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Thread started 11/08/18 12:30am

ABro

Reclaiming the Black Prince by Scott Woods

Very interesting essay by Scott Woods

https://scottwoodsmakeslists.wordpress.com/2018/11/05/reclaiming-the-black-prince/

"So much has been written about me, & people don't know what's right & what's wrong. I'd rather let them stay confused." ~ Prince.
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Reply #1 posted 11/08/18 12:33am

ABro

His book, 'Prince and Little Weird Black Boy Gods' is available on Amazon now.

"So much has been written about me, & people don't know what's right & what's wrong. I'd rather let them stay confused." ~ Prince.
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Reply #2 posted 11/08/18 3:04am

jaawwnn

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Interesting essay alright. I definitely agree that it's a fools errand to try and project colorblindness onto his work. I don't know about all that "black uncle" stuff though, that just sounds like any uncle.

[Edited 11/8/18 3:04am]

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Reply #3 posted 11/08/18 8:22am

rdhull

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Good stuff.

Lost your keys? check princevault..lost your relationhip? check princevault..they have all the answers
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Reply #4 posted 11/08/18 9:58am

OldFriends4Sal
e

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Image result for the black prince bodybuilder

#IDEFINEME #ALBUMSSTILLMATTER

A Liar Shall Not Tarry In My Presence

What's the matter with your life
Is poverty bringing U down?
Is the mailman jerking U 'round?
Did he put your million dollar check
In someone else's box?
Tell me, what's the m
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Reply #5 posted 11/08/18 9:59am

OldFriends4Sal
e

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looks interesting. Will check it out.
His sister refered to him as 'the Prince of Darkness'

#IDEFINEME #ALBUMSSTILLMATTER

A Liar Shall Not Tarry In My Presence

What's the matter with your life
Is poverty bringing U down?
Is the mailman jerking U 'round?
Did he put your million dollar check
In someone else's box?
Tell me, what's the m
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Reply #6 posted 11/08/18 10:27am

namepeace

It's a really solid, incisive piece. But it really doesn't delve into Prince's active role in creating the racially ambiguous mythology that his majority audiences bought into hook, line and sinker.


You're going to have to walk through Prince's Self-Created Mythology to "reclaim" the Black Prince.

Good night, sweet Prince | 7 June 1958 - 21 April 2016

Props will be withheld until the showing and proving has commenced. -- Aaron McGruder
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Reply #7 posted 11/08/18 11:27am

rdhull

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namepeace said:

It's a really solid, incisive piece. But it really doesn't delve into Prince's active role in creating the racially ambiguous mythology that his majority audiences bought into hook, line and sinker.



It delves into other things thas never been really talked about fully. Who cares about the racially ambiguous mytology weve all read, know, and lived through ad naseum?

Lost your keys? check princevault..lost your relationhip? check princevault..they have all the answers
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Reply #8 posted 11/08/18 11:28am

Krystalkisses

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Looks very interesting!
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Reply #9 posted 11/08/18 11:28am

darkroman

Why are people obsessed with claiming Prince as 'black' for themselves?

Can a man not be a man without people putting their own insecurities in the way?

Interestingly Prince never played the race card, he was just himself and that is why his music travelled so far.

Prince supported all communites, genders etc.

In fact Prince was able to do this because he wrote pop music that travelled far. He got the radio play, he got the TV airtime and an eclectic audiences flocked to see him perform live.

To put this in a USA context; he wrote white pop music, that was played on white radio stations, that was watched by white people which attracted a white audience to see him perform. He even had a white woman play his mother in Purple Rain and throughout his career he even looked white.

I say 'USA context' because (as far as I know) it's only the USA who has 'white radio', 'black radio', 'white charts', 'black charts', etc etc.

I've always thought this really odd as to me (and the majority of people) music is just music!

I spent years listening to Prince before I even knew he had black parents because it wasn't important to me to know and it didn't define Prince nor his music.

So in conclusion let Prince be Prince. He transcended the divides between people so don't try to create them when they don't exist as this risks alienating an extremely large percentage of Prince's audience that gave him his success.

wink





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Reply #10 posted 11/08/18 11:37am

rdhull

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darkroman said:

Why are people obsessed with claiming Prince as 'black' for themselves?

I spent years listening to Prince before I even knew he had black parents

Thats why maybe.

He also wrotes and explains:You may be wondering why I feel the need to bring race into this at all. That’s easy: I’m bringing race into this because legacy is how we define culture, and culture is how we define what kind of society we will be.

Scott writes:

In my experience they fall into one of two camps: the fan who suggests Prince’s work beyond his clearly black moments owes a grand debt to white musical influences almost exclusively; and the fan who suggests that Prince’s blackness is irrelevant next to his larger messages (with a wild branch of fan who thinks Prince isn’t black at all).

You (darkroman) appear to be in the second camp.

......

[Edited 11/8/18 11:50am]

Lost your keys? check princevault..lost your relationhip? check princevault..they have all the answers
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Reply #11 posted 11/08/18 11:55am

onlyforaminute

I did the PP tour, and while in the office looking at his interview with Travis, I was just talking to some people about how long he'd been friends with him and this lady went to the guide and ask if Prince was black. Some people are completely unaware he is.

"You want to know your biggest fault? You don’t keep true accounts: you put a high value on what you’ve given, a low value on what you’ve received."

- Seneca, On Anger 3.31.3
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Reply #12 posted 11/08/18 12:02pm

MoBettaBliss

onlyforaminute said:

I did the PP tour, and while in the office looking at his interview with Travis, I was just talking to some people about how long he'd been friends with him and this lady went to the guide and ask if Prince was black. Some people are completely unaware he is.



did they throw her out?

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Reply #13 posted 11/08/18 12:12pm

rdhull

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MoBettaBliss said:

onlyforaminute said:

I did the PP tour, and while in the office looking at his interview with Travis, I was just talking to some people about how long he'd been friends with him and this lady went to the guide and ask if Prince was black. Some people are completely unaware he is.



did they throw her out?

lol

Lost your keys? check princevault..lost your relationhip? check princevault..they have all the answers
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Reply #14 posted 11/08/18 12:19pm

onlyforaminute

MoBettaBliss said:

onlyforaminute said:

I did the PP tour, and while in the office looking at his interview with Travis, I was just talking to some people about how long he'd been friends with him and this lady went to the guide and ask if Prince was black. Some people are completely unaware he is.



did they throw her out?


lol No, they just told her he most definitely was.

"You want to know your biggest fault? You don’t keep true accounts: you put a high value on what you’ve given, a low value on what you’ve received."

- Seneca, On Anger 3.31.3
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Reply #15 posted 11/08/18 12:23pm

namepeace

rdhull said:

namepeace said:

It's a really solid, incisive piece. But it really doesn't delve into Prince's active role in creating the racially ambiguous mythology that his majority audiences bought into hook, line and sinker.



It delves into other things thas never been really talked about fully. Who cares about the racially ambiguous mytology weve all read, know, and lived through ad naseum?


That's true. That's why the piece is so valuable.

But you know, the mythology kind of matters because Prince himself originated it.

Which begs the more difficult question of whether in reclaiming the Black Prince, Prince is one of the reasons it needed to be reclaimed in the first place.


I don't knock the hustle, it was brilliant marketing.

But you can't deal with the subject the author addresses fully, without dealing with Prince's role in creating the mythology that majority fans have embraced.

Good night, sweet Prince | 7 June 1958 - 21 April 2016

Props will be withheld until the showing and proving has commenced. -- Aaron McGruder
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Reply #16 posted 11/08/18 12:25pm

namepeace

darkroman said:


So in conclusion let Prince be Prince. He transcended the divides between people so don't try to create them when they don't exist as this risks alienating an extremely large percentage of Prince's audience that gave him his success.

wink


hmm

Did he really?

True, his work transcended genres which were preconceived (or ill-conceived) of being "white" genres.

But speaking literally of the artist himself, I'd say he navigated the divides moreso than he "transcended" them. And sometimes, as the author points out, the navigation got a little rocky.

[Edited 11/8/18 12:28pm]

Good night, sweet Prince | 7 June 1958 - 21 April 2016

Props will be withheld until the showing and proving has commenced. -- Aaron McGruder
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Reply #17 posted 11/08/18 12:37pm

OldFriends4Sal
e

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onlyforaminute said:

MoBettaBliss said:



did they throw her out?


lol No, they just told her he most definitely was.

and when the question arises ...

1 Drop rule........

#IDEFINEME #ALBUMSSTILLMATTER

A Liar Shall Not Tarry In My Presence

What's the matter with your life
Is poverty bringing U down?
Is the mailman jerking U 'round?
Did he put your million dollar check
In someone else's box?
Tell me, what's the m
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Reply #18 posted 11/08/18 12:46pm

Krystalkisses

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darkroman said:

Why are people obsessed with claiming Prince as 'black' for themselves?

Can a man not be a man without people putting their own insecurities in the way?

Interestingly Prince never played the race card, he was just himself and that is why his music travelled so far.

Prince supported all communites, genders etc.

In fact Prince was able to do this because he wrote pop music that travelled far. He got the radio play, he got the TV airtime and an eclectic audiences flocked to see him perform live.

To put this in a USA context; he wrote white pop music, that was played on white radio stations, that was watched by white people which attracted a white audience to see him perform. He even had a white woman play his mother in Purple Rain and throughout his career he even looked white.

I say 'USA context' because (as far as I know) it's only the USA who has 'white radio', 'black radio', 'white charts', 'black charts', etc etc.

I've always thought this really odd as to me (and the majority of people) music is just music!

I spent years listening to Prince before I even knew he had black parents because it wasn't important to me to know and it didn't define Prince nor his music.

So in conclusion let Prince be Prince. He transcended the divides between people so don't try to create them when they don't exist as this risks alienating an extremely large percentage of Prince's audience that gave him his success.

wink







In a perfect world yes it wouldn't matter...i really think how Prince navigated race and crossing over in the 1980s was very brilliant...i do think it is important to acknowledge Prince was black though for many reasons. One of the most important being inspiration for the black community.
[Edited 11/8/18 12:46pm]
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Reply #19 posted 11/08/18 1:33pm

onlyforaminute

OldFriends4Sale said:

onlyforaminute said:


lol No, they just told her he most definitely was.

and when the question arises ...



I was a bit taken aback that a convo about P long term friendship with a black man sparked the question.

"You want to know your biggest fault? You don’t keep true accounts: you put a high value on what you’ve given, a low value on what you’ve received."

- Seneca, On Anger 3.31.3
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Reply #20 posted 11/09/18 12:42am

MoBettaBliss

onlyforaminute said:

MoBettaBliss said:



did they throw her out?


lol No, they just told her he most definitely was.



they should have thrown her out

maybe there should be some kind of test people pass before they're allowed in

going to Paisley Park and asking if he was black?.... good lord... seriously

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Reply #21 posted 11/09/18 3:19am

tab32792

music is not just music...and it has nothing to do with insecurities. why do his non black fans always take it personally when we claim him? then they constantly inject old utopian lyrics from 40 years ago vs. more recent material? lol

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Reply #22 posted 11/09/18 3:19am

tab32792

they do/did the same thing to michael jackson with that transcend race nonsense. what the hell does that even mean? yes we know he has/had fans of all races but that's not the point most of the time.

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Reply #23 posted 11/09/18 6:46am

onlyforaminute

MoBettaBliss said:



onlyforaminute said:




MoBettaBliss said:





did they throw her out?




lol No, they just told her he most definitely was.





they should have thrown her out

maybe there should be some kind of test people pass before they're allowed in

going to Paisley Park and asking if he was black?.... good lord... seriously




Someone touch a nreve?
"You want to know your biggest fault? You don’t keep true accounts: you put a high value on what you’ve given, a low value on what you’ve received."

- Seneca, On Anger 3.31.3
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Reply #24 posted 11/09/18 6:52am

peggyon

I think the word 'navigate' is best. Do you think it took a toll on him? I would think so, on some level.

[Edited 11/9/18 6:54am]

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Reply #25 posted 11/09/18 7:00am

OldFriends4Sal
e

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tab32792 said:

music is not just music...and it has nothing to do with insecurities. why do his non black fans always take it personally when we claim him? then they constantly inject old utopian lyrics from 40 years ago vs. more recent material? lol

let's be careful about the race stuff, it turns the thread, and then needs to get moved to P&R

.

but Prince continued with the utopian lyrics through his whole career. Even a song like Lavaux and 3121 are in the same vein as 7, Alphabet St, Mountains, Paisley Park, ATWIAD, The Dance Electric, Uptown. You hear the same message throught the Truth album. Prince never changed from that. He was very constant and consistent in it. Afshin Shahidi's book is a photographical testament to it. When he made a reply about the Grammy awards being more diverse, or one of those award shows he said "That is the America I know"

.
Through the gates, knock on the door
Put you're clothes in the pile on the floor
Take you're pick from the Japanese robes and sandals
Drink champagne from a glass with chocolate handles

Lock the door
'Til you see the sun
We gon' party like there ain't gonna be another one
Futuristic fantasy
This is where the purple party people be

.

And when he had his parties, he made sure it reflected that.

.

I mean remember Prince is still the man who had even deeper 'religious and spiritual' ideals of life that probably had more affect on him than politics and race and sex.

.

Take me to the vineyards of Lavaux

Want to see the mountains where the waters flow
Life back home depresses me, just another form of slavery
The cost of freedom is anything but free

I don't care if they are covered with snow
I don't care if the road is narrow, if it is I'll know
It was always meant to be, still in love I must believe
Whatever path I choose will lead me home
Lead me home, Lavaux

Take me to the streets of Portugal
That might be my destiny to see the waterfall
Tears or rain, they're all the same
The only way to win this game
To let everybody play and share the ball

Ain't nobody got no chains on me (they got no chains on me)
I'm flying higher than any mountain, deeper than any sea
A paradox is box's key, I'm the why in mystery
You can unlock the secrets if you please

Come take me to an assembly in New York
To speak of the brand new everlasting wonder war
To win or lose is so absurd
And the only casualties the word, the word

Revolution time has come today
'Cause it took a black face to see the same decay
Like the chocolate of Vavey, in the sun they'll melt away
As for me, I'll laugh and go to the mountains where the waters flow
Back to the vineyards of Lavaux

Lavaux
Lavaux
Lavaux
Lavaux

#IDEFINEME #ALBUMSSTILLMATTER

A Liar Shall Not Tarry In My Presence

What's the matter with your life
Is poverty bringing U down?
Is the mailman jerking U 'round?
Did he put your million dollar check
In someone else's box?
Tell me, what's the m
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Reply #26 posted 11/09/18 5:06pm

bonatoc

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I'm halfway through it, but I still don't get what there is to reclaim.
I understand the problem of the musical press being excessively white, but when it comes to influences, well, Prince is the musical byproduct of what was played on the radio, in a city were the black population was almost non-existent. It was not a deliberate choice, and there's no ground whatsoever to prove otherwise except some desire to put up a racial/cultural fight out of nowhere.

The guy should be happy black artists turn the tables and make white men want to dance, even if they (supposedly) can't (that's a bit racist in itself, but apparently that's where black revenge lies). Also a bit racist is the statement under which white people can only "absorb" music, but can't appreciate it. And then there's the question of the influences: the guy ditches the obvious (Hendrix, Stone, Brown, Clinton, Wonder) in exchange for total unknowns, mismatching the local Minneapolis scene made of anonymous that never made it, and Prince's heroes. Cameo and the Ohio Players in the first album? The guy needs Q-Tip, and I mean the cotton swab. Oh my, I mentioned cotton!

He pretends to have found Prince's real influences, but has no proof or real ground to it, only his intuition that he presents as being the truth, because, you know, his skin has the right colour. That inverted racism is going nowhere, except back in the ghetto. Thank God Lennie Waronker listened to Prince. Apparently this blabber is on a mission to rewrite history and Prince's own wish to abolish cultural frontiers. He simply wants to put them back in separate boxes to support his own personal socio-political agenda.

Sorry dude, wrong artist. There is much more black politics in James Brown, Stevie Wonder and Sly Stone works (according to the author, being white, these are the only black artists I'm allowed to listen to and quote). To try to find the slightest equivalence in Prince's work is an intellectual fallacy. But hey, what do I know, I'm white. Seriously, I piss on yet another attempt to divide the human race using culture. Culture is the best trojan horse afro-americans ever had: it gave the best-selling record of all time, and a POTUS. They're probably not black enough for the dude. Spoiler alert: North America ain't Africa. Social inequality is the result of inertia: angry old white men take a moment to die. And they may have children to which they inoculate their paranoia. But this nonsensical cultural reappropriation is sterile and counterproductive, and certainly not the way to solve it.

About the Rolling Stones incident: to state it was for racial reasons is an aberration: The Stones have always been a Rhythm and Blues band. Their music always spelled Black. The audience came for the blues and the riffs, not for some eighties electro-disco shit. Bravo Scott Woods, I applaud your nostalgia for segregation, it's pretty eloquent in the way you manipulate events to your liking.

The main problem with all this bullshit is trying to make Prince and his attempts to shift America's view on race appear as an imposture, as if Prince considered himself N.W.A. all this time (the "black uncle" list is truly pathetic), and just fooled those poor, intellectual-only white dudes who can only "absorb black music but not appreciate it". Like fried chicken? Prince gave to yeswecode and other black charities because of income inequality first, not race. Mr. Woods is clearly mistaking cause and effect (pun intended). And conveniently forgets that trying to abolish the notion of race is a black trait, and that Sly Stone tried it first, not some obscure Minneapolis band.

Who cares if some fans think Prince is half-italian? He's simply not that black physically, and there's nothing you can do about it. But to suggest these fans are inherently racist, Lawd...
As always, black talking black to blacks ain't going nowhere, except maybe to Ego City.
Fuck all the preconceptions, and their perpetuation through wannabe intellectual papers such as this one. This brings nothing to the table except reclaiming something that was never claimed in the first place. There are plenty of excellent rap artists that succesfully decribe the sad tragic state America has fallen into. Go listen to them, Scott Woods (the fact that Run The Jewels is biracial probably gives you the rash), but please, please leave Prince out of this.

Prince's politics have always been bad because he was a hippie at heart, not a politician. He was naive and pure that way, still he never sucked to the whities, contrary to your claims he never washed his music: "Purple Rain" was the triumph it was because it didn't deny its black roots, it shouted them to Reagania: from the pimp character to the gospel anthem, in the poor suburb depiction and its tragic social consequences, there was no way, for whities and blacks alike, to escape the true nature and origin of its hero. Even Apollonia was casted to appear latino. So don't try to sell me the idea of Prince sucking up to the WASPs. "Purple Rain" resonated in the kids hearts of America because all of a sudden, it was the melting pot come true. The American Dream, Black Version.


[Edited 11/9/18 17:09pm]

The Colors R brighter, the Bond is much tighter
No Child's a failure
Until the Blue Sailboat sails him away from his dreams
Don't Ever Lose, Don't Ever Lose
Don't Ever Lose Your Dreams
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Reply #27 posted 11/09/18 5:14pm

bonatoc

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From the article:

"– the gay black uncle (“If I Was Your Girlfriend”); "

'nuff said.



"I could stop there and get on with my life"

Please do.

[Edited 11/9/18 17:16pm]

The Colors R brighter, the Bond is much tighter
No Child's a failure
Until the Blue Sailboat sails him away from his dreams
Don't Ever Lose, Don't Ever Lose
Don't Ever Lose Your Dreams
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Reply #28 posted 11/09/18 5:34pm

rdhull

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bonatoc said:

I'm halfway through it, but I still don't get what there is to reclaim.
I understand the problem of the musical press being excessively white,

[Edited 11/9/18 17:09pm]

.........

Lost your keys? check princevault..lost your relationhip? check princevault..they have all the answers
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Reply #29 posted 11/09/18 5:36pm

rdhull

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bonatoc said:

From the article:

"– the gay black uncle (“If I Was Your Girlfriend”); "

'nuff said.


Yeah, that was dumb. He's a lifelong hardcore fan and he doesn't get the point of IIWYG? That's odd or a dumb example to use as part of his Uncle Theory. He seems smarter than that but I dig the rest of what he wrote.

Lost your keys? check princevault..lost your relationhip? check princevault..they have all the answers
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