Prince was murdered.
Point blank period.
And it pisses me off.
Now, the question you’re probably asking is: Ya’ got any proof of that bruh?
And my answer would be: Do you think it’s a coincidence that Prince was found dead two years almost to the day that he got his master recordings back from Warner Brothers Records?
Now you might follow up my answer with this comment: Bruh…that don’t mean he was murdered.
To that I’d reply: I’m positive Prince was killed cause the white fascist freemasons who run the record industry are notorious for killing Black musicians who reclaim the rights to their music.
Don’t believe me?
Then reference what happened to Jimi Hendrix when he was about to take his manager Mike Jeffries to court over royalties he never received. Mind you, Mike not only worked for british intelligence, but he also had ties to organized crime families. After that, look up what happened to Sam Cooke when he created his own record label in an effort to keep his publishing. Then read up on what happened to Michael Jackson after executives at Sony Music told him he was in debt to them for the ‘Invincible’ album under-selling, and how they’d cancel the debt if Mike gave up his ownership of the Beatles and Elvis music catalogues. Now besides Mike being a masterful performer, he was also a savvy business man and told them those catalogues were worth more than his debt. So, Mike went on the ‘This Is It’ tour to pay off what he allegedly owed Sony. And when Sony executives saw how quickly those tickets sold, they knew Mike would clear his debt to them…and we know what happened to Mike after that.
Besides these facts, ‘Billboard’ magazine released an article on Prince getting back his masters on April 25th, of 2014 titled: ‘Prince Gets Masters Back, Which Labels Say 'Scares Us Silly'.
Now, you’re next question after the above fact might be: Well, if Prince hated Warner Brothers so much, why did he sign another contract with them in 2014?
Answer: He signed a new deal with Warner’s so he could have access to their large distribution network(s). Difference is, under the terms of Prince’s new contract, he would’ve had full rights to his back catalogue. Meaning, he would have gotten the lion’s share of any profits from his old and new hits. Thus, he wouldn’t have had to write the word ‘slave’ on his cheek anymore. And what he also did was strike a deal with Jay-Z’s ‘Tidal’ music steaming service, which gave Prince an outlet to put out music whenever he wanted. Warner’s would often criticize Prince for putting out too many albums. They said he’d flood the market with his product, thus making it less profitable.
But more than anything, white fascists killed Prince to send a message to other artists who want to follow his lead in regards to master recordings. Young artists especially.
Prince’s murder tells them that if they join a freemasonic fraternity to become a celebrity musician, they shouldn’t even think about trying to buck the system. And more than likely, what they’re saying to themselves now is: Well damn, if they’d kill an icon like Prince, then they won’t think twice about takin’ me out.
But beyond all of the aforementioned goings-on, I have to say that Prince’s death hit me the hardest of all the musicians who’ve passed recently.
And here’s why…
On July 27th, of 1984, the film ‘Purple Rain’ was released into american theaters.
Now, at the time I was in my mid-teens, and I would immediately wave the film off if anyone mentioned it. Then, after I talked disparagingly about the flick around my brother, he declared: “Nah, that movie’s dope.” I was immediately taken aback. Cause my brother was the harshest of cultural critics. So after pondering what my brother said, I thought, well maybe I should go see it.
So my friend and I went to the theater. And about half-way through the film my friend casually looked at the movie, while I was in my seat having a religious experience. The narrative of Prince (who played ‘the Kid’) enduring an unstable and abusive household and feeling like a complete pariah resonated with me instantly. And suddenly Prince’s ‘freak factor’ was not only embraced by me, but his film showed me that I should involve myself with, and make some kind of living in, a community of artists. And I’ve never had that kind of experience with another artist since.
I especially remember the scene in the film where Prince finds his mother sitting on the sidewalk after being assaulted by his father (played by the masterful thespian Clarence Williams III). After Prince rushes into his house, he screams out for his father, who suddenly starts playing the piano. Prince forgets his anger momentarily and follows the sound of his father’s playing. He sits down besides his father and asks: “You got that music written down somewhere?”
‘Francis L.’ played by Clarence Williams III replies: “Nah man, I don’t write ‘em down cause I don’t have to. That’s a big difference between you and me.”
Prince takes offense and replies: “I seen mom up the street. She looks pretty bad…got any idea how she got that way?”
Francis L. asks Prince: “You got a girlfriend?”
Prince: “Yeah, I got a girlfriend.”
“You gonna’ get married?”
“I don’t know.”
Francis L. says wearily: “Never get married.”
A beat after Francis makes this statement, the song ‘Computer Blue’ starts. The scene then cuts to a masked, bare-chested Prince on stage and we see how he’s masterfully created the song’s main guitar riff from what he heard his father playing on piano. And that’s before he launches into the salaciously charged ‘Darling Nikki’. Shouts out to the film’s cinematographer Donald Thorin, cause during Darling Nikki, the stage is literally bathed in devilishly red lights, adding to the scene’s power. And besides the movie’s musical performances being intoxicating, the movie’s one sex scene is scalding hot. At least by that decade’s standards.
And when Prince performed the song ‘The Beautiful Ones’, I think every young woman felt her loins ignite when Prince yelled: “Do you want him? Or do you want me? Cause I want you.”
Now, this film won’t win many accolades with hard-core cinephiles, but its status as a bona-fide cult classic is irrefutable.
And it was about two decades after this movie’s debut that I started looking at it from a Black Nationalist/Pan-Africanist perspective.
I distinctly remember one white movie critic saying that Prince was suffering ‘prettily’, he then went on to say Prince’s troubles weren’t realistic cause he wasn’t ‘ugly and poor’. So literally, this film critic was telling anyone reading his review that all he knew about Black people (and all he wanted to know), was what he saw on TV. I guess he watched several episodes of ‘Good Times’ and thought it was impossible for any Black family, dysfunctional or not, to be financially stable enough to live in a two-story house.
Also, I remember being puzzled for years about why Prince would put out the album ‘Around the World In A Day’ right after ‘Purple Rain’. I mean, I understood he wanted to be ‘eclectic’ and all, but it didn’t make sense to me that he’d put out an album so ‘left of center’ after he worked so hard to get to the success of ‘Purple Rain’. Then I found out why Prince did what he did…
The same fascist freemasons who killed Prince, always want the public to be reminded that ‘The Beatles’ were the world’s greatest rock and roll band. Even though the Beatles were copying the stylings of Little Richard and Chuck Berry. Thus, they tasked Prince with making an album that sounded like the Beatles ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’. And that’s why Prince put out ‘Around the World In a Day’ after Purple Rain.
This was but one price Prince had to pay to stay in the good graces of white fascists, while they kept him at the top of the charts. And anyone listening to that album could tell that the funkiest tracks, like ‘Tambourine’, were where Prince’s heart was really at, not in that album’s ‘quasi-psychedelic’ overtures. And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that ‘Tambourine’ is my favorite Prince song of all time.
Now, all of Prince’s movies outside of ‘Purple Rain’ were pretty much b-rated flops, but one thing I can say in all honesty is his soundtrack albums were always slammin’!
If you look at the ‘Parade’ album apart from the Black and white flick meant to accompany it, you’ll hear some of Prince’s best work. Songs like ‘Anotherloverholeinyourhead’ are nothing short of sonic masterpieces, and that whole album is one of those rare records you can put on and just let play from beginning to end. It’s that good. And I can’t forget to mention the album’s sweetly melancholic and brilliant song, ‘Sometimes it snows in April’. Which ironically enough, is what I was gonna’ title this post. Oddly, this song is reminiscent of how Prince’s own life was cut short. The last lyrics of this track are: “I often dream of heaven and I know that Tracy’s there (Prince plays Christopher Tracy), I know that he has found another friend. Maybe he’s found the answer to all the April snow. And maybe one day I’ll see my Tracy again.”
Another of Prince’s movies, ‘Grafitti Bridge’, was just a laughable excuse for a film, but damn that album was DOPE! Songs like ‘Elephants and flowers’ with its main guitar riff, the raw power of the George Clinton-influenced ‘We can funk’, and the wholly intoxicating ‘Joy in repetition’, tell the movie’s story better than the film does.
In addition, the ‘Batman’ soundtrack album was very under-rated. Songs like ‘Lemon Crush’ had Prince returning to his funk roots, even though he was more invested in his rock-guitar stylings at the time (Love the song’s lyric: “When I’m workin’ at my jobba’, I’m the victim and you’re the robber.”) The song ‘Trust’, showed how Prince could slip his advanced musicality into a commercial pop song, and ‘Batdance’ had him in full-on Hendrix mode with that guitar solo. And also, it showed Prince’s embracing of technology. In the song’s latter section, Prince samples a line of the movie’s dialogue: “I gotta’ go to work.” Then he loops that with the refrain: “Work, work.” And in the midst of that comes the lyric: “If a man is considered guilty for what goes on in his mind, then give me the electric chair for all my future crimes, oh.”
Now, many would argue that the album, ‘Sign O’ the Times’, was Prince’s real masterwork. And I’d agree, but the album, ‘LoveSexy’ was also very under-rated…at least to me. To start off with, the guitar riff on ‘Alphabet St.’ sounded like it came directly from heaven. I liken that riff to the masterful ‘vamp’ in the ‘Muddy Waters’ song, ‘Mannish Boy’. In so much as, in Prince’s chords you can hear several musical genres playing at once. It harkened back to the beginnings of Rock and Roll and R&B ala Chuck Berry, Little Richard and Bo Diddley. Then you had the funk elements of James Brown thrown in for good measure. And the album’s stand out track, ‘Anna Stesia’, is preceded by a keyboard solo that sets the song up beautifully.
So I’ve said all that to say, I was really a fan of this man’s music.
And now he’s gone before his time.
Ponder this for a sec’. Stevie Wonder is still living, Smokey Robinson is still alive and so is Berry Gordy. But Prince and Michael Jackson are both dead.
What’s wrong with this picture?
Both Prince and Mike died young cause they had the testicular fortitude to take on the white fascist status quo. Regardless of how they looked.
So finally I’ll say . . . goodnight sweet Prince.
You added so many vibrant colors to my life, in a world where some fair-skinned folks are literally still dreaming in Black and white.
You also provided sweetness in my times of suffering with lyrics like…
“Have you ever been so lonely that you felt like you were the only one in this world? Have you ever wanted to play with someone so much, you’d take any one boy or girl?”
--(The song ‘Anna Stesia’ from ‘LoveSexy’)
“Don’t sleep ‘til the sunrise, listen to the falling rain, don’t worry about tomorrow, don’t worry about your pain.”
--(1999’s song, “Free”)
“Do I believe in God, do I believe in me. Some people wanna’ die just so they can be free.”
--(The album ‘Controversy’s’ title track)
And now you are free.
And it must be wonderful.
So Rest in Peace and Power, Prince Rogers Nelson…you rocked my world and I’ll never forget you.
Oh…and say hello to Vanity for me.