Released in 2015, “Baltimore” was Prince’s musical response to the Baltimore uprisings sparked by the death of Freddie Gray, who was arrested earlier that year for possessing a knife. When he arrived at jail, hewas in a coma, his spine nearly severed, and died shortly after. When cellphone footage of his brutal arrest — in which police pinned him to the concrete by kneeling on his back — was posted online and went viral, the city erupted in outrage, resulting in protests demanding police reform.
Five years later, “Baltimore” is more relevant than ever, and on Sunday the Prince estate released a powerful new video for the track.
In the video, the music is accompanied by news footage of the Baltimore protests, images that both predict and reflect the increasingly larger protests that have been taking place throughout the world as people of all races support the Black Lives Matter movement and its call for justice in the death of George Floyd.
The video concludes with a powerful quote from Prince: “The system is broken. It’s going to take the young people to fix it this time. We need new ideas, new life.”
In addition, the estate used Prince’s Twitter account to share a handwritten note from Prince himself.
“Nothing more ugly in the whole wide world than INTOLERANCE (between) Black, white, red, yellow, boy or girl. INTOLERANCE,” the note reads.
— Prince (@prince) June 7, 2020