political songs,” FOX 9 reporter Iris Perez (one of the first people to hear the song), told The Daily Beast. “It’s very moving.”
Perez described the new song as a soul/rock number, with a pre-chorus “slightly reminiscent” of Prince’s “The Holy River.”
This is just the latest example of Prince injecting political or social commentary into his music. “The people I know, they been strugglin’, at least it seems that way,” he sings on “Ol’ Skool Company” from 2010. “Fat cats on Wall Street, they got a bailout. Why somebody else got to wait. 700 billion, but my old neighborhood, ain’t nothin’ changed but the date.” And on his 1981 song “Ronnie, Talk to Russia,” he implores President Reagan to “talk to Russia before it’s too late” and engage in meaningful Cold War diplomacy. (Reagan ended up doing so a few years later.)
Updated 5/6/15: This piece has been updated to include information on the “Rally for Peace.”