Yesterday, as protests over the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police spread across the nation, the Prince estate released a 2015 live recording from a “Dance Rally 4 Peace” the artist played with 3RDEYEGIRL at Paisley Park.
The concert was held to honor the late Freddie Gray and support Baltimore protesters after Gray died in police custody. That incident inspired Prince to write and record his song “Baltimore,” which he premiered at a benefit concert in the city itself.
Prince previously shared audio of the Dance Rally 4 Piece on his SoundCloud; the newly re-released live audio is a 17-minute recording of “Dreamer,” a song about social justice originally released on his 2009 album Lotusflow3r.
Like other songs in his catalog (most notably “The Sacrifice of Victor” from 1992’s Love Symbol Album), “Dreamer” was partially inspired by Prince’s experience growing up in Minneapolis during the civil unrest of the 1960s, which included three nights in 1967 that saw North Minneapolis in flames.
The lyrics of “Dreamer” begin, “I was born, raised on the same plantation/ In the United States of the red, white and blue/ Never knew that I was different/ Till Dr. King was on a balcony lyin’ in a bloody pool.”
In the live version, Prince expands the song with a spoken-word interlude. “See,” he says, “in Chanhassen we ain’t scared of the police at night. But I didn’t always live in Chanhassen. I used to live on Plymouth. Russell and Penn.”
He adds, “I better keep one eye open, like CBS. So I can see your B.S.”