Solange Knowles premiered her latest song, “Rise,” Thursday night at a Los Angeles stop of Bessie’s 81 Theatre Tour. The track was inspired by the unrest in Baltimore and Ferguson, Missouri, following the deaths of young black men in police custody.
Beyoncé’s younger sister isn’t the only artist to turn the turmoil in Baltimore and Ferguson into powerful lyrics. Prince wrote “Baltimore” about the protests and chaos that erupted in Maryland as a result of 25-year-old Freddie Gray’s April 19 death, one week after his arrest for possession of what police believed to be an illegal switchblade. He debuted the track, which also mentions Michael Brown and Eric Garner, at his Rally 4 Peace concert last weekend.
There is no word yet whether “Rise” will appear on Knowles’ next album. HBO’s Bessie, a biopic of blues singer Bessie Smith, premieres Saturday at 8 p.m.