In 1958, two very important things happened as far as my self-centered view of the world is concerned. My mother was born, thus setting the stage for my future existence, and so was Prince Rogers Nelson.
I was born in the ’80s and hit my teens in the ’90s. During those years in America, it would have been hard to avoid Prince’s influence. Hell, it’s still hard to avoid Prince’s influence, as he left us a lasting legacy and imprint on the musical world. Very few people will ever reach the heights of talent and skill he possessed.
On a stage full of legends, he still effortlessly stole the spotlight. Even the other musicians there would rather beam at him than pay attention to another single blessed thing. No matter how many times I watch this video I will be in awe of him:
But there was more to it than that. It wasn’t just the music or MTV videos. Simply who Prince was, his presence and his way of presenting himself to the world and the absolute zero fucks he gave about what anyone thought about him, made the world different by virtue of him being in it.
His was a beautiful, flamboyant masculinity, one built on creativity and social consciousness over the toxic ideas that are more common. He would wear stilettos and lace and also be the biggest badass in the room without a thing to prove.
Prince will steal your girl, then steal her clothes, then steal someone else’s girl in your girl’s clothes.
— Mike (@M_HazeTCR) November 2, 2014
This is an artist who shaped my world and my understanding of it in ways I’m still trying to fathom, and today he died. The internet is going to be deluged with think pieces about his influence and hastily thrown together biography after hastily thrown together biography. Better writers than I am will have Important Things To Say and wax on in suitably eloquent prose.
I can’t tell other people how to feel or give them some great insight. I’m just…sad. So, for myself, I’ll remember his audacity and convictions. I’ll remember the music. And I’ll remember, yes, it’s okay mourn a celebrity’s death.