Prince (1958-2016)

We just received breaking news regarding the untimely passing of Prince Rogers Nelson (known to his fans as “Prince”). This man was very near and dear to my heart.

One of the very first albums I purchased on cassette was Prince’s “1999” when I was around 8 years old. I remember hearing the titular track on the radio, with its infectious chorus and lyrical hooks. It was (and still is) one of the biggest party jams of all time. “1999” also introduced my pre-pubescent ears to other ideas/words that I had never been exposed to.

When “Purple Rain” came out Prince was a household name in my neighborhood. Like a lot of young boys, “Darling Nikki” was a song that beckoned us further into deciphering its erotic undertones. I remember asking my grandfather (who raised me as his own son) what the song’s reference to “masturbating with a magazine” meant.  I can assure you that that was, indeed, an awkward “father son” conversation that is indelibly etched into my memory!

In 2014 I had the pleasure of interviewing Michael “Boogaloo Shrimp” Chambers (aka “Turbo” from Breakin’ and Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo). You can check out this interesting interview here. Amongst various other stories that he told on camera, afterwards Michael also discussed having worked with Prince and danced at his club in Minnesota. The man who taught Michael Jackson how to moonwalk referred to Prince in nearly equal terms.

Prince was an icon. Someone whose style, sexuality and musical prowess defined a generation. Like David Bowie, he was a man of many faces, constantly redefining himself both in identity as well as sound through the decades. And like David Bowie, his loss will be felt for a long, long time.

We all have our own “Prince stories.” What matters most is that these stories and memories will live on forever. Now it’s time to go and put down your favorite Prince record on your turntable and let the needle drop….

RIP to the Purple One

Jason Reed
Inner Edge Music

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