Wednesday, May 04, 2016

The Death of an Icon - Prince

It's been seven hours and thirteen days... since you took your love away.

Almost two weeks ago the world lost an icon and I have been unable to process that loss or write anything about it until now. I don't use the word icon loosely. I know most people do, but the title belongs to Prince. A music icon that legends are written about. An all encompassing beautiful force. A true work of art. I knew it would happen, but it pisses me off that in less than two weeks most people aren't talking about him anymore. Well, they are talking about the fact that he may or may not have had a will. They are talking about whether he had a drug problem. But not many people are talking about what he would want us to talk about... his music. A catalog UNMATCHED.

On a personal level, it wasn't JUST the music that made me love Prince. It was that supreme confidence that he had. Listen, maybe it was because he was short. Maybe it was because he was so unapologetically himself. I'm not sure exactly what it was but from the first bar of the first song that I heard, I was hooked. Age 8. 30 years...the love grew. I mean how could you NOT love a man that is secure enough to wear eyeliner and mascara (after the 80s)? How could you not love a man secure enough to give whole concerts in heels taller than ones that line my closet/whose hairstyles put most women to shame? How could you NOT love a man that routinely featured women in his groups-- as lead singers, lead guitarists, saxophone players, keyboard players and drummers? How could you NOT love a man that was (by most accounts) a self taught musical genius and was a perfectionist about what represented him? How could you not? A man that gave us the most beautiful love song ever (it is Adore, by the way, and no... you don't want to argue with me about that). A man that exuded self confidence (hello, ass out chaps); a man that was Black... and proud.

You know how you can figure out who a true fan is? It is actually easy-- they know more than just the top 40 (popular) hits by a person. They know more than the first album. They know the B-sides that most people have never heard of. They aren't mad that his songs aren't on youtube because they have already PAID for them. These are the people that will remember exactly where they were when they heard that Prince was found unresponsive at Paisley Park. Those same people will know where Paisley Park IS and what it IS. Those same folks will have silently shed tears for their lost friend. Friend... because the music made you realize some shit about yourself. Friend... because the music got you through some shit. Some tough shit. Some world ending shit. Or some new love shit. Or some new beginning shit. Friend... because we realized a long time ago that all of Prince's songs weren't about sex. And some of the ones about sex were about so much more. Friend... because he helped orchestrate the soundtrack of the life you continue to live. Friend... because he lives on through you and the music he left behind. Friend.

How do you say goodbye to a friend?


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