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Adrian Younge: Welcome to Retro-Tomorrowland

The Purple Majesty’s Parade


R.I.P. June 7, 1958 – April 21, 2016

With an unsettled stomach and intermittent nausea induced by woes from beneath and beyond, I struggle to accept the reality of a major loss.  Both transcendentally and aesthetically affected by this phenomenal news.  The Artist known as Prince is gone.  But only in the physical form.  Not to lessen the other recent departures of influential artists, including EWF’s Maurice White, A Tribe Called Quest’s Phife Dawg, Guru, Gil Scott-Heron, Tupac Shakur, The Notorious B.I.G., Easy E, Whitney Houston, Luther Vandross, Miles Davis and so many others, but I believe, feel and can evidently see that this particular departure is special and unique in ways that can be recognized around the world.  I am in mourning because I now realize that we are in a world without proper visionary guidance and artistic navigators to help us survive the inevitability of chaos.

Ironically, being found dead in an elevator at his studio estate leads me to believe there is much more to this story.  The prolific lyrics of “Let’s Go Crazy” insightfully refers to “And if the elevator tries to bring you down, Go crazy, punch a higher floor!”

At 57, he was…

So much more than a musical genius. He was an anomaly.
He taught us how to love. How to live. How to tolerate one another.
How to be free. How to be masculine and how to be feminine. But most importantly, he taught us how to keep GOD first.  He was the only singular artist to consistently and emphatically include GOD and SEX into each and every subjective piece of art he composed.  A highly spiritual and religious man, from Jehovah to Seven Day Advent, Prince understood the ails of humanity.  He deeply understood at an early age that love and communication with the creator was just as, if not more important than that the love we share among one another. The eloquent, androgynous artist created a thin line of distinction between gender, race and musicality, giving us permission to dare and dream with danger, excitement and mystery.  Prince’s lyrics was astoundingly deep and unparalleled. His music mirrored a symphony in the cosmos. He epitomized the word “sexy”.  Like LA Reid said in a recent interview, “you don’t want to leave your girl around Prince.” Prophetic in nature he assumed a socio-spiritual responsibility with his music, entrancing us all in the rapture of the unknown and the divine, while encouraging us to get our freak on and embrace sensuality.  A sign-of-the-times indeed, Prince’s departure ultimately stamps the end of an era, while Michael Jackson’s death precluded the notion that we are entering a much different and alternate universe controlled by more greed, devastation, and impurity.  What is now considered the Narcissist’s Parade, was once driven by the whimsical narcissism of Prince’s Parade, a loving, colorful, dynamic carnival and embrace of individuality, peace, rhythm and  freedom of expression.  One journalist even mentioned that Prince’s anthology of music ultimately served as his own epic eulogy.

Dear brother Rogers Nelson, you will be greatly missed, although we still feel your presence in the after world.  So, where do we go now?  …F@#k it.  Let’s Go Crazy!

“All people care about nowadays is getting paid, so they try to do just what the audience wants them to do.  I’d rather give people what they need rather than just what they want.”  Prince – LA Times 1982


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