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Thread started 11/29/11 1:26am

digitalelectri
c

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How was P so esoteric so young?

In his youth he was on a different level musically which opened many doors for him to glean new information, but P grew up lower-middle class from Minnesota. Not in Laurel Canyon or Manhattan or a place considered a mecca for "higher enlightenment." Don't get me wrong, genius sprouts from under many leaves, but you know what I mean.

Yet here we have this little cat in his early 20s busting out as an effusively creative amalgamation of Jimmy Swaggart, James Brown, Elvis Presley, Jack Kerouac and, hell, Aleister Crowley. So self-proclaimed pious yet so deviantly x-rated. He entered into public consciousness with an extreme knowledge of yin yang duality, black/white esotericism and love/lust incisiveness you might expect would be gained through years of deep philosophic meditation and study. Where did he gain such an understanding, especially without the advantage we hold today with the world-at-your-fingertips immediacy of wired-in media? Deep thinkers spend a lifetime to only scratch the surface of what he projected when he was but a wee lad.

Of course he has his faults and has made many incoherent decisions over the years. But all geniuses do. I just want to know what he knew, and how he knew so early how to slice to the crux of controversy and and literally and figuratively embody that essence to create a kingdom through this almost otherworldly immense, precocious creativity.

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Reply #1 posted 11/29/11 1:48am

novabrkr

Do you mean esoteric or eclectic?

I suppose Prince can be considered "esoteric" in the sense that he keeps things to himself and he always seemed to possess "knowledge" or "know-how" that most others do not, but what is "black / white esotericism" supposed to be? Did you mean "Black / White eclecticism"?

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Reply #2 posted 11/29/11 1:59am

kenkamken

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Spike Lee could make an amazing documentary and it probably wouldn't fully answer your question. There might be glimpses here and there, some near approximation, but it would likely only resolve with further questions. That seems to be his gift, to confound definitions and eternally frustrate those who try try to nail him down to what they want him to be.
"So fierce U look 2night, the brightest star pales 2 Ur sex..."
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Reply #3 posted 11/29/11 2:25am

jonylawson

esoteric

es·o·ter·ic

[es-uh-ter-ik] Show IPA
adjective
1.
understood by or meant for only the select few who havespecial knowledge or interest; recondite: poetry full ofesoteric allusions.
2.
belonging to the select few.
3.
private; secret; confidential.
4.
(of a philosophical doctrine or the like) intended to berevealed only to the initiates of a group: the esotericdoctrines of Pythagoras.

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Reply #4 posted 11/29/11 6:00am

babyjubilation

I thought u spelled erotic wrong. lol
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Reply #5 posted 11/29/11 6:26am

joyinrepetitio
n

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Prince probably read a lot when he was younger. That's what people used to do before this thing called the internet was invented.

__________________________________________________
2 words falling between the drops and the moans of his condition
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Reply #6 posted 11/29/11 6:43am

Genesia

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When you've crapped out the thesaurus you swallowed and can write that in plain English, give me a call. smile

We don’t mourn artists because we knew them. We mourn them because they helped us know ourselves.
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Reply #7 posted 11/29/11 7:29am

MacDaddy

Genesia said:

When you've crapped out the thesaurus you swallowed and can write that in plain English, give me a call. smile

lol falloff

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Reply #8 posted 11/29/11 7:39am

ufoclub

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I thought his first music was fairly generic R&B or rock. Which years are you describing as youth?

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Reply #9 posted 11/29/11 7:48am

dannyd5050

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Genesia said:

When you've crapped out the thesaurus you swallowed and can write that in plain English, give me a call. smile

Awww...I thought the original post was well written. boxed

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Reply #10 posted 11/29/11 7:54am

Genesia

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dannyd5050 said:

Genesia said:

When you've crapped out the thesaurus you swallowed and can write that in plain English, give me a call. smile

Awww...I thought the original post was well written. boxed

If you're grading by the SAT word count - then, yeah.

Really good writing isn't that abstrusely labyrinthine. (See what I did there?)

We don’t mourn artists because we knew them. We mourn them because they helped us know ourselves.
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Reply #11 posted 11/29/11 8:28am

NouveauDance

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Where is the misunderstanding coming from? I read the OP, and digitalelectric means esoteric, not eclectic.

In answer to the question, my 2 cents is most of us ask big questions at some point in our lives, some of us ask them younger, maybe because of experiences we've had or seen that can only lead us to step back and wonder, or question and come up with a more personal philosophy and moral compass, one that is slightly or wildly off course from those of the social norms we are all apart of and perpetuate.

I think you can probably point to at least half a dozen things in Prince's life that would make up a patchwork of why he worked to put these ideas and themes in his work from very early on.


[Edited 11/29/11 8:34am]

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Reply #12 posted 11/29/11 8:30am

alphachannel

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Grammar and vocabulary aside in the original post, I think Prince actually had an advantage in growing up where he did. In the 70s radio was still very segregated in that you had "white" stations and "black" stations, so if you're in an area without a "black" station you had very little exposure to the new Soul and R&B artists -- perhaps through magazines but certainly not on television.

So you have Prince who obviously was exposed the black artists before him, but it was the music that typically attracted a white audience that allowed him to expand beyond R&B and Soul music. Of course I'm not suggesting he was the first artist to cross cultural and color lines with his music (I'm sure he wasn't even the only one among his MPLS peers), just that his enviroment helped to broaden his exposure...

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Reply #13 posted 11/29/11 8:35am

NinaB

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Interesting question...I think the whole duality thing was mainly about being a gemini , or that's where it started...His family came from new orleans...He may of met people into metaphysics etc in the music bizz...Lastly he is a genius! (unusual/special) Maybe he didn't need 2 study certain texts 4 years!
"We just let people talk & say whatever they want 2 say. 9 times out of 10, trust me, what's out there now, I wouldn't give nary one of these folks the time of day. That's why I don't say anything back, because there's so much that's wrong" - P, Dec '15
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Reply #14 posted 11/29/11 9:02am

dannyd5050

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Genesia said:

dannyd5050 said:

Awww...I thought the original post was well written. boxed

If you're grading by the SAT word count - then, yeah.

Really good writing isn't that abstrusely labyrinthine. (See what I did there?)

lol I see your point.

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Reply #15 posted 11/29/11 10:41am

Husky

Don't feed the troll... lol

What strikes me is that some people here are even reacting seriously on someone who compares the (very) early Prince to the likes of Jack Kerouac.

When I listen to the lyrics on the first two Prince records, they remind me of the kind of naive 'schmaltz' Michael Jackson built an entire career on, so....

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Reply #16 posted 11/29/11 11:19am

novabrkr

NouveauDance said:

Where is the misunderstanding coming from? I read the OP, and digitalelectric means esoteric, not eclectic.


[Edited 11/29/11 8:34am]

What is "black / white esotericism"?

"Eclectic" sort of makes sense in that context. "Esoteric" doesn't.

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Reply #17 posted 11/29/11 11:40am

NouveauDance

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novabrkr said:

What is "black / white esotericism"?

"Eclectic" sort of makes sense in that context. "Esoteric" doesn't.

I thought all the stuff about philosophy, Aleister Crowley, higher enlightenment etc, etc was exactly what he meant by esoteric shrug

[Edited 11/29/11 11:40am]

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Reply #18 posted 11/29/11 3:41pm

onemorething

digitalelectric said:

In his youth he was on a different level musically which opened many doors for him to glean new information, but P grew up lower-middle class from Minnesota. Not in Laurel Canyon or Manhattan or a place considered a mecca for "higher enlightenment." Don't get me wrong, genius sprouts from under many leaves, but you know what I mean.

Yet here we have this little cat in his early 20s busting out as an effusively creative amalgamation of Jimmy Swaggart, James Brown, Elvis Presley, Jack Kerouac and, hell, Aleister Crowley. So self-proclaimed pious yet so deviantly x-rated. He entered into public consciousness with an extreme knowledge of yin yang duality, black/white esotericism and love/lust incisiveness you might expect would be gained through years of deep philosophic meditation and study. Where did he gain such an understanding, especially without the advantage we hold today with the world-at-your-fingertips immediacy of wired-in media? Deep thinkers spend a lifetime to only scratch the surface of what he projected when he was but a wee lad.

Of course he has his faults and has made many incoherent decisions over the years. But all geniuses do. I just want to know what he knew, and how he knew so early how to slice to the crux of controversy and and literally and figuratively embody that essence to create a kingdom through this almost otherworldly immense, precocious creativity.

...because what most people don't realize is that he had a partner in crime. People were privy to a very special and personal relationship he was working through. In other words contrary to what most people think the road to "truth" can not be walked alone. Prince was having a conversation with someone through his music. During this esoteric journey Prince and those he sought out (could have been one) questioned, accused, fought, forgave, loved, and learned. In terms of his methods of how he presented his creations (songs), he wanted full control of his music because he did not want the person he was speaking to to misunderstand him because of what someone (producers) might interpret as what he meant to say. This includes the musicality as well as the cultural aspect of it.

In terms of knowledge being only available to privilege, that is a misconception. And most forward thinkers were considered heretics and even disrespected in their own communities. I'm just thankful he did not take a wrong turn and end up someplace else in his life. I hope I am not being too over confident in my interpretation, he still says and does some things that make me think he has some unresolved issues. God bless him.

To say he least he was understood. He has nothing else to prove as there is nothing else to say.

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Reply #19 posted 11/29/11 8:31pm

ejnbmore

onemorething said:

digitalelectric said:

In his youth he was on a different level musically which opened many doors for him to glean new information, but P grew up lower-middle class from Minnesota. Not in Laurel Canyon or Manhattan or a place considered a mecca for "higher enlightenment." Don't get me wrong, genius sprouts from under many leaves, but you know what I mean.

Yet here we have this little cat in his early 20s busting out as an effusively creative amalgamation of Jimmy Swaggart, James Brown, Elvis Presley, Jack Kerouac and, hell, Aleister Crowley. So self-proclaimed pious yet so deviantly x-rated. He entered into public consciousness with an extreme knowledge of yin yang duality, black/white esotericism and love/lust incisiveness you might expect would be gained through years of deep philosophic meditation and study. Where did he gain such an understanding, especially without the advantage we hold today with the world-at-your-fingertips immediacy of wired-in media? Deep thinkers spend a lifetime to only scratch the surface of what he projected when he was but a wee lad.

Of course he has his faults and has made many incoherent decisions over the years. But all geniuses do. I just want to know what he knew, and how he knew so early how to slice to the crux of controversy and and literally and figuratively embody that essence to create a kingdom through this almost otherworldly immense, precocious creativity.

...because what most people don't realize is that he had a partner in crime. People were privy to a very special and personal relationship he was working through. In other words contrary to what most people think the road to "truth" can not be walked alone. Prince was having a conversation with someone through his music. During this esoteric journey Prince and those he sought out (could have been one) questioned, accused, fought, forgave, loved, and learned. In terms of his methods of how he presented his creations (songs), he wanted full control of his music because he did not want the person he was speaking to to misunderstand him because of what someone (producers) might interpret as what he meant to say. This includes the musicality as well as the cultural aspect of it.

In terms of knowledge being only available to privilege, that is a misconception. And most forward thinkers were considered heretics and even disrespected in their own communities. I'm just thankful he did not take a wrong turn and end up someplace else in his life. I hope I am not being too over confident in my interpretation, he still says and does some things that make me think he has some unresolved issues. God bless him.

To say he least he was understood. He has nothing else to prove as there is nothing else to say.

He also stated a while back that his mom left alot of nudie magazines lying around, so his sexuality was 'enlightened' early on. His religious overtones/spirituality were always present in his music, but he definitely had no problem incorporating 'themes' of a sexual nature because that is who he was at the time. It's been interesting watching him mature into the current more disciplined spiritual musician.

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Reply #20 posted 11/29/11 9:46pm

GoldenParachut
e

novabrkr said:

NouveauDance said:

Where is the misunderstanding coming from? I read the OP, and digitalelectric means esoteric, not eclectic.


[Edited 11/29/11 8:34am]

What is "black / white esotericism"?

"Eclectic" sort of makes sense in that context. "Esoteric" doesn't.

I interpreted it as an abstract way of saying higher enlightenment of "heaven and hell". His spirituality was very mature at a young age.

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Reply #21 posted 11/29/11 9:48pm

GoldenParachut
e

Genesia said:

When you've crapped out the thesaurus you swallowed and can write that in plain English, give me a call. smile

Or you can just go buy one. smile I thought it was well written.

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Reply #22 posted 11/29/11 9:50pm

GoldenParachut
e

NouveauDance said:

novabrkr said:

What is "black / white esotericism"?

"Eclectic" sort of makes sense in that context. "Esoteric" doesn't.

I thought all the stuff about philosophy, Aleister Crowley, higher enlightenment etc, etc was exactly what he meant by esoteric shrug

[Edited 11/29/11 11:40am]

Exactly. lol

However, those "enlightened" people named had imaginary friends they spoke to that gave them otherworldly knowledge. Just sayin'

Maybe Prince had imaginary friends.

[Edited 11/29/11 21:50pm]

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Reply #23 posted 11/29/11 11:27pm

novabrkr

GoldenParachute said:

novabrkr said:

What is "black / white esotericism"?

"Eclectic" sort of makes sense in that context. "Esoteric" doesn't.

I interpreted it as an abstract way of saying higher enlightenment of "heaven and hell". His spirituality was very mature at a young age.

Your interpretation of it is even more ridiculous than anything the starter of this thread has written.

Most likely the starter of this thread doesn't know what "esoteric" really means and, as far as I can tell, his / her understanding of it is somewhere between "esoteric" and "eclectic".

Calling someone "esoteric" isn't really a compliment. The word is often used to describe the teachings of religious cult leaders and those academics that try to impress their students by using fancy vocabulary that borders on nonsense.

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Reply #24 posted 11/30/11 12:26am

GoldenParachut
e

novabrkr said:

GoldenParachute said:

I interpreted it as an abstract way of saying higher enlightenment of "heaven and hell". His spirituality was very mature at a young age.

Your interpretation of it is even more ridiculous than anything the starter of this thread has written.

Most likely the starter of this thread doesn't know what "esoteric" really means and, as far as I can tell, his / her understanding of it is somewhere between "esoteric" and "eclectic".

Calling someone "esoteric" isn't really a compliment. The word is often used to describe the teachings of religious cult leaders and those academics that try to impress their students by using fancy vocabulary that borders on nonsense.

I really dont care if you think its ridiculous. You thinking its not a compliment because of your experience with where the word has been used is ridiculous to me. Some people would take it as a compliment because "esoteric" is above human capability. Otherwordly. Like a gift. That's how I read it and I havent read anything you contributed to what they might have meant, so ridiculing my opinion is pointless. It is a compliment to some, to others, its not. It depends on your perspective.

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Reply #25 posted 11/30/11 1:50am

Pentacle

Since when do they give patients at Arkham Asylum access to the internet??

Stop the Prince Apologists ™
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Reply #26 posted 11/30/11 3:47am

NouveauDance

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I wish digitalelectric would come back to his/her thread and clear up the confusion.

I do really do think by esoteric, the OP was just referring to the spiritual, arcane, cultural and social themes in Prince's music that were there, if not from the very start, then at least budding from Dirty Mind, and definately Controversy onwards. The OP says 'early 20s' which is exactly that time, onwards.

Oh well. smile

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Reply #27 posted 11/30/11 3:52am

Pentacle

The early references to religion/god in and in-between the sexual songs, were mostly shock tactics.

Then later, his slightly schizphrenic attitude towards/relationship with religion become obvious which, after some questioning (Lovesexy) and joyous (Graffiti Bridge) moments, dragged him down the JW road.

Since then, he's been a happy robot, both on and off record.

Stop the Prince Apologists ™
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Reply #28 posted 11/30/11 4:37am

Genesia

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GoldenParachute said:

Genesia said:

When you've crapped out the thesaurus you swallowed and can write that in plain English, give me a call. smile

Or you can just go buy one. smile I thought it was well written.

I own several (I write for a living).

You are entitled to your opinion, as I am entitled to mine (which, considering my 25+ years of being paid to write and edit, is probably a tad more informed). smile

We don’t mourn artists because we knew them. We mourn them because they helped us know ourselves.
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Reply #29 posted 11/30/11 5:24am

Dewrede

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MacDaddy said:

Genesia said:

When you've crapped out the thesaurus you swallowed and can write that in plain English, give me a call. smile

lol falloff

Not funny in the slightest

More like rude and condescending

[Edited 11/30/11 5:30am]

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