[Op-Ed] Long Live the Prince

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Prince was the baddest dude alive.

That’s not a joke. Or a throw away statement.

Prince Rogers Nelson was The Baddest Man Alive.

When it came to musicians and artists, Micheal Jackson (Prince’s natural, and very real rival) was the dazzler. Stevie Wonder was the magician.

But Prince was the force of nature.

One of Prince’s nicknames was “His Royal Badness.” And it was a fitting title. Why? Why was Prince “bad?” For starters, he was a fully self-taught, self-made rock star. He developed himself in his early teens. As gifted and ambitious as Michael Jackson was, Joe Jackson’s sternness helped mold him.

Prince didn’t need a Joe Jackson.

He single-handedly birthed a musical movement from Minnesota, a city that never had a connection with Black music before. All Prince did was give us Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, The Time, The Revolution, Andre Cymone, Morris Day, Wendy and Lisa, and a sound that influenced pop music forever.

Not to mention the fact that he helped smash racial barriers that Black musicians had to deal with for YEARS. It’s arguable that “Purple Rain” and Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”—two albums that forever changed the public’s perception of Black artists—may be the most important Black albums of all time.

He also became possibly the most exciting live performer of the last 50 years to see in concert. I could list a bit more items to show you how bad he was. But, I think you all know already. I’m betting quite of few of you are getting emotional reading this article right now.

Only special people touch and affect our emotions, and Prince was undoubtedly one of them.

“His Royal Badness” is gone.

That’s the second time I’ve used that nickname, and it brings me back to an old article in a magazine I read years ago. Prince’s biggest fan and, at times, advocate, Questlove, told a story about Prince’s frustration with Black fans. Specifically, frustration from Black people continuing to call him “Prince,” after he infamously changed his name into a symbol in the early 1990s. I’m going to paraphrase a bit here, but Questlove said, “He (Prince) was confused as to why Black folks still called him Prince. I told him, ‘It’s because you’re still royalty to Black people.'”

“His Royal Badness” is gone.

And no one can EVER wear his crown.

But we can all party like it’s 1999 tonight.

You can follow and contact Greg Simms Jr. on Twitter and Facebook.