Remembering Prince: One Year After His Death, We Reflect on The Purple One


On the one year anniversary of his death, we’re remembering Prince here at Culturess — his music, his acting, and his legacy will never be forgotten.

He was fearless, unapologetic, and talented. When we’re remembering Prince, we have to remember everything about him.

He was, first and foremost, a black man. This is something that often goes unnoted by the fans and commentators, perhaps because it was self-evident. But, in remembering Prince, this is something that we have to be mindful of noting. His experiences in the music industry, and with fame, and with life in general, are through the eyes of a black man, with black skin, and black roots — roots that he never hid from the world or denied. And while his music transcended race, gender, and perhaps every other qualifier, he was — and remains — a black artist.

In remembering Prince, we also have to remember how singularly committed to his art he truly was. According to NPR, he left no will, he died alone, and he had a vault of unreleased music that was so extensive that his estate could release a new song every year for the next 200 years and still not be tapped out. And, according to those who have heard some of the tracks, they’re so good that they put his truly classic works — like “Purple Rain” and “Raspberry Beret” — to shame.

He didn’t care. He was so wholly committed to his work that he was willing to sacrifice even the basic human need of companionship.

Here’s how NPR put it:

"“In his late middle age he had no spouse, no manager and no lawyer. Perhaps we should not be so surprised by the way all of this played out; years ago, he’d told us that ‘in this life, things are much harder than in the afterworld. In this life, you’re on your own.'”"

Next: Tunes for Tuesday: Let's Go Crazy and Purple Rain by Prince

In remembering Prince, it’s not enough to simply remember the music, because it’s a non-starter that the music was amazing. In remembering Prince, we have to remember the complexity of his being to truly appreciate the art.