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Prince...On American History And The Music Industry


I have always been one who has had great respect for Prince, but more for his genius - in terms of his creative ability and business mind - than for his actual music. I probably only like 1 out of every 20 songs that he makes. But in terms of his business mind, frank opinions, and ability to think out of the box, I am a true fan. I have often privately wished that, in those areas, more Hip-Hop artists were like him.

For some time I have been hearing about Prince's exclusive New Power Generation Club (NPG) and a friend of mine is actually a member and has been trying, for some time, to get me to listen to some of Prince's material. I have been a little slow to getting around to giving it my ear, but recently, I did sit down and listen to, One Nite Alone..., the most recent CD-mailing of exclusive recordings that Prince sends out to NPG members - unavailable on commercial radio or in record stores. One Nite Alone... is a 9-track EP that features Prince on solo piano with a few other supporting musicians.

One of the songs that was brought to my attention is called, "Avalanche". And since Prince includes the lyrics of the songs in all of his beautifully packaged CD-mailings to NPG members, I was able to read what Prince was singing. It is very interesting. Some of you may be suprised, and some of you may not, especially if you are loyal Prince fans.

As many of you know, I am looking forward to the day when as many Hip-Hop and R&B artists weave social commentary and spiritual reflection into their musical offerings as those that sing about sex, body parts and jewelry. It would represent progress, and a more accurate reflection of the dramatization and symbolic representation of reality, which is the function of art.

Prince is clearly blazing a path for others to consider following.

Cedric Muhammad
July 11, 2002


Below are the lyrics:

AVALANCHE

He was not or never had been in favor
of setting r people free
if it wasn't 4 the 13th Amendment
we woulda been born in slavery
He was not or never had been in favor
of letting us vote so u c...
Abraham Lincoln was a racist who said
"U cannot escape from history"

Chorus:

Like the snow comin' down the mountain
that landed on Wounded Knee
nobody wants 2 take the weight
the responsibility

Here the joyous sound of freedom
The Harlem Reinassance
Hear Duke Ellington and his band
kick another jungle jam
Ooh, do u wanna dance?
Who's that lurking in the shadows?
Mr. John Hammond with his pen in hand....
sayin' "Sign ur kingdom over 2 me
and b known throughout the land!"
But, u ain't got no money, U ain't got no cash,
So u sign yo name and he claims innocence
just like every snowflake in an avalanche..

Chorus:

Like the snow comin' down the mountain
that landed on Wounded Knee
nobody wants 2 take the weight
the responsibility



Thursday, July 11, 2002

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