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”