Solange’s New Tribute Song To Baltimore And Ferguson Has PR Stunt Written All Over It

Solange debuted her new song “Rise” during a performance in Los Angeles on Thursday. The song, according to Pitchfork, was a tribute to the fallen men who were victims of police brutality in Ferguson and Baltimore. Some music critics believe that Solange hit the nail on the head with “Rise” because of its length and the choice to make it a ballad.

Over the years, Solange has had a slow rise to greatness where music is concerned. She has spent many of those years in the shadow of her sister Beyonce with only a small fan base, mostly in the U.K. In 2013, after a leaked elevator footage showed Solange physically attacking Jay-Z, her sales surged and people either re-discovered her or were just finding out that her music existed altogether. So, after not recording any albums for three years since 2012’s “True,” could this so-called tribute just be a PR stunt to get Solange on everyone’s radar?

Well, after the performance, which was hosted by HBO to promote the new Bessie Smith biopic, Solange stated that “Rise” will probably be on her next album. If that’s not marketing, what is? Solange has thus far in her career never spoken out about socio-political issues in the media or in her music. Much of Solange’s music collection is Motown-inspired love songs and police brutality just doesn’t fit. Unlike Prince who’s lead she seems to be following, Solange has an upcoming album to promote and Prince’s album has already been released and topped the charts. Solange has yet to have even a number one song in America, let alone a number one album.

While Solange has managed to become a style icon and artsy inspiration in this time where there is a lack of individuality, the music industry is not the fashion industry. As long as Solange put her persona and image before her music, it will never sell. With the recent financial issues the singer has experienced, it would seem that focusing on the music would be a great idea.

Though “Rise” could very much be a brilliant marketing stunt, the song would have to be good enough to make that plan work. Her ballads have already been ill-received by America in the past. Perhaps it would have been better if Solange kept her Motown inspiration and went for more of a Michael Jackson “They Don’t Really Care About Us,” sound. Unfortunately, she seems to be a slow learner.

Do you think that “Rise” will help Solange sell her upcoming album?

[Image via CNN]

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