Michael was my boo, but Prince was my side piece.
Me and MJ had a thing going on since I was seven. Saw him jam on the Ed Sullivan show. My mom and I permanently welcomed him and his brothers to the family. The song, “Who’s Loving You” was a question I could answer. It was me loving some Michael, who ironically was named Prince Michael Jackson. I had his photos plastered on my bedroom wall. Even dated him in my mind in 8th grade.
Then one Spring afternoon, in the 7th floor lounge at Columbia College, I met my new Prince charming. Some random student was blasting his first single, “Soft and Wet” over the radio. The lyrics oozed lust all on the linoleum and got my shoes wet. My pancake brown cheeks blushed warm pink as he fauseto’d his way into my ears. Did I give my consent for him to enter? No… but I didn’t fight the feeling.
Prince was so luxuriously nasty. And when I saw the face behind the voice, I thought my gawd, he’s so pretty. Dude had the nerve to sport a blown-dry Farrah Fawcett ‘do. What male Negro does that and gets away with it? He was sexy, talented, courageous, and outrageous… Even the Prince songs I didn’t care for, and there were a few, possessed unmitigated gall. I think I fell hard for Prince’s persona and versatility more than anything. He sang high and low, wrote and arranged his songs and played multiple instruments. He was the bad boy to Michael’s good guy persona. Literally two Prince’s that shared my crown.
Michael starred in the Wiz as the Scarecrow. How cute. The theater was full of children. I felt gosh darn wholesome after watching the movie. It inspired me to buy an ice cream cone.
Prince wrote and starred in his own daringly seductive movie, “Purple Rain”. It swept me off my feet and made me splash in a purple puddle of what-the fluck? My girlfriend and I managed to get in at an almost sold out showing. The only seats left were in the front row. We had to stare up into this big giant wall of a screen. But it didn’t matter. Prince and his loosely autobiographical soiree into pleasure and pain was surprisingly – mind-blowingly good! The script, Prince’s acting, the music…whaaat? Prince did all of that. Dang, dude, had skills! He literally made this dove cry. That is where my love and respect for Prince was sealed. He was my side piece forever. I felt no cheater’s remorse.
I had the nerve to dress like Prince when I went to a Michael Jackson concert, complete with ruffled silk shirt and this badass brocade Beethoven-like jacket straight from a swanky Northside thrift shop. I looked almost as pretty as Prince. I got a lot of stares, smiles, oohs and ahhs that night. How dare me!
Prince went through his gaggle of women, though I wondered whether he dipped in the manhole sometimes. He had the moves and sensual dexterity any gender would go gaga over. I followed his religious journey, marriages, the death of his baby, his struggle with the record industry… I respected The Artist symbol.
Michael drudged through his stuff as well. His virtiligo, the cosmetic surgeries, the bazaar crouch grabbing dance routines, the white off spring he paid to have birthed, his child molestation charges and acquittal, his fight with the the record bullies, his addiction. I stuck by them both and waited patiently for my men to overcome their situation.
Michael didn’t quite make it. His sudden death squeezed me hard like a boa constrictor. However, Prince did recover. He reclaimed his name, started making music again, found Jehovah, grew an afro, dated a chocolate sista, released a cool song, “1000 Hugs and Kisses”. Prince was chill.
Now Prince is gone. Both my princes have claimed their ultimate throne. And I know the world, my world, my assaulted ears will never be the same.
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