The Artist

www.pitchfork.com

I heard via text, “I can’t believe Prince died.”

“Wha?!?!”

I blinked and shook my head, trying to focus on the foreign words in the palm of my hand. Prince? Died? 

“Oh my god!” I must have said it really loud, I could feel the whole room stop, their eyes on me.

Still looking at my phone trying to add it all up in my head, “Prince died.”

The room sank. Memories whooshed in like freight trains. Hearts broke. Eyes welled. Tears dropped.

David Bowie. Merle Haggard. Now, Prince. 

All too soon. Too young. 

When I was 17 my friends and I would carpool down to the local club for under age night. We’d go to dance our asses off and the minute a Prince song came on we’d all rush out on the dance floor. Little Red Corvette, When Doves Cry, Purple Rain, 1999. He inspired us to move our hips like we’d never imagined moving them before. He gave us permission to let go and just simply dance. When the lights went up, we’d leave sweaty, smiling and satisfied having given everything we had to the music. 

Oh my gosh, how could I forget Let’s Go Crazy. (knee buckling, swoon worthy)

I’ve been listening to “The Hits/B-Sides” on shuffle and repeat ever since I heard. Memories of road trips, kisses, bad 80’s hair, and late night dance parties. Every song reached in and touched my life. He fired up my senses, my sensuality, my sexy. His music guided me closer to myself. The minute a Prince song fills the airwaves, watch out because I just can’t help myself – turn it up, gyrate, jiggle, and sing at the top of my lungs.

“Dearly Beloved We Are Gathered Here Today 2 Get Through This Thing Called Life” (Let’s Go Crazy)

I loved him because he went a little crazy and he wasn’t afraid to leave it all, everything he had, everything he was, fully expressed. While he stayed out of the lime light, his creativity was like a supernova giving life to music, culture, and even himself.

The epitome of “more”, Prince was a living example of what it meant to create, to experiment, and most importantly to self-express. Did you know he wrote, composed and played every instrument on “When Doves Cry”, going so far as to take out the bass line at the very last minute because he wanted to do something different? Different was how he played the game, right down to his very own name. 

The truth is, Prince pushed the boundaries, and our buttons. And by doing so he changed me, his fans, and his critics alike. He inspired us to come to alive. 

As the b-sides now fill my house I realize I’m more than inspired, I’m devoted. To grabbing the baton. To going a little crazy. To letting my freaky flag fly. To expressing. To stepping it up, out and beyond. To refusing to go down, and instead “punching a higher floor”. To having critics. To leaving it all out there. To creating this thing called life. To being more. 

“Maybe it’s cuz

We’re all gonna die

When we do

What’s it all 4

Better live now

Tell me are we gonna let de-elevator bring us down

Oh no, let’s go!

Let’s go crazy”

The Artist Known As Prince

1959-2016