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Welcome to the SMACK MEDIA guide to Prince. For those of you we intend to inform, Prince is perhaps the most important artist in pop of the last 40 years. His examination of gender and sexuality was revolutionary. He changed funk, R&B, the pop music landscape, new wave, and the American pop music landscape. His animated and frankly egomaniacal persona was also preceded by his artistry and undeniable talent as a songwriter, producer, performer, and high level multi-instrumentalist. He was the epitome of cool and the definition of radical. Furthermore, Prince is indicative of the omnivorous diversity of genre we try to emulate as a publication.

I sorely miss him and wish he was still here making music, ripping up TV performances, and throwing all kinds of shade. When I was 19 years old, I had the privilege of flying out to Inglewood to catch him on one of his 21 Nights. It was relentless and broke down genre walls for me. I didn’t care what kind of music Prince made, just the fact that it was incredible. Immediately I stopped putting music in a genre box. After I got into Prince, I started getting into everything. That’s what a real artist does; they change the way you perceive art.

I wanted to put this all out in one day. To properly explore the legacy of one of the greatest artists in the history of art, that’s not going to work. Frankly, we should be calling up the school board and registering this as a 2000 level college course. I digress because this is actually going to be enjoyable.

It really starts at Purple Rain, the nine song album that was literally designed for people like you. Prince had the number one spots for Billboard 200, Hot 100, and Box Office during the week of July 27, 1984. The lines between pop music and high art were forever blurred and the world didn’t need too much more convincing.

From there, you can branch out and explore the once in a generation talent on pre- and post- Purple Rain terms.

We hope to accomplish a few things with this guide:

#1. Make everyone understand why the music community, journalists, and scholars consider this little singing-playing-everything wonder such a mercurial figure.

#2. Entertain the living shit out of you.

#3. Really put you guys in the culturally conservative 1980’s where Prince created his most important work that was anything but adherent.

#4. Prince wanted everyone to stop calling his music magical. He made it clear that funk is the opposite of alchemy; it’s about rules and rigid structure. We hope you walk away understanding this.

We hope you enjoy the Purple Parade of content we have in store and hope you walk away a fan of His Royal Badness.

Visit here daily for new content celebrating “The Purple One”  a.k.a. “The Artist Formerly Known As Prince.” a.k.a. “Skipper” a.k.a. “Alexander Nevermind” a.k.a. “Christopher Tracy” a.k.a. “The Kid” a.k.a. “The Purple Purv” a.k.a. “The Minneapolis Midget”...

…a.k.a. “The Artist” 


The Five Things You Should Know About Prince’s Upbringing

Why Sign O’ the Times is Prince’s Best Album


Ranking Prince’s Most Iconic Outfits

“Ronnie, Talk to Russia:” Prince Title Match Cards


Exploring the Lasting Legacy of Prince

“Black 9/11:” What Happened the Day Prince Passed Away


The Greatest Showman On Earth: Prince Live

Who is in The Revolution? 


Ian Pickett Presents The Relentless Critic : A Look at Purple Rain 

The King of Shade: Examining Prince’s Greatest Hits

Important works defined in a sentence

I Wanna Be Your Lover” ~ Prince’s first great song and his claim to post-disco territory.

Dirty Mind ~ Prince’s Rubber Soul, his transitional moment from pop singer to artist.
1999 ~ The record for dance floors.

Little Red Corvette” ~ A radio smash complete with guitar solo that was or wasn’t written about a clitoris.

Purple Rain ~ The apex of the Prince pop star machine, with a star making turn from his finally solidified lineup of The Revolution and undoubtedly his most iconic singles; though one must consider this as more of an important album to the entire 80’s music canon than to any one person’s career.

Purple Rain (1984) ~ It’s not even fair at this point-- the moment we are truly introduced to the backstory of the enigmatic and perennial figure via box office smash, well executed enough to maintain cultural resonance.

Purple Rain” ~ Prince’s “Stairway to Heaven.”

When Doves Cry” ~ The most important experimental pop song ever made.

Parade ~ The darker, more minimalist album.

Kiss” ~ The Prince song everyone knows the words to.

Sign O’ the Times ~ This simply cannot be reduced to a sentence.

The Gold Experience ~ The I-may-be-crazy-but-name-one-genius-who-isn’t-crazy album and his best in the 90’s.

Coachella ~ The “a bunch of kids are here who don’t know what ‘When Doves Cry’ is and yet they’re totally invested” moment / The I’m going to unironically cover “Creep” by Radiohead, get mad when people put it on YouTube, and then just not talk about it ever again when Radiohead put it back up…moment.

Musicology ~ Comeback #2; Michael who?

The Super Bowl Halftime Performance ~ Coachella but in front of four billion people, switch out Radiohead for Foo Fighters, and now literally not one person in the world doesn’t think Prince is a genius.

3121 ~ The layup.

Welcome 2 ~ How Prince went out before his health packed it: three and a hour shows packed with hits, covers, and guests all for a reasonable standardized ticket price. Generous does not begin to describe this man.


1. Chaka Khan

2. George Clinton

3. Joni Mitchell

4. Verdine White

5. Sly Stone

6. Stevie Nicks

7. James Brown

8. Charlie Chaplin

Worst Prince album cover

Best Prince album cover

Prince’s Three Best Interviews

VH1; Chris Rock. 1997

PBS; Tavis Smiley. 2004

CNN; Larry King. 1999



Photo Credit:

10/16/2019 7:33 PM