Everything feels like a blur. Mostly because I’ve been working out way more than what I have been for the last several years, so I’ve been experiencing a little bit of fatigue.
Yesterday, before I headed out of the door to get my workout in, I learned that Prince – the man who defied all gender norms while giving listeners their best listening experiences ever – had gone to the “upper room.” To be honest, I’m heartbroken about it.
My first thought was, “Nope, this can’t be happening.” In my mind, Prince was one of those people who would live forever. Perhaps because he famously changed his name to a symbol back in the 90s as an act of defiance when his record company trademarked his name to make a profit off of it. Symbols are pretty timeless, and maybe that’s why I mistakenly thought he was immortal.
But still, I was in disbelief about his death. To make sure that I was processing this information correctly, I went for a walk.
As I walked, I thought about the countless times Prince made an impact on myself, my friends, family, and society. Like the look on my mom’s face that said, “He’s the only short man in the world who could actually pull off looking sexy in a woman’s blouse,” every time she saw Prince perform on stage.
Or the countless entertainers he gave his seal of approval to, who ended up killing the game, even if it was only for a little while.
Even though his name was Prince, he was truly a king. I’m never going to forget him, or how I felt when listening to his music. Here are some of my favorite memories of him as a fan.
1. Everyone had a copy of ‘Purple Rain’ playing on their televisions
There is a lot that I don’t remember about Prince from the 80s, because I was born in ’81. But I do remember the time my mom took me for a ride in her new ’86 Grand Am, while endlessly playing Prince songs.
As we rode around in her new car – that she showed off to each of her friends – I remember going into their houses, and every last one of them was playing Prince’s Purple Rain movie. On the same day. Almost at the same time.
It was so deep that my mom walked away with several (bootleg) copies of the movie from two of her friends. The Purple Rain pandemonium was crazy.
2. And the Purple Rain Soundtrack was fire!
My mom played this soundtrack to death for several months, until she went back to endlessly listening to George Michael talking about how he was “never gonna dance again.”
It wasn’t until I was in college when I got on my 80s music listening kick where I realized that the Purple Rain soundtrack and movie were gifts. It was a kick ass movie that had an accompanying kick ass soundtrack, and that is truly rare. There aren’t many performers who could pull that off, even today.
4. I’m still in awe of his ability to pull only dime pieces
Prince was a lady killer! Seriously, all of the women who reportedly dated him were extremely gorgeous. Honestly, I’m still trying for figure out how he was able to pull some of these women.
According to WhosDatedWho.com, and a few other internet sites, Prince was linked to many women, including ballerina Misty Copeland, actress Kim Basinger, singer Nona Gay, singer Sheena Easton, Madonna, and two of his background singers Mayte Garcia (who he married in the 90s) and Bria Valente.
He was also rumored to have been with Naomi Campbell, but that may have been only a rumor. According to Naomi, he was a great friend, and you could tell she was really broken up about his death. She cried something awful while speaking to Don Lemon about his death last night on CNN.
4. Speaking of dime pieces, we will alway love Prince for giving us Sheila E.
Rumor has it that Sheila E. also dated Prince. But whether or not they dated doesn’t matter much to me, because she’s my she-ro.
What we do know is that Sheila E. was Prince’s protege, and when Prince approved a singer, you had better believe that he/she was musically off the chain.
One of Sheila’s most famous songs was “The Glamorous Life,” which was released in 1984. Everyone, and I do mean everyone, loved Sheila E. The girl could kill a set a drums, and as Will Smith once said in an episode of Fresh Prince of Bel Air, “A girlie that can play the drums can write her own ticket!”
What I remember about the song was that it was catchy and electrifying. In fact, I remember my mom singing the song nonstop for several years, until everyone begged her to shut the hell up. But she’s not one to listen to the haters, so she kept singing it anyway.
I also remember my friend’s dad, who was a trained pianist, watching “The Glamours Life” music video, and lamenting on how Sheila E. was a monster because she didn’t need two drum sticks to make a dope jam.
Take a look at her music video below.
5. Prince knew what he was doing by gifting little girls with Tevin Campbell
I don’t remember Prince’s movie Graffiti Bridge, which was subsequently released after Purple Rain. But I do remember a young Tevin Campbell killing it in his song, “Round And Round,” with Prince giving Tevin a, “It’s so cute that you’re trying to outshine the king,” face during his music video performance.
Whatever Prince was thinking didn’t matter. ‘Round & Round’ was the beginning of my fictional marriage to Tevin Campbell that ended when I fell in love with Tupac in ’93 or ’94. But then again, almost every 90s girl was married to Tevin. Even Tatiana Ali from Fresh Prince.
If it wasn’t for Prince, none of us would have been married to Tevin.
6. The lyric, “Act Your Age Not Your Shoe Size,” Was Really Great Advice
One day while I was in college, my best friend and I were feeling a little nostalgic, and she decided to purchase a CD with all of Prince’s greatest hits. While we were listening to the music, we started dissecting the words to “Kiss,” and that’s where we took away two important lessons:
- It’s okay to be uninhibited and sexual with the person you’re dating.
- “Act your age, not your shoe size ,”is a great way of telling people to grow TF up.
I’m sure his message was lost in the visuals, especially considering the fact that he was prettier than the models in the music video. But that tends to happen when you’re sexy and killing the game. But we’ve always remembered those wise words, and we’ll never forget them.
Thanks for this, Prince.
What are some of your favorite Prince memories as a fan?