Prince Rogers Nelson, better known as Prince, left us on April 21st, 2016. When I first heard this news I was shocked, so shocked that I ignored it and decided that it was an internet hoax. Unfortunately, it was not. Prince was really gone. Memories of him and Apollonia in Purple Rain flashed into my head, almost instantly. I was reminded of his talent and intricate fashion sense.
Listening to Prince in my house was a regular. My mom would play any album she felt like. From his self-titled album to 1999 to Love Symbol. After watching Purple Rain at a young age, I began questioning his sexuality and was told Prince identified as a straight male, which was different for me at the time. The perception of a colored male was that he had to be strong, withholding emotion and had zero qualities that made him appear feminine in any way — but Prince broke this. Along with this, and being shrouded in mystery, people made assumptions about him. “People say I’m wearing heels because I’m short. I wear heels because the women like ’em.” (Said in an interview with Vice). Prince is an inspiration to us Black people that feel different and do not want to be the conventional Black person.
Prince’s music was directed toward an older audience, focusing on love and sex — but this does not take away from his artistry. A lot of artists today cite him as their inspiration. Artists like Frank Ocean, Janelle Monae, Justin Timberlake and others thank him for inspiring them to become artists. Prince’s influence is infinite. Like Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson, Prince is immortalized through his music.
Prince will never die.