With the theatrical release of Spike Lee’s BLACKkKLANSMAN just days away, Rolling Stone‘s Jamil Smith sat down with the director to discuss the film based on a true story of a black cop who infiltrates the KKK in the ’70s, and its relevance to current political challenges.
During the interview, Lee revealed that the ending credits will feature an unreleased song by Prince, where he covers the Spiritual “Mary Don’t You Weep.” The song is played in context with footage showing the Charlottesville riots in 2017 where white supremacists killed a counter-protester.
“I knew that I needed an end-credits song. I’ve become very close with Troy Carter, one of the executives at Spotify [and a Prince estate advisor]. So I invited Troy to a private screening. And after, he said, “Spike, I got the song.” And that was “Mary Don’t You Weep,” which had been recorded on cassette in the mid-Eighties. Prince wanted me to have that song, I don’t care what nobody says. My brother Prince wanted me to have that song. For this film. There’s no other explanation to me. This cassette is in the back of the vaults. In Paisley Park. And all of a sudden, out of nowhere, it’s discovered? Nah-ah. That ain’t an accident” Lee stated.
The late artist’s estate revealed that his posthumous album Piano & a Microphone will be dropping on Sept. 21, which will include the cover song, along with additional cassette recordings from the ’80s. BLACKkKLANSMAN is expected to arrive in theaters starting Aug. 10.