School of Prince

There’s been a lot of talk about Prince ever since his passing. He’s been labeled as a genius, a saint, an inspiration, an uncompromising artist, a humanitarian, and lots of other things. And while all of that is most definitely true, it was many other things too: He was a controversial figure. He was a horn-dog. He was a sexy mother fucker. He could be really funny. And he was also extremely spiritual. His carnal side and his spiritual side seemed to coexist in a way that confused, distressed and even angered people. Many times his carnal side and his spiritual side coexisted on the same album, sometimes switching from one song to the next. In an effort to remember the entirety that is Prince, especially for those who mainly know him from his radio hits, I present to you 10 lessons to help broaden your understanding of who Prince was. More than anything else, though, and something that you don’t really get from his Top 40 hits: He was one of the most downright funky brothers to ever walk the planet. Prince is a total bad-ass.

1. That time Price recorded a funky-ass hardcore jam and referenced a Dr. Seuss book in the lyric:
Sign o’ the Times (1987)



2. That time Prince wrote a song about Cindy Crawford and referred to her as a super-fine heifer:
“Cindy C”
The Black Album (1987; not released until 1994)



3. That time Prince wrote a song about Sheena Easton’s vagina and made the PMRC’s Filthy Fifteen list:
“Sugar Walls”
A Private Heaven (1985)



4. That time Prince wrote the most straight-forward song about oral sex ever:
Dirty Mind (1980)



5. That time Prince actually wrote the line “She make you feel like your stuff ain’t brown tonight.”
“Baby Knows”
Rave Unto the Joy Fantastic (1999)



6. That time Prince made what is probably the only pop culture reference ever to Gustav Mahler’s 3rd Symphony:
“Good Love”
Bright Lights, Big City Soundtrack



7. That time Prince wrote a song about masturbation and became the only artist to have written two songs on the PMRC’s Filthy Fifteen:
“Darling Nikki”
Purple Rain (1984)



8. That time Prince dropped a big helpin’ of reality on yo’ ass:
“Sign o’ the Times”
Sign o’ the Times (1987)



9. That time Prince recorded the most bad-ass funk jam EVER:
“2 Nigs United for West Compton”
The Black Album (1987; not released until 1994)



10. And that time that Prince wrote the most incredible song about faith in God ever:
“The Cross”
Sign o’ the Times (1987)

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