Prince Records Baltimore/Freddie Gray Tribute, and More Artists Are Desperately Needed
Prince has long been associated with the word “revolution” thanks to his iconic band, but now he’s actually getting involved in a cause that matters enough to justify the word. The enigmatic artist will make a statement on the unrest in Baltimore through song.
Prince has recorded a “tribute to all of the people of the city of Baltimore,” and will address Freddie Gray’s death in Baltimore police custody, as well as the sociopolitical issues that have reverberated around the nation, beyond our Facebook posts and sponsored news streams.
The song was recorded this week at Paisley Park, according to Billboard. The artwork can be seen below.
Prince is the latest in a long line of artists who’ve taken a stand over unchecked police murder of African-Americans. Future Islands, Beyonce and The Game have led tributes and called for action following the deaths of Gray and others before him, but far more action must be taken on an artistic scale.
In 2015, we are at a pivotal point in America. Our direct votes no longer matter in the face of corporate campaign domination, our police have become hyper-aggressive and overly weaponized and our representatives in Congress do not represent the general public in any way. That is, any way other than to shred our Constitutional rights and the social protections that have so long been referred to in our bleating wails of American exceptionalism. Our money is our ballot.
The matter is desperate, within a three-tier problem:
1. Rise of The Police State: Rampant police aggression is sharply on the rise as departments around the country are fitted with military-grade weaponry, creating a psychological wedge between citizens and law enforcement, with resulting hostility on both sides.
2. High-profile killings of black men by law enforcement shed light on scores of similar crimes at a vastly disproportionate rate from other races.
3. Grand jury indictments of police officers are incredibly rare, a structured lack of accountability resulting in a widespread belief on both sides of the badge that law enforcement is above the law.
As injustice continues to rise in America, artists play a crucial role in galvanizing the public through stark depictions of truth. Unfortunately, to be outspoken against injustice in the modern world is to become marginalized by those who would believe that the status quo is sustainable, that the gleaming teeth on their screens are spouting truths about the security of their children’s futures and the dominance of America in all things. The reality is far, far different than what we are sold on television, and yet we have sniveling-whelp dipshits who have the ear of legions of children, working directly against the tide of awareness, of power through information with their time in the spotlight.
Let’s get this Horrors fucker off our stages and get the megaphone into the hands of artists who will step up and serve as a vital catalyst for change, at a time when America’s core principles are at their greatest risk.