Radical Moments in Prince’s 3-Decade Long Career*
Being not an admire this is what I learned since his questionable death….
By Ricky Riley
In a 2009 interview with TV personality Tavis Smiley, Prince revealed that he was born epileptic. At a young age, the legend’s parents did not have any real solutions to his intense seizures. During the interview, he said,
“My mother told me one day I walked in to her and said, ‘Mom, I’m not going to be sick anymore,’ and she said, ‘Why?’ and I said, ‘Because an angel told me so.’ ”
From that moment, he said he did not have the intense and uncontrollable seizures.
The Music Industry is Slavery
In 2015, Prince made the brash decision to pull all of his music off online streaming sites. That year, the artist also decided to partner with Jay Z’s company Tidal to release his latest album of that year, HitNRun.
“Once we have our own resources, we can provide what we need for ourselves,” Prince said of his decision to collaborate with Tidal. “Jay Z spent $100 million of his own money to build his own service. We have to show support for artists who are trying to own things for themselves.”
The entertainer gave aspiring artists some advice while chatting with some reporters from the National Association of Black Journalists in August of 2015:
“Record contracts are just like — I’m gonna say the word – slavery.”
“Like books and Black lives, albums still matter,” he said at the Grammys last year. The artist was a strong supporter of Black people. Last year, Prince hosted the Rally 4 Peace concert after the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray in Baltimore. Gray was killed after having one of the BPD’s “rough rides” at the hands of officers. He specifically created the song “Baltimore” to heal the community and discuss the killings of unarmed Black people. Thousands attended the concert. And The Baltimore Sun reports that $35,000 was raised from proceeds, which went to local youth charities.
Prince Confronts Warner Bros.
From 1993 to 1996, Prince was outraged by the contract he had with his long-time label Warner Bros. He left the label because, to him, the company did not protect the rights of its artist. Also, musicians did not reap the profits from their own works. In a press release at the time, he stated: “The first step I have taken towards the ultimate goal of emancipation from the chains that bind me to Warner Bros. was to change my name from Prince to [the Love Symbol].” He often performed with the word “SLAVE” written across his cheek in protest.
Prince Owned His Music
In 2014, Prince decided to rejoin Warner Bros. after the controversial 1996 split. In the 2014 deal, the artist regained ownership of his catalog and had the album Purple Rain re-released for the 30th anniversary. Under the deal, Prince was able to terminate the master recording copyright after 35 years, which was granted in the Copyright Revision Act of 1976.
The Purple One
In 1984, Prince accomplished something only the Beatles had done before him: He was topping charts simultaneously with an album, a film and a single (Purple Rain and “When Doves Cry,” respectively).
Economic Freedom for Black People
The artist has been known to inspire people with his music, but he inspired people with technology as well. In a conversation with news pundit and entrepreneur Van Jones back in 2012, Prince convinced Jones to start the Oakland-based YesWeCode nonprofit. In 2014, the legend promoted the non-profit at the Essence Festival in New Orleans.
According to Jones, “Prince said, ‘A Black kid wearing a hoodie might be seen as a thug. A white kid wearing a hoodie might be seen as a Silicon Valley genius.’ ”
Prince donated money to organizations like this to help young Black people succeed. He was also vital to Jones’ Rebuild the Dream initiative. Jones also state that the artist wanted the Black Lives Matter movement to become an economic one —owning businesses around the nation.