It looks as if his royal badness is using his art to speak out on the death of Freddie Gray at the hands of police and in support of the people of Baltimore.
USA Today quoted an official statement from Prince spokesperson Yvette Noel-Schure saying that the song “addresses the unrest in Baltimore and the socio/political issues around the country in the wake of a slew of killings of young black men.” Further, that the song is “a tribute to all of the people of the city of Baltimore.”
Reports confirm that Prince has completed the new song this week at Paisley Park, the Minnesota compound where he records.
Prince, who seems to be getting more political as he ages, memorably said that “Black lives matter” at this year’s Grammy Awards. The genius singer/songwriter has spoken out on a variety of issues over the years.
This isn’t the “Purple Rain” singer’s first foray into politically charged music. In 1981, his song “Ronnie, Talk to Russia” touched on anxieties over the nuclear arms race. His classic 1987 hit “Sign of the Times” addressed the AIDS epidemic and drug use. And the music video for his 2004 song “Cinnamon Girl” dealt with Islamaphobia following September 11th. The video caused controversy for depicting an Arab-American teenager imagining herself as a suicide bomber after being bullied.
Release plans for the song have not yet been announced, but we will keep you posted.
Check out artwork for the single here.