Music is made for many reasons, from escapism to autobiography, from joyful euphoria to howls of anger, but perhaps it is at its most powerful, most poignant, when it is raising real-world concerns, when it is using its platform, its sonic soapbox to broadcast ideas to the world in general. And it is this that makes Ferguson such a relevant and important song.
Highlighting both specific and general concerns about racial injustice and police brutality, it runs through a musical catalogue of issues and outrages calling for change by showing us the dark underbelly of modern America. Though of course this is not just America’s problem.
Musically it is infused with the same social-conciousness as Marvin Gaye, specifically his game-changing What’s Going On album or Curtis Mayfield’s general musical approach, a deft blend of soul and understated funk, Motown vibes and pop accessibility.
And whilst it is a musically seductive song, perhaps it is one of those tracks which will be talked about in the future in terms of importance rather than popularity. Only time will tell….but how much time do we have?