We at BlackSci-fi.com wanted to pay tribute to the legendary and iconic musician, Prince Rogers Nelson. We reached out to some of the best in the Black Sci-Fi Community, to get their thoughts about this visionary musician, his works and how they impacted our society.
Since I was 17 Prince’s music has been part of the soundtrack of my life. I was a DJ in high school and college, and I was known for having the hot new music first. I remember that day walking into Flipside, my local record store, and walking out with two songs I knew would turn the party out; You and I by Rick James and Soft and Wet by Prince. Since that day I’ve been a Prince fan. Just a few weeks ago I told my wife that Prince would probably be the artist we would grow old with. Unfortunately I was wrong. I’m only a year younger than Prince and I’ve lost a few friends and relatives the same age, which is why his passing resonates with me. He lived the life all of us should pursue, a life on our own terms.P
Milton Davis, Author of The Woman of the Woods and Amber and the Hidden City
I don’t know what to say. When I saw the news, I felt a sharp pain in my chest, for real though, and I literally couldn’t speak, as if someone kicked me in my throat. I am still stunned. If Michael was the sun, half the soundtrack of my youth, then Prince was certainly the moon. Who didn’t want to see and be loved by Prince? In college I had a giant poster plastered right over my bed, I mean the Prince love and lust was real! And it wasn’t about his looks–I mean, I won’t get into that, but who couldn’t work with a spirit with so much swag, soul, insight, and supernatural eye contact? Prince worked everything he was given, lol, and he worked it well.
I have gone to every concert from every album save for his amazing Controversy debut. Saw him preaching straight talk and wisdom in the Pyramid, saw him at the Cook Convention Center in purple light and smoke, saw him make a fashionably insane entrance via jet ski at Jones Beach, nearly levitated at the most epic Michael Jackson vs. Prince dance party in the history of… and lost my everlovin’ mind on a nutty bus of equally loyal Prince fans on the way to see him (hopefully, literally) ass-out in the Meadowlands.
And he did not disappoint, lol! Front row seats when he performed just his medleys and refused to pronounce his name. I still loved him and celebrated the victory when he regained his freedom and his masters. All that Prince music is a part of the soundtrack of my life. So, I don’t have anything but a fan’s true love and heartbreak for you now. Nothing but love.
One thing for sure–we know Prince has a shit-ton of unreleased music somewhere in those purple, paisley vaults. Whatever it is, I look forward to hearing it someday. Until then, I will be replaying greatest hits from Purple Rain, the Gold album, the Symbol, and on and on.
Return to light, Prince, ‘cuz Lord knows, you used your gift well!
“Writing is one of the ways I participate in transformation.”
— Toni Cade Bambara
Sheree Renée Thomas @blackpotmojo, Editor of Dark Matter, Author of Shotgun Lullabies
There is not a single day of my life since about the age of 12 that Prince hasn’t been a fixture. I had a crush on a girl who was a rabid Prince fan, and I became a fan through her. From Purple Rain to Under the Cherry Moon, through Seven and Diamonds and Pearls I followed his every move. Prince is in my Iphone rotation. I listen to Prince constantly when I’m working. This really rocked me.
Prince was one of those musicians who could do anything. Like James Brown, Freddie Mercury, Michael Jackson and Dave Grohl, Prince was a master, who played with such energy, joy and imagination it borders on inhuman . It felt like he could do anything, I’ll always be a fan and I’ll feel the loss every time I hear When Doves Cry or Let’s Go Crazy.
In the Spirit of Remembrance…
I never met Prince, but was fortunate to be in his presence on two separate occasions, courtesy of my brother Evan Theodore Stent (as much as you think you might know about The Artist, this bro knows more. TRUTH).
The first time was in the 90s, back in my NYC days at a private record release party for Larry Graham and Chaka Khan in the east village. I had just relocated to NY for work, and before I could unpack one box, I was at a party with industry heads, celebs and music lovers until 3 or 4am. I remember Prince casually walking right past me when he arrived. No heavy entourage or bodyguards, just himself, Larry Graham and a few other people. I was amazed at how chill, laid-back and accessible he was the whole time we were there. Class Act.
The second time was the first and only time I got to see him perform live. It was in ’04 on the night of the 19th annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony. The ceremony was held at the Waldorf Astoria in NYC and broadcast on VH1. Prince hosted a private after party/concert at Club Black in Manhattan (now known as Terminal 5). The location was never publicly announced, so you had to be in the loop to even know where it was. The club had an upper level over-looking the stage that was reserved for the guests coming straight from the Waldorf (VIP). The rest of the club was standing room only, first come, first served and we were front row, off center, to the left. I’m a music lover. So, by definition, that would make me a Prince fan. Not the biggest Prince fan…not even close, but music lovers love good music. To say I was mesmerized would be an understatement. It was easily the BEST live show I have ever seen. The band was flawless. The sound was top notch. Perfection. And this brother just got off stage from his own Hall of Fame induction ceremony performance a few hours prior…a true testament to his dedication and mastery of Performance as Art. Inspired? You better believe I was!
The connection between music and visual art is seamless. It’s all story telling. It’s all connected. It’s all Art.
When we look back on our lives and recount all of the significant people, places and things we encountered along the way, we will realize that all of it, the good and the bad, the painful and the pleasant, contributed to the men and women we have ultimately become.
All Art is Relative and we have lost an Incredible Artist. Godspeed my brother and Thanks for the Love.
Rob Stull , Artist. Visionary. Teacher. Sports Junkie. Eternal Truth Seeker.
I don’t think I will ever stop mourning the loss of the amazing soul known as Prince Rogers Nelson. His music was sent from another plane of existence. His style was a nuanced mixture of pop, funk, the sacred, and the profane. Prince’s imagery,politics, humor and mastery of his craft were truly inspirational to me as a young artist. He was everything that an artist should be and gave us just a small glimpse into a purple universe populated by the funkiest of folk. There will never be another Prince.
I wrote this way back in 2002 and it stll applies today. http://bootynovelbill.blogspot.com/2008/09/prince-eye-whats-this-strange.html