“Peace is more than the absence of war,” Prince sings in “Baltimore,” the protest song he released following the death of Charm City citizen Freddie Gray, who died while in police custody. A new lyric video for the song, which the track’s singer Eryn Allen Kane released, plays up people’s pleas for peace as riots and unrest broke out in response to Gray’s death, as well as imagery associated with the deaths of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown.
“The system is broken,” Prince wrote in a statement that appears at the end of the video. “It’s going to take the young people to fix it this time. We need new ideas, new life….”
The singer performed the song for the first time at his “Rally 4 Peace,” held in Baltimore less than a month after Gray’s death on Mother’s Day. The rapper offered at the time, “I am honored to join Prince in his mission to inspire through the uniting power of music and be able to offer a platform where this moment can be shared globally.”
When Prince posted the studio version of the song to SoundCloud, he included a statement explaining that he’d written the song while watching the riots alone in his Paisley Park Studio. As he worked on the song in the days that followed, he requested Kane fly in to record her part. “Please know that all involved in this project never take for granted the privileges we have in this country,” the statement read. “Let’s all continue to fight the good fight and confront inhumanity on every level until the day it is no longer.”