Rolling Stones Go Woke, Retire One of Their Biggest Hits because lyrics reference slavery

Rolling Stones Go Woke, Retire One of Their Biggest Hits because lyrics reference slavery

The Rolling Stones have axed their classic hit “Brown Sugar” from their set lists after 50 years because the lyrics reference slavery and sexualize young, Black women.

Lead singer Mick Jagger told The Los Angeles Times that the band had slowly eased the song out of its concert lineups.

“We’ve played ‘Brown Sugar’ every night since 1970, so sometimes you think, ‘We’ll take that one out for now and see how it goes,’” he said. “We might put it back in.”

Guitarist and secondary vocalist Keith Richards said that despite the controversy over the song, he hopes to play some version of it in the future.

“I’m trying to figure out with the sisters quite where the beef is. Didn’t they understand this was a song about the horrors of slavery? But they’re trying to bury it. At the moment I don’t want to get into conflicts with all of this sh**,” Richards told The Los Angeles Times. “But I’m hoping that we’ll be able to resurrect the babe in her glory somewhere along the track.”

“Brown Sugar,” which was released in 1971, references a Black woman being sold into slavery and whipped just around midnight.

The song’s chorus includes the words “brown sugar,” and “how come you taste so good,” both making references to Black women.

Critics, like Ian Brennan at The Chicago Tribune, have condemned the song for years because of its violent, stereotypical portrayal of Black women.

Jagger later shared his regrets in writing that song in a mid-1990s Rolling Stone interview.

“I never would write that song now,” Jagger told Rolling Stone in 1995. “I would probably censor myself.”

The Rolling Stones are currently on the road for their “No Filter Tour” throughout North America until November.

It is the first time the group has toured since their drummer, the late Charlie Watts, passed away at 80 in August.

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