Ode to Prince: Purple Reign Continues…

*Disclaimer: This post is a retrospect of my immediate thoughts about the life and musical influence of Prince during the week following his death last April. I’ve chosen to complete the draft I started at that time and post it in honor of him on the first anniversary of his death. *

Ode to Prince: The Purple Reign Continues…

I wouldn’t be a true music lover if I didn’t break my extended “blog silence” to write at least one post dedicated to the mastermind of bending and blending art, fashion, life, and music – Prince.

With his untimely passing, it’s been like someone opened a vault full of purple Pandora’s boxes upon the internet, and the world as a whole!!!

My Prince Moment:

I know, and from what I’ve read over the past week, everyone (and I do mean EVERYONE) has a personal story of when, where, and how Prince’s music entered the soundtrack of their lives. Whether it was a concert attended, a family member’s Prince playlist on heavy rotation, a video or movie watched, or a relationship experienced… he’s in there somewhere – his sound or influence or band poster!!!

Well, today I decided to share one story of my own and a few thoughts about him, his music, and his gift to us. And here it goes…

So, I grew up when Prince was first topping the charts with all his well known hits – “Kiss,” “Raspberry Beret,” you know them all! And, I played in school bands during much of that time as well – starting off with the trumpet in junior high before switching to baritone horn, which is what I last played. However, it was during marching band while in college at Fayetteville State that I was really made aware of how Prince’s music went beyond just some hit song. This guy had a different kind of talent. I mean, when you have the top “screamers” in a college band’s trumpet line talk on and on about Prince’s compositions (music arrangements), his ability to play more than one instrument, AND his latest hit, then you know there’s more to this artist than just what’s on the radio. And by college, the Prince hits they were referring to were songs like “Diamonds and Pearls” and “Sexy MF.”

PS – have you listened to “Sexy MF” before? It’s risque and true to classic Prince… but the horns are fire!!!

A Mutiny in Music

Anyway, after doing what so many of us have been doing this past week – revisiting all his songs, reading all the news articles, and listening to past interviews with the Artist, all I can say is YESSSSSSSsss to his musicianship and NOOOOOOOOOOoooooooo to what we are commercially handed as music today!

And whether you care for Prince or not, I’m sure you’ve heard the fingerprint of his “sound” in a few surprising places, because Prince went beyond himself to create, produce, and promote the music of other artists as well. With that said, here’s one Prince song pick for memory’s sake – “Mutiny,” a funk-infused jam I just discovered thanks to all the recent focus on his vast catalog of appearances, side band projects, written songs, and production work.

This video is of Prince accompanied by an assortment of musicians performing the song March 2014 on The Arsenio Hall show:

For me, the song “Mutiny” not only pulls at my Pirate pride as a graduate of East Carolina (honestly, a couple of things about Prince do that for me) but it also truly exemplifies what those trumpet guys at Fayetteville State were saying all along… and the horns featured in this song, by the way, are pure fire as well!!!

And, as someone who’s favorite color is purple, I have loved seeing the world covered in his honor with that color all week. So very sad it had to take his passing for that to happen, but what an influence he had on the world to make it unite (if only once) in one color of humanity from Niagara Falls to New Orleans, Paris, and beyond.

Purple reign continues…


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