William Reese, Jr. and friends honor the musical genius of an artist gone too soon.
“Without real spiritual mentoring, freedom can lead to the soul’s decay.” —Prince
“A strong spirit transcends rules.” —Prince
“All people care about nowadays is getting paid, so they try to do just what the audience wants them to do. I’d rather give people what they need rather than just what they want.” —Prince
“Seest thou a man diligent in his business? He shall stand before kings.” —Proverbs 22:29
The world was shocked last week at the passing of the iconic Prince Roger Nelson. For decades, Prince provided a soundtrack, a melody, a song, an experience for millions. Prince’s impeccable style, self-bred sense of eroticism, androgyny, unabashed sense of style, and philanthropic endowments has made the world a “Paisley Park” of sorts.
For those of us who “came alive” in the late 70’s and 80’s, Prince was second to none. His music was beyond edgy and risqué, it was from a different world. While his blending of his masculine and feminine sides left some uncomfortable, all could agree that when you encountered either he or his music it was a force to be reckoned with beyond any other artist. Several individuals from the Detroit Metropolis have offered their tributes to Prince. His music was in many ways made mainstream in the Detroit Area by radio artist named “The Electrifying Mojo” in the 80’s who was enigma himself. A backdrop was provided nightly to provide listeners with the “other world experience of Prince’s music.
“Prince’s life story includes a visitation of an angel when he was a child telling him he would not have epilepsy anymore. This story drew me to his music and changed the way I looked at the spirituality of his androgynous approach to sexuality. This part of his many dimensions seemed to be the power behind his creativity.” Rev. Billie Dalton
“Prince was the consummate performer. But more than anything else, I was thrilled by the way he played the guitar. I was often mesmerized just watching his fingers move over the guitar strings and his hands make artistic flourishes around the guitar as though he were painting the music. I cannot imagine there being a better or more powerful guitar solo than his Purple Rain performance. His guitar solo during the performance of “While my Guitar Gently Weeps” at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, was also phenomenal, concluding with him tossing his guitar, and strolling off the stage as only Prince can. Oh yeah, I too was born the same year as Michael Jackson, Prince, and Madonna. 1958 was a magical year.” —Ms. Diane Marin
“The music of Prince was that of a sound that knew no barrier. His gift was one that allowed you to experience the freedom of expression. He literally made timeless music and has created a sound that will never be duplicated.” —Elder Alton Parks
“What can one say, man? I just loved how he could flip from genre to genre effortlessly. It was never forced. It was an innate quality existing inside him. I appreciated the growth in his music. Like most young artists, his earlier work was edgier and more risqué, but as time progressed you could clearly see that Prince was more concerned with societal ills and his faith. He was the soundtrack to a lot of people’s lives. Anytime you can hear the first chord to one of his most popular songs and it takes you back to a moment of your upbringing it’s a wonderful thing. I think that’s why so many people mourn fro ourselves. It makes us deal with our own mortality. A small part of our memories that were intertwined with his music is gone, unexpectedly.” —Mr. Al Porter
“His music transcends age, race, gender, and socioeconomic lines. Just look at your newsfeed. Some of everyone loves Prince. Maybe that’s a part of what’s missing in society today; something or someone that connects us despite our differences. So as we patiently await the next great, we can rest assured the path has been paved for them by artists life Prince.” —Ms. Amanda Kiana Jenkins-Coyle
“I saw him perform while in Japan back in 1986, at Yokoma Stadium and was amazed at his musical genius. He transcends the world. As a legend, he will live on, but there will never be another. The sky feels like it’s falling, but its purple rain and this is what it sound likes when doves cry. RIP Prince.” —Mr. Larry Larkin
“The irony will play itself out tomorrow as we return to our separate sides of the (political) versus (conscious) fence including the straddlers. Today we celebrate the dynamic soul of a man that we were/are so fortunate he shared with us. I pray to know myself this well before my clock stops. For all of that have called ourselves unique, trendsetters, unique, eccentric, and proudly misunderstood, we salute you, Prince. The influence was not the music alone. Per my analysis, the turn on is not the man, it is the lyrics. It’s personal, the same as he was our favorite uncle that happened to be a celebrity. Yes, we do know him personally. Prince connected with us in a way that may miss some; if it missed you, it wasn’t for you. If you were in a funk, Prince was there. If you were needed to get out of a funk, Prince was there. If your boring basement (insert any gig or venue) party needed to get funky, Prince was there. Genius was too small a description, a blessing to all of us that tasted his gift. As enormous as he truly was, he made us feel as close a cousin, we grew up together with him. My heart is broken, but I thank the creator for modern technology. If it has not been said, ‘Thank you, Prince.’” —Anivad
These are compelling tributes to the man that owned his gifts as he released them to the world. In his life journey it seems that he unashamedly was true to himself regardless of those who did not understand. His worldwide appeal is unequaled. The ability to harness one’s gifts in the midst of adversity is remarkable. I recall vividly the 7th-grade dance at my middle school in 1983, and the song “International Lover” came on. Needless to say, for every 7th-grade young man at that dance felt “it was about to go down.”
His lyrics were beyond risqué or graphic. He said and sang what was on the mind of countless young persons coming of age and coming alive, adults, and even older persons. The sense of mystique and mystery were unparalleled. Every individual has their own sense of erotica that might go described and/or unlabeled and Prince was the one artist that was willing to take you there. His catalogue of eroticism enumerates the idea that sexuality must encompass the soul before it encompasses the body.
What are we left to do now? Who continues the journey of Metaphysics via music? No one does. We should not expect another Prince. What we can expect is for countless fans and his family to continue this pathway to emancipation. Prince was more that music. He was himself. We are always more than are our gift(s). This is the quest in and for freedom.
As the nation continues to teeter on scales of bigotry and materialism, we must continue to bring the masses together by way of our gifts vouchsafed to us from the Creator. This is what Prince knew. He knew that the angel visited him and took away his sickness of epilepsy at a young age. What or Who has freed you that you might serve the nations as your fascinating, unique self? You’re not afraid. are you? After all, you are royalty, and nothing compares to you.
Photo: Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (via YouTube)
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