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Thread started 02/25/17 12:19am

SoftSkarlettLo
visa

If you could define Prince's music with only 1 genre, what would it be?

I would pick rock - Rock covers a lot of elements in Prince's songs (the progressive drum beats, guitars, occasional wailing vocals). In addition, a lot of Prince's songs cover various subgenres of rock - blues, alternative, soft rock, even metal ("Endorphinemachine").

Other people have defined Prince's music as dance or pop or soul or r&b.

What do you think?

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Reply #1 posted 02/25/17 1:39am

databank

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Prince was primarily a funk artist, I don't think there can be much debate about this.

.

Prince shaped funk and dance music (and even new wave and synthpop to some extent) throughout the 80's, however funk as a genre sorta became extinct after that decade, morphing into new jack swing, acid jazz, hip-hop and modern R&B. While at the same time synthpop/new wave would literally disappear for more than a decade before making a phenomenal come back in the mid 00's. Remarkably, P's lasting impact on dance music, synthpop and other related genres (electroclash, nu house, etc.) was probably more significant that his impact on R&B: I can hear less of Prince in American Black artists ever since 1990 than in the essentially white and European electroclash/synthpop/nu disco scene that emerged at the beginning of the 2000's and remains pretty active today. I'm only pointing that out because I'd assume the influence of a musician of further musical genres may contribute to defining what they were doing.

.

As to Prince as a rock artist, I think Prince wanted to be a rock artist more than he really ever was, because for some reason he wanted to be remembered as aguitar virtuoso while, as several of his collaborators have said, he could have been equally, if not more, remembered as a keyboards virtuoso. But in the end what are the essentially rock albums he's put out? Purple Rain to some extent, then The Undertaker, The War, Planet Earth and Lotusflow3r. That's like 5 albums out of 80 if you include side projects and live albums. Prince has touched a great number of genres in his career but the bulk of his catalogue is R&B, and more specifically funk or electrofunk.

A COMPREHENSIVE PRINCE DISCOGRAPHY (work in progress ^^): https://sites.google.com/...iscog/home
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Reply #2 posted 02/25/17 1:58am

soulboogiealex

Music?

I don't agree that he's primarily a funk artist. On his greatest record his music transcends any genre. His muse defied being caught in this or that. It refused to be boxed in.
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Reply #3 posted 02/25/17 2:01am

NoOneReally

Alternative.

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Reply #4 posted 02/25/17 2:17am

nextedition

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I would say funk too. Of course he did many styles, but his core was funk.

The whole Prince sound is funk.

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Reply #5 posted 02/25/17 2:30am

lemoncrush19

avatar

ummm ... prince

the only love there is is the love we make heart
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Reply #6 posted 02/25/17 2:33am

BoraBora

"Lovesexy".

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Reply #7 posted 02/25/17 3:31am

yeahronimo

avatar

lemoncrush19 said:

ummm ... prince

This

This is not music, this is a trip
No, it's not a drug, it's something more hip
Don't need no reefer, don't need cocaine
Purple music does the same to my brain
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Reply #8 posted 02/25/17 6:33am

mrmarcus

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Funk-rock, imo.

Good morning Ladies & Gentlemen,
Boys & Motherfuckin' girls
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Reply #9 posted 02/25/17 6:50am

pdiddy2011

Definitely funk. And a groove being funky seemed to ALWAYS be one of the most critical elements to Prince in his performances, as he mentioned it without fail.

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Reply #10 posted 02/25/17 7:04am

Guitarhero

Princezart

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Reply #11 posted 02/25/17 8:10am

Wlcm2thdwn3

avatar

He covered them all. i can't put him in a box.

How long do u wanna be loved? Is forever enough, is forever enough?
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Reply #12 posted 02/25/17 8:17am

LonelyStarfish

Purple razz
Music is music, ultimately. If it makes you feel good, cool.

My YouTube channel
https://www.youtube.com/c...pp=desktop
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Reply #13 posted 02/25/17 8:23am

NorthC

New Power Soul.
Never try to discourage thinking, for you are sure to succeed.
Bertrand Russell
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Reply #14 posted 02/25/17 9:09am

TrivialPursuit

When you look at artists like MJ and George Michael, they were primarily soul artists. GM loved Motown soul and the like. He covered Stevie all the time. He never really did a hard rock song. Whereas MJ would delve into that rock pool with "Beat It", "Morphine", "Dirty Diana", "Give Into Me", etc.

Funk is really specific to me. Parliament defined that. Graham Central Station is a funk group mostly, too. Then you have James Brown who had soul and funk blended so wonderfully.

Prince rose above just being that because I think from day one he wanted to be more than relegated to the Black Music section of the store. "I'm Yours" is a rock song on For You. Not exactly standard fare in a world of Earth Wind & Fires and Sly Stones were the token black artist on a show or on white radio. He continued the rock songs on almost every album. "Bambi", "Sister", "Jack U Off, "Ronnie Talk 2 Russia", "Little Red Corvette", "Let's Go Crazy", "Temptation", etc. That alone kept people guessing back when Black was a genre (as limited as that was).

But then you throw in those ballads, those quirky tracks, the rockabilly (mentioned), the heavier soul & funk-inspired stuff, the religious themed. His genre was as specific as it was ambiguous. Sorta like Prince himself. He was his music.

Prince was his own genre.

This experience will cover courtship, sex, commitment, fetishes, loneliness, vindication, love, and hate.
http://bit.ly/1D3FG2U
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Reply #15 posted 02/25/17 9:12am

masaba

Funk. Kick on the 1. Funk is very versatile though.
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Reply #16 posted 02/25/17 9:24am

1725topp

databank said:

Prince was primarily a funk artist, I don't think there can be much debate about this.

.

Prince shaped funk and dance music (and even new wave and synthpop to some extent) throughout the 80's, however funk as a genre sorta became extinct after that decade, morphing into new jack swing, acid jazz, hip-hop and modern R&B. While at the same time synthpop/new wave would literally disappear for more than a decade before making a phenomenal come back in the mid 00's. Remarkably, P's lasting impact on dance music, synthpop and other related genres (electroclash, nu house, etc.) was probably more significant that his impact on R&B: I can hear less of Prince in American Black artists ever since 1990 than in the essentially white and European electroclash/synthpop/nu disco scene that emerged at the beginning of the 2000's and remains pretty active today. I'm only pointing that out because I'd assume the influence of a musician of further musical genres may contribute to defining what they were doing.

.

As to Prince as a rock artist, I think Prince wanted to be a rock artist more than he really ever was, because for some reason he wanted to be remembered as aguitar virtuoso while, as several of his collaborators have said, he could have been equally, if not more, remembered as a keyboards virtuoso. But in the end what are the essentially rock albums he's put out? Purple Rain to some extent, then The Undertaker, The War, Planet Earth and Lotusflow3r. That's like 5 albums out of 80 if you include side projects and live albums. Prince has touched a great number of genres in his career but the bulk of his catalogue is R&B, and more specifically funk or electrofunk.

*

I agree with most of what you've stated, and I like the preciseness of how you stated it; but, I'll disagree with one point. Just like you stated regarding the number of "rock" albums Prince released, the same could be said for the number of pure "funk" albums that Prince released. That is--a funk purist could argue that Prince never released any more than maybe one or two purely funk albums. Now, I agree that funk may be Prince's base. However, I would also argue that Prince didn't really have a pure base. That is--did Prince love one genre of music more than he loved the other, or was it that he simply allowed himself to be free/accessible to all genres and wrote/created as the sound/moment inspired him. Additionally, I also think that lyrics or the story that Prince wanted to tell or the statement that he wanted to make greatly impacted what sound he used as a carrier of that story or statement. So, again, in that case, I'm not sure if I can agree that he was primarily a funk artist. Though, to be clear, unlike many, I don't see Prince being a funk artist as being something limiting or less than because I understand that funk--as created by James Brown and evolved by Parliament Funkadelic--is really blues, soul, rock, and gospel with a jazz sensibility. As such, funk may be the most sophisticated type of music that one can make. Still, I’ll end with an overly used but true cliché: Prince was one of those rare musicians who were able to craft his own genre by seamlessly blending the genres available to him.

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Reply #17 posted 02/25/17 9:42am

LBrent

yeahronimo said:

lemoncrush19 said:

ummm ... prince

This


Guitarhero said:

Princezart

Exactly!

Prince was his own unique genre.

I'm glad someone else said it.

smile

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Reply #18 posted 02/25/17 9:43am

LBrent

LBrent said:

yeahronimo said:


Guitarhero said:

Princezart

Exactly!

Prince was his own unique genre.

I'm glad someone else said it.

smile


TrivialPursuit said:

When you look at artists like MJ and George Michael, they were primarily soul artists. GM loved Motown soul and the like. He covered Stevie all the time. He never really did a hard rock song. Whereas MJ would delve into that rock pool with "Beat It", "Morphine", "Dirty Diana", "Give Into Me", etc.

Funk is really specific to me. Parliament defined that. Graham Central Station is a funk group mostly, too. Then you have James Brown who had soul and funk blended so wonderfully.

Prince rose above just being that because I think from day one he wanted to be more than relegated to the Black Music section of the store. "I'm Yours" is a rock song on For You. Not exactly standard fare in a world of Earth Wind & Fires and Sly Stones were the token black artist on a show or on white radio. He continued the rock songs on almost every album. "Bambi", "Sister", "Jack U Off, "Ronnie Talk 2 Russia", "Little Red Corvette", "Let's Go Crazy", "Temptation", etc. That alone kept people guessing back when Black was a genre (as limited as that was).

But then you throw in those ballads, those quirky tracks, the rockabilly (mentioned), the heavier soul & funk-inspired stuff, the religious themed. His genre was as specific as it was ambiguous. Sorta like Prince himself. He was his music.

Prince was his own genre.

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Reply #19 posted 02/25/17 4:50pm

daingermouz202
0

This is a hard question to answer. Awhile back,before Prince's passing my son heard Prince's"If I was Your Girlfriend" for the first time. He liked it but ask what type/genre would you say Prince does. I replied It's hard to say. Some early stuff was definitely R & B, then Pop, some rock, etc. I told him I think when go looking different up different genres' of music Country, Pop, Soft Rock, Soul etc. The need to have a section or genre called Prince because he's all over the place.
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Reply #20 posted 02/25/17 5:06pm

Iamtheorg

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cablanasian

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Reply #21 posted 02/25/17 8:09pm

BT11

avatar

Funk.

music
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Reply #22 posted 02/25/17 8:14pm

farnorth

Funk.

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Reply #23 posted 02/25/17 8:31pm

SimonCharles

avatar

Paisley.

Words are like shoes...
Try my shoes on...
https://simoncwilliamsblo...press.com/
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Reply #24 posted 02/25/17 8:34pm

FlyOnTheWall

Funk. fro

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Reply #25 posted 02/25/17 10:57pm

sharpieheartz

Prince or just simply... love
No more peace and quiet, I wonder Y...
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Reply #26 posted 02/25/17 11:10pm

Ingela

I think he created his own sound that is unique to him and recognized as so when others sound like him.

The Minneapolis Sound.

But I personally never thought of Prince as a "funk" artist. He was never so tied to anything but doing whatever the heck he wanted , whatever genre and gave it his own spin.
[Edited 2/25/17 23:18pm]
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Reply #27 posted 02/26/17 5:17pm

214

Funk,mainly.

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Reply #28 posted 02/26/17 10:21pm

databank

avatar

I'm not sure which part of "I don't think there can be much debate about this" some of y'all have missed lol

But I appreciate the constructive and interesting discussion, nonetheless wink

A COMPREHENSIVE PRINCE DISCOGRAPHY (work in progress ^^): https://sites.google.com/...iscog/home
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Reply #29 posted 02/27/17 1:55am

jayseajay

You can't. But like most people suggest here, funk is the foundation.

Not like I love my guitar....
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Forums > Prince: Music and More > If you could define Prince's music with only 1 genre, what would it be?