Man, I don’t know where I begin with this. We are all or most of us are shocked to hear about the recent passing of Prince Rogers Nelson. Minnesota Born. Midwestern Born. Made a lot of hits. Albums. Started careers of Vanity 6, Apollonia 6, Morris Day, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Liv Warfield, 3rdEyedGirl, Collaborated with the Minneapolis Sound, a Superbowl halftime show, and a host of others that this native of the Midwest has came to be.
We all know that he had those hits. Many of us had to go back into the crates, vaults, playlists, CD’s, Tapes, Records before they came out again, to hear the songs that made us definitely went crazy! From “Pop Life, to HardRockLover” and in between he made those songs stick.
Growning up in Milwaukee, we used to have this radio station of Hot 102. And at the time, the songs of Prince, Michael Jackson, and a host of others would come on. They were in rotation at the time being the best out. Millennials, pay attention! This was way before CD’s MP3’s and Social Media all came about. And just to add, the station as I write was playing the best hits online via Hot102 Online on the TuneIn Radio App.
Also, MTV (remember them playing videos?) BET, Centric even TVOne’s NewsOneNow all paying tribute to Prince. Radio stations here in Milwaukee, from Jammin’ 98.3 and V100 all playing Prince songs in honor of his memory.
Now many of my Generation X had to ask or ponder: Who was better: Prince or Michael? You older Gens and Younger gens probably had no clue on this. As kids growing up in the 80’s, we had this “poll” about who was the best between Prince and Michael. Never mind the music or fashion. We were just young. Period. It was like a game. But now since Michael and recently Prince have passed, well the question still remains. We know now that they were great artists. Great humanitarians and also great contributors to causes. And Civil Rights. And yes, they were Jehovah Witnesses growing up. Similar to Michael Jackson, Prince believe it or not was an Introvert. His category was a ISFP. We know he kept things of his image being well guarded.
I didn’t attend any of his concerts (shame on me!), but however Purple Rain and Under The Cherry Moon with Graffiti Bridge were stand outs. Plus his Rave Un2 the year 2000 Concert was all his collaborations with Morris Day, Lenny Kravitz, Larry Graham, and a host of others were outstanding! If you have not seen this concert, go get the DVD! Plus we (my family) had to stay in on New Year’s Eve though.
We know the hits.
We know the hits.
We got them.
Even some that were deemed controversial. But he pushed the envelope and raised the bar! We know about “When Doves Cry”, “Pop Life”, “1999”, “Adore”, “Gett Off”, “Let’s Go Crazy” and “Little Red Corvette.” And the hit that probably has everyone singing in church or will in church, “Purple Rain”. But yes he had countless others that were very known and undiscovered. It’s somewhat summarized that he even made private recordings that has not been heard. Ever. Knowing Prince, in one sense with music, he stayed on the battlefield. Taking his level to another flight.
Now about this thing of him being all this “unapologetic”. I had to ask,why was he like that? Why was he was mostly explicit in his music? What was up with the “slave” thing on his cheek? What was the use of him not putting his music vids on YouTube, knowing that it might be broken a new sense?
Here’s my take on this. Prince went against the grain of not trying to be a slave of anything that he does not want to be. Prince went against those who tried to drown him out but continued to push the envelope with the use of Freedom of Expression.
About the “slave” thing, it was a protest. A protest with his WB Records label that had a control on him. But he wanted to do things that he wanted to do and still make a point. Even artists before him went through the same thing. And weren’t as successful. Prince was ahead of the game making sure that he and those after him do not make that same fault.
We all know that yes, Prince was an artist that didn’t want no pics, no social media, but still that was slightly broken on his final concert in Atlanta.
In the days since his passing, the landmarks in Minnesota, Seattle, New York, Los Angeles, Paris, and other cities were lit up in the purple hue. A United Methodist Church in Oklahoma had this sign to display:
If you haven’t read this, Prince had a connection my denomination of the UMC growing up in Minnesota.
On my Facebook wall, I made a statement about it for Milwaukee and well, here it is:
IMO: some of the #Milwaukee landmarks should be lit in purple hue for the #Prince tributes. Just a thought.
Even my hometown of Milwaukee was lit in purple. Our Airport’s MKE letters at General Mitchell were lit in the purple hue. Our Pfister Hotel in downtown Milwaukee, a legendary hotel was draped in the purple hue. One of our billboards on Milwaukee’s Southside was lettered in one of Prince’s lyrics from Purple Rain, courtesy of Lamar Advertising. And most recently, Summerfest was shown in the purple hue near the South Gate. This was the same Summerfest that Prince performed years ago. His last appearance was in 2004. So yes, Milwaukee honored the legend, whom made stops for his concerts at the old MECCA Arena (now known as the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena), and of course Summerfest. Nice touch! Prince performed in Milwaukee in a total of 7 times. “7” as in one of his hit songs. Get it?
But also there have to be some commentary hater yahoos who had to go in about the Hues, and not about the support of law enforcement or Military. I read them on Facebook, mainly with Milwaukeeans on a well known TV station page (ala Fox 6), who had to rant.
CALLOUT: Will you fools shut up?!! It’s not about you!
If you are still whining about the Law folks, or Military Folks not being honored, in which ways you only see a few black folks not doing as much, there is a thing called writing a letter! Since the “MKE” letters are County Owned, and your so-called Tax Dollars paid for the letters, why don’t you write a letter to the STILL Milwaukee County Exec Chris Abele, and make a typed written letter. To hell with your Facebook Comments! Even some were almost racist. Oh, don’t get me started. You still like Prince right? Most recently one of our Conservative reporters of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Christian Schneider had to go around and says “Nobody cares that you’re sad about Prince” in a slanderous opinion. This is the same dude that like to pander around the likes of Scott Walker and the rest of the Wisconsin Republicans that messed up the state since Walker took office. Don’t fool me! That article can miss me with all that BS! Go to Minnesota and tell those to say nobody cares and they’ll give you a different response. Did I care that Justice Scalia died and after the BS he pulled on the Supreme Court in his prime under Obama? NOPE! Never liked the dude.
After all, we know that Prince was a native of Minnesota. I respect that. Also, I’m going to say that he was also a fellow member of the Midwestern Regional Family. We know the East Coast, West Coast, South, but yes we need a Midwest Family Group of well known folks that are musicians. From the well known legends to the yet to be’s that want a shot.
When anyone thinks of music in the Midwest: we know Detroit and history of Motown. Eminem, and Aretha Franklin. The State of Indiana with the Jacksons, and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. The state of Illinois with R. Kelly, Kanye, Liv Warfield, and Jody Watley. Minnesota, with Morris Day, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Prince, Bob Dylan and Mint Condition.
We in the Badger State got Al Jarreau, Tank, Skylar Grey, Danny Gokey, Jidenna, Eric Benet, Naima Adedapo, Rico Love, The Core DJ’s and the Violent Femmes, whom had the honor in meeting Prince years back. Keep in mind, this is the well known artists that many should know from Wisconsin. And others like Nelly out of St. Louis.
So yes, the Midwest ain’t that bad when it comes to music making and innovation. And we shouldn’t be. Plus also I should say this, even though Prince made music for us world dwellers, he remained true to his Minnesota roots. Which kind of reminds me, I wonder if anyone from Wisconsin can learn that? With all this “I’m never going back to perform in Milwaukee” Stuff per se. We need this lesson, Milwaukee.
Already, it has been summarized that Prince’s Memorial Service had concluded, plus his body was cremated a day before. But don’t worry Purple Army Folks, we have seen Purple Rain at the theaters. And paid our $5.00 to get in for our nostalgic reasons. Plus some of us bought Purple Rain years ago, and still watch it on DVD. I was one of them that got the DVD from Walmart. Many of us will probably go back to the stores and by the music that we probably missed or just now getting. Even his last CD of HitNRun Phase Two.
Now I know that yes, everyone knows a Prince song. Sort of like when everyone knows a Whitney Houston song. But here something I know well, my top Prince songs:
When Doves Cry: This was the first video that started it all.
1999 – This was the second video. Back then this song was debuted in 1982. But about 17 years later, 1999 was a reality with the year, and this song was over played on radio and in person!
Controversy – Great Single.
Kiss – Straight from the Under the Cherry Moon Soundtrack.
Head – Don’t be shocked!
Little Red Corvette – Any with a Corvette could relate.
Batdance – Oh yes! This was the hype of the Movie to help support it!
Partyman – The thought of Jack Nicholson in the Joker face with the music in the background.
The Future – Another favorite from the Batman Soundtrack.
Lemon Crush – Don’t mean to say this, but this song had me hooked.
Electric Chair – This was another favorite with the Guitar Riffs in background
Gett Off – The thought of Prince and the MTV VMA’s from 1991 came to mind. Plus the video and single got airplay.
Diamonds and Pearls – Lots of the females probably got this on their playlists.
Let’s Go Crazy – I think this rings true. Still trying to get through this thing called life.
I Would Die 4 U/Take Me With U / Baby I’m A Star/Purple Rain ( the most favorite)- Good songs from the Purple Rain Movie.
D.M.S.R. -Straight from the 1999 Album. We should know.
Sexy Dancer – Um Kids, wait until U get grown!
Other favorites that got airplay: I Wanna Be Your Lover, Cream , U Got The Look and If I Was Your Girlfriend.
Oh wait a second: Songs like Jam of the Year, Somebody’s Somebody, Facedown, Guitar, 3121, The Work pt. 1, My Name is Prince, Mr. Goodnight, Get on the Boat, and the most recent songs with 3rdEyedGirl: PLECTUMELECTRUM, Stop This Train, This Could B US, and just to name a few more. Even 200 Balloons. MANY HAVE SLEPT ON THESE!
There are more, but this is the set list for me if I were to DJ or just play music.
We all know Prince’s musical talents will live on. But here is something I needed to say and ask: (in a scratching my head this whole time thing)
- If Prince was such a bad person of a musician in a weird fashion, what was up with him being a brain child of #YESWECODE! Explain that?
- About that song of BALTIMORE, explain and ask why this was?
- And also: WHAT IS UP WITH ALL THIS “PRINCE HAD AIDS” CRAP?! Are we reading this garbage?! STOP IT!
Now I should add this that yes, Prince had talks about taking his talents elsewhere. BUT…….again he remained true to this Minnesota roots with staying with Minneapolis. You got alot of artists that go near and far in all, but SOME stay true to the home base. Prince remained true to his Minneapolis sound. Plus also, can the likes of Wisconsin per se learn to actually support the locals when it comes to music? We got this vibe that no one will come out and support our own. Maybe if the artists could change the language of their music, plus pandering the music to in a respectful manner, then there wouldn’t be all this mess about “NO ONE FROM MILWAUKEE DON’T SUPPORT OUR MUSIC!” I’M MOVING TO ATLANTA! Do it the right way instead of the hateful way of being so snobbish! Yeah stop reaching! What if Atlanta don’t support a Milwaukee Talent?! Then what?!
So say what you want about Prince. Yes he was an introverted light skinned black dude that was a guitar hero/multi-talented musician. He also fought against those of the system that wanted to used his name, likeness, but wasn’t about to be controlled by the masses. He remained true of what he did in career and will be summarized in various ways. Of course many didn’t liked him. So what! He had the world’s attention and did his way. Even controlling his recordings and masters of his music that he made! Even if he had to convert to a religious angle to demonstrate his faith, he did that also. Plus he had to stop cussing in his music. But he was still Prince that brought the music! Even making themes for MSNBC’s Tamron Hall’s show. And giving a special show when Arsenio Hall had his show with the Minneapolis crew. I think he ranks up there with the likes of Michael Jackson, James Brown, Duke Ellington, Jimi Hendrix, B.B. King, and those whom were daring to dream but did it anyway. Even ranking with the Introverts whom have been misunderstood and still made a difference not just on stage, but also behind the scenes! All in his 57 years.
Let’s just hope that the next generation of the music players can learn from him. Not just about the music, but also about the other side of life. After all, we are all still trying to get through this thing called life!