Another one to file under "What is the world coming to?:" Not only has Prince gone to great lengths to urge peace and justice in the aftermath of Freddie Gray’s death and the ensuing Baltimore riots, now Minnesota’s resident Rock and Roll Hall of Famer has gone and shared a live recording for free on the internet. Oh, and he’s back on Twitter, too.
Announced via his new @Prince3EG Twitter account on Twitter, the Purple Assassin from Chanhassen posted a Soundcloud file with his entire 40-minute Dance Rally 4 Peace performance at Paisley Park on May 2, held while the Baltimore was still embroiled in protests and curfews. We’ve re-posted the clip below. The uncharacteristic move clearly hits home how convicted he is about resolving the matters at hand. It follows last week’s unveiling of his song “Baltimore,” inspired by Gray’s case and the reaction to it.
While it’s not the hits-filled, feel-good performance he and his band 3rdEyeGirl gave for his Rally 4 Peace show in Baltimore this past Sunday, the Paisley Park set is pretty damn compelling. After a couple minutes of DJ-spun Prince tracks, the little big man himself takes over and launches into the appropriately chosen rocker “Chaos and Disorder.” He keeps his guitar blaring through “Dreamer,” “Guitar,” a cover of “Crimson and Clover” and “PlectrumElectrum” before encoring with another cover, the Waterboys’ very Princely “Whole of the Moon.” (Coincidentally or not, the Waterboys followed suit and encored with their viral version of “Purple Rain” last week at First Avenue.) Read Jon Bream's report from the show here.
One of the more fascinating moments comes around the 25:30 mark when Prince addresses the issue of trusting police in the inner-city. “In Chanhassen, we ain’t scared of police at night,” he says. “But I didn’t always live in Chanhassen. I used to live on Plymouth, [and] Russell and Penn.”
At the end of the night, he instructs the 500 or so fans, “Do me a favor and take care of each other. It don't matter the color, we are all family."
As for the Twitter account, it was launched over the weekend just before his Baltimore concert -- just as abruptly as his old Twitter and Facebook accounts were taken down last November. So far, the tweets include repostings of media coverage surrounding his Baltimore show and plugs for two of his protégés, Judith Hill and Lianne La Havas.
Here's the tweet touting the Soundcloud recording of the Paisley set.