“It’s time to hear the guitar play.”
As promised by Prince, also known in my world as His Royal Badazz-ness, he released his city-titled tribute to the people of Baltimore as well as the people of African descent who have fallen.
HRB surprised the hell out of me—given his aversion to many digital artifacts and particularly social distribution channels—when I just saw “Baltimore” reposted to my SoundCloud feed under an account named Prince3EG. Hell yeah, I subscribed.
His choice in orchestration for this track was less surprising but nonetheless interesting, given the subject matter. HRB could’ve easily traveled along the brooding “Sign o’ the Times” route—and I wouldn’t complained about that choice, by the way—but he took the chords back to the late 70s or early 80s incarnation of himself. The music is relatively uplifting, and you could easily envision yourself driving along the Pacific Coast Highway with the top down—perhaps until the lyrics kick in…
Does anyone hear us pray,
For Michael Brown or Freddie Gray,
Peace is more than the absence of war.
…[W]e’re gonna see
Another bloody day
We’re tired of c’ryin
And people are dyin’
Let’s take all the guns away…
I’m diggin’ HRB’s dialectic build. The vocals are energizing, perhaps even gospel-infused, but they leave no doubt that you’re listening to a protest song with the overall vibe being keep your head up, Baltimore. Same to you, Ferguson. And you too, New York, and…
Click the play button below.