The song was dropped from the US leg of the No Filter tour after critics called it “gross, sexist and offensive toward black women”.
The 1971 track includes the lyrics: “Gold coast slave ship bound for cotton fields. Sold in the market down in New Orleans. Scarred old slaver knows he’s doing alright. Hear him whip the women just around midnight.”
The chorus portrays nonconsensual sex with a young slave, while possibly alluding to heroin.
The rocker admitted that while the band used to “provoke”, times change and the band have adapted.
On Brown Sugar, Mick said: “You never know what is going to happen [as times change]. But I mean you know the early days were the days of shock and awe so things can’t stay like that forever.”
But guitarist Keith Richards said: “Didn’t they understand this was a song about the horrors of slavery? But they’re trying to bury it.”
The Stones play Anfield in Liverpool on June 9 and London’s Hyde Park on June 25 and July 3.