In honor of Prince‘s May 7th birthday, the superstar’s estate released a lyric video titled “Baltimore” that serves two purposes; to celebrate what would’ve been the musicians 62nd birthday, and to address global protests over the police killing of George Floyd.
Prince originally released the song in 2015 in response to the death of Baltimore’s Freddie Gray, who died in police custody in April of that same year, sparking widespread protests in the city. Playing all the instruments on the track, the Minnesota native produced a recording that sounds upbeat and bouncy that contradicts it’s dark subject matter. Available on his final, 2015 album, Hit n Run Phase Two, “Baltimore” asks tough questions about how people view peace and justice. “With everything going on there this week, I had a lot I needed to get out,” Prince said at the time.
In addition to the video, the Prince estate also released a timely handwritten note from the musician’s vault, that read: “Nothing more ugly in the whole wide world than intolerance [between] black, white, red, yellow, boy or girl. Intolerance.” The post, meant to provoke thought and introspection, can be found below.