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Month: July 2015

I Would Die 4 U. How Prince Became an Icon.

The cover of “Dirty Mind,” Prince’s ingenious/ingenuous 1980 exercise in self-reinvention, threw down a rose-scented gauntlet. It featured a black-and-white shot of a skinny young man who barely seemed out of his teens (he was 22), looking as much the racially and sexually ambiguous wild boy as a nice Minneapolis lad could. Sporting a thin gigolo mustache, a Joan Jett haircut and an open, oversize jacket that he could have swiped from a doorman at the Grand Hotel, Prince topped off his new image with a kerchief, bare chest and thong with a virile little tuft of hair peeking over the bikini line.

Prince’s Holy Lust

LET me tell you why “Adore” is the central song in the Prince canon. Because in “Adore” you get the commingling of two keys to understanding the man and his music: his sexuality and his spirituality.

In the second verse he paints the picture: “When we be making love / I only hear the sounds / Heavenly angels crying up above / Tears of joy pouring down on us / They know we need each other.” They’re having sex under a sprinkling of angel tears, which are flowing because of the angels’ admiration of their love.

This is the erotic intertwined with the divine. The Judeo-Christian ethic seems to demand that sexuality and spirituality be walled off from each other, but in Prince’s personal cosmology, they were one. Sex to him was part of a spiritual life. The God he worshiped wants us to have passionate and meaningful sex.

Who’s Afraid of Post Blackness?

In the age of Obama, racial attitudes have become more complicated and nuanced than ever before. Inspired by a president who is unlike any Black man ever seen on our national stage, we are searching for new ways of understanding Blackness. In this provocative new book, iconic commentator and journalist TourÉ tackles what it means to be Black in America today.