Today June 7th, would have been Prince’s 58th birthday.
Prince has been gone over a month now but I’m still not over him. And I’m not one of those celebrity obsessed people.
I just enjoyed his music.
Let me rephrase that, his music inspired me, defined different parts of my life and his musical and professional independence was as impressive as his musical talent.
And I’m not alone, I remember on the day he passed friends and family members who were fans of Prince and usually don’t get blinded by celebrities found themselves truly distraught over his death.
Prince died two years to the day that I lost my dad.
So April 21st will always be a sorrowful day for me but also one that I know of great men who left this earth but definitely left their mark on earth.
I admit I took Prince for granted, I thought he would be around forever and he’d always have concerts and new groundbreaking music to jam out to and to inspire us.
I’m still thinking now that he will have new music out soon because Prince was prolific but not just to have new songs, he created art for our ears and put in the work to be different.
And didn’t care if you liked it or not because he was Prince damn it.
My father was the same way, independent like few black men on earth and though you are inspired by them, it can be sometimes tough to keep up with and even tougher to emulate them.
It’s why it’s hard to comprehend when they are no longer physically here, these dudes were bigger than life.
Its why I’m sitting here writing about both of them like they will walk through the door at any minute.
I think that’s why so many of us Prince fans struggle with his loss, yes hearing that he was in pain is hard to take and that he actually overdosed seems so “un Prince like”.
But we all break down physically at some point (even though Prince told us “Not to let the elevator break us down”), we are all mortal.
Even a cat who is that bad with his music that he can play a bands worth of instruments.
To quote Brian Hiatt from Rolling Stone magazine “we always thought it would be like this”, meaning that the music we now see as classic, that was the status quo.
Prince was so damn good, he got us accustomed to extraordinary compositions and raised the bar so high we just got used to him turning out great music.
He had songs I didn’t really care for but I always respected what he put out because you know he perfected it before it was released.
I think one thing that connected Prince to those of us in Generation X is that his career literally grew with us, he started out in the late 1970’s when we were small and by 1984, we were learning about music and he was the man.
Then as we got older and found love, sexuality and all the fun stuff, he had funky tunes to go along with it. I remember by the time I was 18 if I saw someone had a Prince CD, I would try to emulate him and sing “My name is Prince and I am funky”.
And I am not a singer and rarely sing anyone’s lyrics, that’s how powerful he was to me.
I even enjoyed then comedian Dave Chappele has his now legendary skit with Prince playing basketball and it seemed believable (but not condescending), because we believed Prince could do anything and still be cool.
I’m still floored by Prince’s life, inspired and jam to his music and still grieving his passing, to quote a good friend (thanks Kim), he was everything.
Happy Birthday my man, until we meet again, we will keep playing your music and striving for the independence that defined your life.
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Filed under: African American History