April 25, 2016

Prince: Art Activist

Preeminent multi-instrumentalist, other-worldly lyricist, consummate composer, master recording artist, incredible vocalist, maestro on the stage, and astute businessman.

I have come to terms with the fact that nothing, no news or theory purporting to explain his death is going to satisfy me. I am okay with this.

2005 Vanguard Award Video  Photo: NAACP Image Awards
What I am certain of, tho, is this: If Prince had lived, let's say, another 5-10 years he would have moved beyond changing the direction of music, he would have changed the business of music.

His successful stance against predatory music streaming practices supports this.

Prince was not the first black artist to own all of his masters, Ray Charles did too. Perhaps there were/are others. But this kind of power in the hands of a revolutionary and activist committed to securing not only his creative liberation but guiding others toward theirs is extremely dangerous from an industry perspective.

Setting precedent that other artists would have tried to follow could have brought the record  industry, as we know it, to its knees.

So there's that.

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