Monday, April 25, 2016

Prince is the Epitome of Musical Greatness

Many great musical artists have come and gone in my life, but this one feels different. I enjoyed Luther. I adored Whitney. I was awed by Michael. But none of them delivered art to my senses like Prince.

Not just music, but fashion, color, acting, and dancing. Prince was a multi-tooled performer and to think that his talents are gone forever is such a shame. This is a man who spent almost 40 years of his life bringing us music that we've dance to, nodded our heads to, and definitely made love to. He went from being labeled as a "freak" and "weirdo" in the late 70's/early 80's to literally being considered royalty just a decade later.

I feel so sorry for the Millennials who can't seem to wrap their brain around what a musical genius truly is.  And to think some of them were probably conceived to Prince's music.  SMH.  My definition of "greatness" doesn't line up with theirs at all.  Greatness is not the number of Twitter followers you have.  Greatness is not the kind of car you drive.  Greatness is not being heard on the radio every 20 minutes.

  • Greatness is walking into a room and seeing people forget their own names.  
  • Greatness is leaving a lineage of other performer's music behind you (Sheila E., Sheena Easton, Morris Day & The Time, Wendy & Lisa, Apollonia, Vanity, Tevin Campbell, Jesse Johnson, and more).  
  • Greatness is being offered an opportunity to complete an entire movie soundtrack ("Batman").  Not one song, but the entire soundtrack album!  
  • Greatness is having a sketch comedy show like Saturday Night Live dedicate their show to you.  A comedy show celebrating a musician?  Where they do that at?  
  • Greatness is being recognized by a color or a symbol.

I have a cousin who is from Minnesota and has encountered Prince on several occasions.  I haven't spoken to him since Prince's death, but he has a ton of stories to share about him.  Just like me, my cousin listens to music "from the inside-out."  It's difficult to explain, but it's essentially focusing on the accompanying instruments first and working your way to the more dominant instruments like the bass or drums later.  It's making an attempt to "hear a song within a song" is the best way that I can put it.

Prince was a master of giving you that little extra that a lot of people would rarely notice no matter how many times they'd hear a particular song of his.  I have such an appreciation for what he did and it's a shame that it ended last Thursday.

I'm not one to mourn celebrities like I mourn people I actually know personally.  I just don't get attached like that to people that I've never met.  However, I do miss the talent when it is taken from us.  We don't have a lot of musicians left.  We don't have too many music artists who are so talented that other A-List celebrities stutter when trying to speak to them.

Prince was a one-of-a-kind entertainer and his talents will be missed dearly.  A friend of mine posted this lyric on Facebook that very much describes how so many people felt last week.  It comes from the Parade album which was the soundtrack to the movie, "Under the Cherry Moon."

Sometimes it snows in April 
Sometimes I feel so bad, so bad 
Sometimes I wish life was never ending, 
And all good things, they say, never last

Truer words have never been spoken, Prince.

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