Turns out that the world’s favorite bad girl tried to play a free show in Baltimore this May in the wake of the riots following 25-year-old Freddie Gray who suspiciously fell into a coma and subsequently died while under police custody, en route to the hospital. This isn’t the first time Rihanna has taken a political stand, and if her video for “American Oxygen” is any indication, it certainly won’t be the last.
A set e-mails obtained by the Baltimore Sun reveal just how seriously Rihanna’s decision to travel to Baltimore really was. In a messaged dated May 1, Capt. Eric Kowalczyk, the then-head of media relations for the Baltimore police, received the following message from Rihanna’s management that an officer who was carbon copied to the message details:
“Rihanna wants to walk with the protesters as well as perform a free concert, he added that she will be arriving by plane and in an effort to divert press/media she will be traveling to the city by train (or by car if necessary). [He] stated that they hoped to secure some extra police security and was directed by the Governor’s office to seek assistance through Communications.”
However, unfortunately for Baltimoreans everywhere, this free concert never came to be. Why? Bitch didn’t get her permit.
Out of what could only be fear over the increased media spotlight that a star with such a caliber would bring to a situation that was already tenuous at best, the police denied her request to perform. Perhaps if she had kept her desire to march with the protestors a secret, the police would have made an allowance, but more realistically the free concert had less of a chance at succeeding than Iggy Azaela and Britney Spear’s woefully failed single “Pretty Girls” did.
So instead, Rihanna was forced to do what the rest of us were forced to do: post a picture on social media and hope that everything worked out all right in the end. The picture in questions was a close-up of a black police officer’s face who looked like he could burst into tears in a moment’s notice.