For several years, in the United States, many voices have been raised for the Rolling Stones to stop performing Brown Sugar, a song whose ambiguous text evokes a black woman reduced to sexual slavery by whites, but in which many see the metaphor of heroin use, which the group was heavily consuming at the time of writing this track in 1969.
“Imagine a crowd in a stadium happily singing a song glorifying slavery, rape, torture and pedophilia, wrote producer Ian Brennan in 2019. The problem is not that this song was written one day. Nor that the Rolling Stones sang it. Their fault is for continuing to interpret it. “
The message seems to have passed, since since the start of the rather badly named No Filter Tour, the Stones have not played it on stage, a first since 1971. As it is one of their most famous hits. , it did not go unnoticed. “You noticed it, huh?, Keith Richards replied to a reporter from Los Angeles Times. I do not know. I try to understand with the girls where the problem is. Didn’t they understand that this is a song about the horrors of slavery? But they are trying to bury him. I don’t want to clash with all this shit right now. Most jhope we can give him all his glory at some point on the tour. »
Mick Jagger also drowned the fish somewhat. “We played Brown Sugar every night since 1970, so at one point we say to ourselves: We’re going to do without this one for now and see how it goes. We could decide to put it back. “
Suddenly, some wonder if they have become politically correct, while others lean towards an awareness linked to the Black Lives Matter movement. Even for the Rolling Stones, it is not easy to keep an image of eternal rebels and to assume former successes which are deeply shocking at the present time.