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Reply #30 posted 06/10/12 1:29pm

Bohemian67

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Thoroughly enjoyed the last posts and summaries from 2Elijah, 1725topp and Harlepolis!

"Free URself, B the best that U can B, 3rd Apartment from the Sun, nothing left to fear" Prince Rogers Nelson - Forever in my Life -
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Reply #31 posted 06/10/12 1:35pm

Spinlight

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The album was released several months after it had been previewed both at the Prince Celebration earlier that year and through the NPG Music Club. Depending on how you choose to define the word 'controversy', the album proved quite divisive amongs fans whom heard it first. Naturally, out of this context the sticker appears to be a little ostentatious. In reality, the album did stir up a bit of controversy amongst diehards who found the album polarizing.

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Reply #32 posted 06/10/12 4:33pm

KCOOLMUZIQ

2elijah said:

Harlepolis said:

Its interesting that his songs that discussed racial matters exposed some feelings within some of his listeners though. I remember when a thread about "Avalanche" was posted a couple of years ago, the usual melodrama was taking place, but what stuck in my mind the most was this orger who said something to the effect that "Prince is spewing racist propoganda. He should stick to singing about sex because he comes across as awkward and sloppy in any other subject".

And he got a heap load of co-signs as well, which led me to believe that some of the folks in here ONLY viewed him as this one-dimensional 24/7 sex crazed buffoon who's incapable of displaying ANY emotion that doesn't cater to that notion. They probably still do.

But then again, when somebody have a strong following like him, you're liable to find a group of people with a strong sense of self-entitlement, and anything that artist release that may remotely have overtones that doesn't sit well with them(and people have NEVER been comfortable with the "race" subject) they end up feeling alianated.

The sad reality is, Prince doesn't live in a Paisley Park utopia, when push comes to shove, he's a black man who still lives in so-called post-racial America, rich notwithstanding. Some people want him to go back to that fantasy, I suppose there's some comfort for escapism, but eventually it won't last long.

I think with TRC(and the other music that addressed racial matters) they serve a balance with his past outputs, and frankly, I don't mind another TRC, so to speak.

May I say I how I truly enjoyed reading both your comments? smile I'm going to address both yours and 1725Stopp's posts, because you are both on point with your comments. I agree that race and religion are very, touchy subjects, and like 1725stopp mentioned, around the Warner Bros. situation, it does seem like Prince's awareness and curiosity of racial issues within the music industry may have come into question or peaked his interest, as to the level of respect he was receiving from WB execs, as a Black-American musician/artist who knew exactly how he wanted to present his music to his fans.This certainly brings to mind his bold lyrics and clear message in his song. "Don't Play Me", as he gets right to the point with those lyrics and it is no question, what issue he is addressing or his awareness of it. I also agree that a lot of his awareness/interests regarding historical, racial issues, religion, etc., can be heard in the TRC album, and on songs on other albums, that also touch on, political issues and societal injustices and of course, again religion.

As mentioned by both of you, I agree that there are some fans who seem to send the message to Prince as if to say, 'When you write a song, don't focus on anything meaningful regarding societal ills/injustices/political issues, that would make fans think, so just play the music instead.'

In other words, like you both mentioned, some, not all of course, would probably rather a 'mindless' musician focusing on something of possibly a more sexual nature, maybe to fill sexual voids or fantasies they believe he can fill, based on the image they create of him, for themselves, rather than having him writing lyrics in relation to societal concerns. Maybe some fans, feel that if he presents any acknowledgement/concerns, awareness of anything socio-political/spiritual, etc., outside of the image they have of him, that those lyrics may force them to tap into their own minds, and question their characters, awareness or acknowledgment of such topics, something they may not have expected from their favorite artist, related to those issues. In other words, to those type fans, some of their reactions may be something like "My goodness, how dare that he should sing of such matters!"

I've read in the past, where some fans assumed that, he was going through some 'Afro-centric' phase, in regards to some songs,(i.e., 'Family Name)', in the TRC album. I believe most wanted to believe that because they were not prepared to embrace those uncomfortable, historical truths/events, so some convinced themselves that he was either being brainwashed by those around him or was going through a phase. This is apparently what some may have wanted to believe, rather than embrace the fact that their favorite musician/artist, expressed those feelings and words in those songs.

Some of those comments and reactions, from his fans, seem to have been based on the image they created of him, for themselves, and preferred he 'stay in the box', they chose to put him in. So when the image they have of him 'steps out the box', it becomes an unexpected, unrecognizable turn for some fans.

There's no question, of course, that many fans are aware, that this is an artist who spoke about loving one another, and wrote songs like 'Race' with lyrics that stated "Race in the space I mark human", but those words does not necessarily mean he was/is unaware/blind to ongoing, societal racial prejudices or socio-economic conditions or that he couldn't or shouldn't, openly express his thoughts about any present-day societal ills, in his music. I think often times, that's where some of his fans get 'confused,' yet it's no secret, that he was always a bold musician who 'shocked and awed' from the beginning of his career, with what he expressed in his music. So, by Prince expressing his thoughts or raising awareness of historical or current societal injustices today, like in the TRC album and others, that shouldn't really be a surprise to most of his fans.

'Edited for a few spelling/grammatical changes'

nod

Don't play me
I'm over 30 and I don't smoke weed
I put my ass away and the music I play
Ain't the type of stereo U're tryin' 2 feed
Don't play me

Don't play me
I use proper English and I'm straight
I'm in the news again 4 payin' dues my friend
I'm not the ganda U prop in my way
Don't play me

Cuz I've been 2 the mountain top and it ain't what U say
Don't play me

Don't play me
I'm the wrong color and I play guitar
My only competition is?well, me in the past
And time and time, if time existed, movin' ever so fast
Don't play me

U couldn't play enough of me now 2 make me feel like a star
Don't play me, I already do in my car
Don't play me

Don't be mad at me, the curtain puller in the game
Maybe all, how U call us, niggas ain't the same
It's all good when U know the only fame
Is the light that comes from God and the joy U get 2 say His name
Don't play me (Don't play me)

I've seen the mountain top and it ain't what U say
Don't play me

I already got laid

eye will ALWAYS think of prince like a "ACT OF GOD"! N another realm. eye mean of all people who might of been aliens or angels.if found out that prince wasn't of this earth, eye would not have been that surprised. R.I.P. prince
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Reply #33 posted 06/10/12 4:43pm

V10LETBLUES

I don't really pay too much attention to Prince lyrics. When it comes to the best of Prince, the music will trump whatever the heck he says. I was never to keen on the subject matter in Bambi, or Jack U Off, or Head or ay of that nonsense. The music was so great, that in the end it really didn't matter to me. The religious and sexual stuff was something I put up with, it was never his schtick I cared about.

The Rainbow Children just sucks period. I will never blamed the subject matter. To me it is just lame. The same lazy compositions he had been peddling throughout the 90's. Nothing new or interesting. So no controversy for me, other than how much it sucked.

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Reply #34 posted 06/11/12 1:32am

NouveauDance

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The comments in here regarding race are interesting ('white lesbians REALLY hate this album!').

I certainly remember seeing the kind of reactions towards Avalanche that Harlepolis mentions, but I'm not sure I see a whole lot of opposition or negative reaction to the African-American commentary on TRC - maybe I missed it, but a lot of the criticism seems to be more towards the perceived misogyny, antisemitism and overall blinkered worldview expressed through Prince's excitement at his twisting of the Jehovah's Witness beliefs and his own particular brand of new-age mysticism.

Whatever else people don't like about often comes down to everything else but the lyrics - the narration, the musical style in general etc.

TRC remains a lot of fans favourite post-WB album, and it remains a solid talking point - job well done I say.

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Reply #35 posted 06/11/12 12:20pm

Graycap23

This project went right over the head of Prince's fans. This entire project was about the Illuminati and how the rest of Us need 2 wake the hell up 2 a New World Order of our own making.

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Reply #36 posted 06/11/12 1:12pm

NouveauDance

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Prince's fondness for conspiracy theories have been discussed many a time in relation to TRC, I don't think there's anything about that went over anyone's head.

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Reply #37 posted 06/11/12 1:14pm

Genesia

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rdhull said:

You kidding right?

It remains his most controversial album even if it's an album that the populace does not even know of it's existence. It's the album that wrecked, split, destroyed the online Prince community. It created the factions we have today. You know how star wars had the clone wars?...well in the purple universe, there was The Rainbow Children wars.

Im...not....kidding

clapping

We don’t mourn artists because we knew them. We mourn them because they helped us know ourselves.
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Reply #38 posted 06/11/12 1:14pm

Graycap23

NouveauDance said:

Prince's fondness for conspiracy theories have been discussed many a time in relation to TRC, I don't think there's anything about that went over anyone's head.

The discussion about TRC never even mentions this. It's always about religion, Jews, that voice, etc......

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Reply #39 posted 06/11/12 1:17pm

Genesia

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NouveauDance said:

The comments in here regarding race are interesting ('white lesbians REALLY hate this album!').

I certainly remember seeing the kind of reactions towards Avalanche that Harlepolis mentions, but I'm not sure I see a whole lot of opposition or negative reaction to the African-American commentary on TRC - maybe I missed it, but a lot of the criticism seems to be more towards the perceived misogyny, antisemitism and overall blinkered worldview expressed through Prince's excitement at his twisting of the Jehovah's Witness beliefs and his own particular brand of new-age mysticism.

Whatever else people don't like about often comes down to everything else but the lyrics - the narration, the musical style in general etc.

TRC remains a lot of fans favourite post-WB album, and it remains a solid talking point - job well done I say.

Thank you.

We don’t mourn artists because we knew them. We mourn them because they helped us know ourselves.
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Reply #40 posted 06/11/12 4:20pm

eyewishuheaven

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Had this album since release date, and the music is slammin'.

Are the lyrics about something? Who cares. music

PRINCE: the only man who could wear high heels and makeup and STILL steal your woman!
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Reply #41 posted 06/12/12 12:58pm

novabrkr

rdhull said:

You kidding right?

It remains his most controversial album even if it's an album that the populace does not even know of it's existence. It's the album that wrecked, split, destroyed the online Prince community. It created the factions we have today. You know how star wars had the clone wars?...well in the purple universe, there was The Rainbow Children wars.

Im...not....kidding

Yeah. This place was horrible for quite a while. lol

It wasn't just that people were arguing about TRC, but the unnecessarily fierce arguments about race and religion spread to other subforums as well.

Like some others have pointed out, the album generated a lot of controversy even before its release due to those listening parties and the rumors circulating about him having converted into a JW (many fans didn't even believe that he had become one until he used the word "Jehovah" in one of his televised thank you speeches). What was odd about it is that to most people finding a new religious or spiritual view is supposed to be about finding some sort of an inner peace, but Prince didn't seem to mind his new views getting called "controversial" for marketing purposes. It was almost as if he was getting some sort of twisted satisfaction about people now associating him with something as shady as JW's. I got the impression that he was excited about having managed to come up with something new to shock people with after his old shock tactics involving sexual themes had lost their edge by the late-1990s.

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Reply #42 posted 06/14/12 4:06am

Cthulhu

I really think both racial and religious "issues" are an American thingy. Can't remember here in Holland ans Europe in general there was any fuss about it at all. Actually In the US there always seems to be something about race and christianity.

I love the Jazz-Funk and psychedelia on this album and as much of the religious songs of our little purple Yoda i just ignore them.

I was pleased to see Lotusflow3r continue a wee bit on the Jazz-Funk.

Also some fans just don't like jazzy Prince i guess...

Ia Ia Cthulhu Fthagn!
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Reply #43 posted 06/14/12 4:55am

starbuck

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I agree, it's an american thing. Over here no one cared about the lyrics, I guess lots of fans didn't even know the album was released.

I enjoy the album for what it is a trip smile weed and I enjoy it everytime I put it on.

love the flow

"Time is a train, makes the future the past"
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Reply #44 posted 06/22/12 6:52am

PurpleLove7

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moderator

Spinlight said:

The album was released several months after it had been previewed both at the Prince Celebration earlier that year and through the NPG Music Club. Depending on how you choose to define the word 'controversy', the album proved quite divisive amongs fans whom heard it first. Naturally, out of this context the sticker appears to be a little ostentatious. In reality, the album did stir up a bit of controversy amongst diehards who found the album polarizing.

... what Spin said

Peace ... & Stay Funky ...

~* The only love there is, is the love "we" make *~

www.facebook.com/purplefunklover
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Reply #45 posted 06/22/12 7:24am

IstenSzek

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it's just a personal statement set to music. tied together for the sake of cohesion or the arc

of the storyline with lyrics that are in some places silly or incomprehensible or probably just

poorly explained in the context of the surrounding lyrics.

i've never quite understood how it could upset people to such an extent. it's just one man's

view, presented in a fragmented form through the medium of a jazzfusion album.

at the end of the day discussions like the ones about this album make me wonder if anyone

that gets so upset or "turns in their fanbadge" or threatens others with opposing views on it,

actually watch stuff like documentaries or read books about subjects that might be alien to

them to start out with.

i mean, just because something doesn't confirm your own view of the world or the things in

it, doesn't mean you should get that upset or dismissive about it.

you can actually watch, read, or listen to something that you don't agree with or don't really

understand yet, and learn from it. even if it just teaches you the perspective of one single

other individual. it challenges you to step outside of your own box of thoughts and knowledge

and allow different data to stream into your consciousness. something that you will have to

then process and think about. wether your emotions toward that data are positive, negative

or totally indifferent, is a mute point.

but as with most things on the internet, discussions about trc always make me feel like many

people tend to get totally overheated on subjects that they hardly care about to begin with or

feel only slightly passionate towards at best. but just because someone else decides to put in

a word or two to a contrary oppinion, they blow everything out of proportion and this whole

difference in view becomes the most important thing in the universe.

empathy. that's the keyword.

as far as it being a prince album in particular and trc at that. it just feels like people just don't

want to understand it. like someone else said: if it ain't about sex, they don't want to hear him

sing about it. let alone make it into a concept album with a dark narrating voice smile

it's a work of art, a combination of lyrics and music that reflects where his head was at right at

that time. as always with prince it combines bits of religion with fable and make believe, with a

dose of humor and sexuality thrown in there. some of it makes sense, some of it doesn't, some

of it is absolutely true, some of it is a bit harder to understand.

say about it or think about it what you will. but an album doesn't have the power to polarize the

fanbase of any artist, that's rediculous.

a fanbase choses to polarize itself based on many things, but not over a single album.

and then there is the difference between the (as in all areas) loud voiced oppinion of the ones

who feel they have an axe to grind versus the silent majority of people who are ok with what

they see or hear, or chose to stay out of arguments and just think for themselves.

we're only a few here on the org compared to the number of fans he still has out there if you

look at global album sales.

and true love lives on lollipops and crisps
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Reply #46 posted 06/25/12 2:47pm

EyeJester7

IstenSzek said:

it's just a personal statement set to music. tied together for the sake of cohesion or the arc

of the storyline with lyrics that are in some places silly or incomprehensible or probably just

poorly explained in the context of the surrounding lyrics.

i've never quite understood how it could upset people to such an extent. it's just one man's

view, presented in a fragmented form through the medium of a jazzfusion album.

at the end of the day discussions like the ones about this album make me wonder if anyone

that gets so upset or "turns in their fanbadge" or threatens others with opposing views on it,

actually watch stuff like documentaries or read books about subjects that might be alien to

them to start out with.

i mean, just because something doesn't confirm your own view of the world or the things in

it, doesn't mean you should get that upset or dismissive about it.

you can actually watch, read, or listen to something that you don't agree with or don't really

understand yet, and learn from it. even if it just teaches you the perspective of one single

other individual. it challenges you to step outside of your own box of thoughts and knowledge

and allow different data to stream into your consciousness. something that you will have to

then process and think about. wether your emotions toward that data are positive, negative

or totally indifferent, is a mute point.

but as with most things on the internet, discussions about trc always make me feel like many

people tend to get totally overheated on subjects that they hardly care about to begin with or

feel only slightly passionate towards at best. but just because someone else decides to put in

a word or two to a contrary oppinion, they blow everything out of proportion and this whole

difference in view becomes the most important thing in the universe.

empathy. that's the keyword.

as far as it being a prince album in particular and trc at that. it just feels like people just don't

want to understand it. like someone else said: if it ain't about sex, they don't want to hear him

sing about it. let alone make it into a concept album with a dark narrating voice smile

it's a work of art, a combination of lyrics and music that reflects where his head was at right at

that time. as always with prince it combines bits of religion with fable and make believe, with a

dose of humor and sexuality thrown in there. some of it makes sense, some of it doesn't, some

of it is absolutely true, some of it is a bit harder to understand.

say about it or think about it what you will. but an album doesn't have the power to polarize the

fanbase of any artist, that's rediculous.

a fanbase choses to polarize itself based on many things, but not over a single album.

and then there is the difference between the (as in all areas) loud voiced oppinion of the ones

who feel they have an axe to grind versus the silent majority of people who are ok with what

they see or hear, or chose to stay out of arguments and just think for themselves.

we're only a few here on the org compared to the number of fans he still has out there if you

look at global album sales.

nod

What a wonderful ending to this discussion if there was a such a thing as an 'Ending' to This topic. lol

You spell out your points so well, and I agree 100%! I could not say it any better, you summarize the posts above well, and I have nothing to add but Well done, and amen! smile

It's Button Therapy, Baby!
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Reply #47 posted 06/25/12 3:04pm

80spfantwp

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IstenSzek

I can add nothing. Thought provoking, rounded response. A pleasure to read cool

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Reply #48 posted 06/25/12 7:45pm

imago

Certainly the lyrics are provocative as hell. But controversy implies that there's a mass audience out there that took note. lol

I find it desperately trying to be provocative--but then again, Dirty Mind felt the same way to me. The difference is that I can sit through dirty mind without wanting to skip tracks or stop the album altogether because I have better things to listen to.

The Rainbow Children is Prince's "The Wall". But I liken the wall be Ridley Scott's Alien. TRC is Ridley Scott's Prometheus (long, chatty, saturated, and unsatisfying). Do you really need darth vador to narrate your concept album, Prince? seriously?

Damn shame too, because it had great instrumental moments.

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Reply #49 posted 06/25/12 7:48pm

Spinlight

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imago said:

Certainly the lyrics are provocative as hell. But controversy implies that there's a mass audience out there that took note. lol

I find it desperately trying to be provocative--but then again, Dirty Mind felt the same way to me. The difference is that I can sit through dirty mind without wanting to skip tracks or stop the album altogether because I have better things to listen to.

The Rainbow Children is Prince's "The Wall". But I liken the wall be Ridley Scott's Alien. TRC is Ridley Scott's Prometheus (long, chatty, saturated, and unsatisfying). Do you really need darth vador to narrate your concept album, Prince? seriously?

Damn shame too, because it had great instrumental moments.

No it doesn't. The fans who heard the album prior to its retail release really were divided.

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Reply #50 posted 06/25/12 8:05pm

imago

Spinlight said:

imago said:

Certainly the lyrics are provocative as hell. But controversy implies that there's a mass audience out there that took note. lol

I find it desperately trying to be provocative--but then again, Dirty Mind felt the same way to me. The difference is that I can sit through dirty mind without wanting to skip tracks or stop the album altogether because I have better things to listen to.

The Rainbow Children is Prince's "The Wall". But I liken the wall be Ridley Scott's Alien. TRC is Ridley Scott's Prometheus (long, chatty, saturated, and unsatisfying). Do you really need darth vador to narrate your concept album, Prince? seriously?

Damn shame too, because it had great instrumental moments.

No it doesn't. The fans who heard the album prior to its retail release really were divided.

Yes, I can see it being divisive within the community. Kevin Smith spoke about how a discussion that was meant to be spiritual had 'turned south'.

But, the album was being marketed towards a wider audience. Prince wanted the general public to hear this. The marketing went so far as to stick a non-legislated "controversial" sticker on the album.

Nobody noticed. Other than his dwindling pre-Musicology fanbase, of course.

As far as Prince fans being divided, that's pretty much every album but SOTT by and large.

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Reply #51 posted 06/25/12 8:09pm

imago

One could say Ernest Sewell was controversial. lol

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Reply #52 posted 06/26/12 4:11am

Whitnail

avatar

2elijah said:

I agree with Harlepolis. I think many fans interpreted the lyrics to what they wanted to hear, instead of trying to understand the point of the message in the lyrics. Anytime, a musician/artist sing about anything historical/socio-political/racial, etc., it's no surprise fans will question the lyrics, find some type of controversy about it. But many musicians/artists of the mid to early 70s, sang socio-political songs that touched on the racial and socio-political atmosphere at the time in the U.S. and as those issues related around the world.

Curtis Mayfield, The Temptations, Sonia Baez, Richie Havens, Earth, ames Brown, Wind & Fire, Gil Scott Heron, just to name a few, who often sang about race, socio-political and economic situations, that were going on at the time, from drugs, racial injustices, socio-economic and political issues, to singing about the Vietnam War, etc..

I think what caught a lot of Prince fans off guard, is that to most fans, Prince is a musician that crossed racial lines with his music, and brought a lot of fans from various, racial groups together through his music, in one space. At the same time, some of his songs, from early on, touched on topics. such as race/gender/war/religion/socio-political and economic issues, , etc., and he never really shyed away from that. But the Rainbow Children album was heavy on historical racial issues and religion, and many fans didn't know how to embrace that album.

He dared to discuss what many are afraid to talk about or acknowledge regarding the historical, racial issues that has happened between specific groups, that is still a very, touchy, uncomfortable topic today No question, many of us have seen these topics discussed in P&R many times in heated debates, because not too many want to listen, acknowledge or read about those ugly, historical and some current truths about racism, and many disagree on topics regarding religion. So both topics are very uncomfortable to discuss, and many take both topics personally.

The question is, were some fans uncomfortable because he made comparisons between the Jewish Holocaust vs Transatlantic Slave Trade, and some fans interpreted the line "Jewish Holocaust aside" , in the song, as the artist trying to devalue that tragedy? When I listened to the song 'Family Name', I didn't see it that he meant it that way at all, and I'm only speaking for myself.

It seems to me, he was bringing attention to the fact that the Transatlantic Slave Trade (TSA) was a holocaust, and that has never really been acknowledged or given the same respect, on a national or international basis, like the Jewish Holocaust has been, and I believe that was the awareness he was trying to raise, in specific songs on that album. He injected bits and pieces of historical events of the TSA, to raise awareness to the listene,r as to how could it not have been a holocaust, but yet to many in this countr,y and the rest of the world, the Jewish Holocaust is acknowledged as a 'holocaust', while the TSA tragedy, is not acknowledged as such or on that same level, for that matter, and that is where the comparisons are being made in Prince's song, 'Family Name'. .

When he references Jewish names and states "'...at least you have your family name", well there is truth to that, although I have heard that many Jewish people were forced at one time or another to change their surnames, as a matter of survival, and due to discrimination. But I believe the point in the song about their names, was at least many were still able to trace the history of their famlly name, and had a 'home' so-to-speak, they could trace it to. With many enslaved Africans during the Transatlantic Slave Trade, (I'm just referencing the enslaved Africans brought to what is known today as America, although many enslaved Africans, taken to different places around the world, experienced similar, tragic experiences), many had no choice, as they were forced to let go of their birth names, history and culture, once enslaved by their owners, and were given names was bought/sold/traded, by their owners, and later on given surnames of their owners.

Remember now, they came from many African ethnic groups with different languages, cultures, religious beliefs, when they were bought/sold/traded to various owners, and some more name changes took place during the process, many times, when they were sold to new owners. Many never made it back to their homelands, and died with the surnames given to them by their slave owners.

The offspring of the enslaved Africans, born on what is known today as America, who were born on American soil, adopted those surnames as well, because they had no choice, given the historical circumstances. The children/descendants of native-born Africans, thereafter, passed those surnames to every generation of those who identify as Black American today. If those surnames are traced today, it would mainly lead to a European or European American who may not even have any family relation to Black Americans, this is of course,is if the slaveowner of their African ancestors, didn't produce any children from any of his enslaved, African females. The surnames of the majority of enslaved Africans are not of 'Black African ethnic origins. So I get Prince's point in the lyrics of 'Family Name', because he's only telling an uncomfortable truth, and truth be told, uncomfortable truths will ruffle feathers and make some uneasy and nervous. But honestly, when doesn't these types of discussions on racial, historical matters don't make some uncomfortable?

So I don't think it was not an intention on Prince's part, to divide his fans, moreso than it was about educating them regarding the comparisons of those two tragic events, and raising awareness that many within American society and around the world do not acknowledge or give the same respect to the history, victims/outcome of the Transatlantic Slave Trade tragedy, as they give to the history and victims/survivors of the Jewish Holocaust. An uncomfortable truth? Yes, of course.

Insightful post, I remember some years ago reading some of the antisemitic accusations put towards Prince regarding the TRC album on this site and being completely baffled by it. How on earth anyone could come to this conclusion after reading the lyrics remains a mystery to me.

"Like a thief in the night, my Lord come and strike
Leave nothing but ashes 2 the left, dust 2 the right
Holocaust aside, many lived and died
When all truth is told, would U rather be dead or be sold?
Sold 2 the one who can now mate
The displaced bloodline with the white jail bait
Thinkin' like the keys on 'Nato's piano just fine "

If anything Prince is clearly saying that the Holocaust was the biggest work of evil in modern history followed by the Transatlantic Slave Trade.

As for TRC the album, I often see this album in the same way as Radioheads OK Computer, a masterpiece. However, I rarely ever play it because I find it draining. Musically, it is probably
Prince´s best work but with the lyrical concept added in, it becomes a completely different beast which demands the listener to concentrate and evaluate the message.

If it were not for insanity, I would be sane.

"True to his status as the last enigma in music, Prince crashed into London this week in a ball of confusion" The Times 2014
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Reply #53 posted 06/26/12 6:24am

colorblu

SDNafka said:

I bought The Rainbow Children CD back in 2001. There's a sticker on it saying "Prince - The Rainbow Children" and then in small print "The controversial new album". Now, I don't usually take much notice of the silly stickers the record company/distributors slap on. They'll often say something like "The Hit New Album" before a single copy has been sold. So I didn't read the small print until yesterday. I'm guess the "controversy" is probably a record company beat up and most likely refers to the religious content of the album.

But, Orgers, am I missing something? I wasn't really up on the all the Prince gossip around the time the album was released. Was there some other controversy regarding TRC?

If Tame were still writing on this site, I'd have to admit to her that she was right. Once she asked something like, do we let our emotions decide which music we listen to. I answered 'no' without thinking it thru because i usually play preselected music rather than let random music decide what I'm listening to. I was thinking it was more of an intellectual decision rather than an emotional one.

I've hestitated many times to play TRC, because when it comes to TRC, most definitely emotions rule. The music sounded fresh, new and legendary experimental, but sometimes unintentional feelings crept in and I put it away.

Musically Prince has volumes which are full of love and encouragement for everyone. That's the Prince music that I love and for what I feel he is the Champ of. imo heart

[Edited 6/27/12 18:15pm]

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Reply #54 posted 06/26/12 7:16am

Spinlight

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It's kind of interesting that the discussion going on in this thread about the material is sort of mimicking the discussions had back then. What is or isn't racist, what is or isn't misogynistic, etc.

Controversial? Yes. On a large scale? No. Prince doesn't do anything large scale in the studio anymore.

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Reply #55 posted 06/26/12 10:40am

2elijah

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Whitnail said:

2elijah said:

I agree with Harlepolis. I think many fans interpreted the lyrics to what they wanted to hear, instead of trying to understand the point of the message in the lyrics. Anytime, a musician/artist sing about anything historical/socio-political/racial, etc., it's no surprise fans will question the lyrics, find some type of controversy about it. But many musicians/artists of the mid to early 70s, sang socio-political songs that touched on the racial and socio-political atmosphere at the time in the U.S. and as those issues related around the world.

Curtis Mayfield, The Temptations, Sonia Baez, Richie Havens, Earth, ames Brown, Wind & Fire, Gil Scott Heron, just to name a few, who often sang about race, socio-political and economic situations, that were going on at the time, from drugs, racial injustices, socio-economic and political issues, to singing about the Vietnam War, etc..

I think what caught a lot of Prince fans off guard, is that to most fans, Prince is a musician that crossed racial lines with his music, and brought a lot of fans from various, racial groups together through his music, in one space. At the same time, some of his songs, from early on, touched on topics. such as race/gender/war/religion/socio-political and economic issues, , etc., and he never really shyed away from that. But the Rainbow Children album was heavy on historical racial issues and religion, and many fans didn't know how to embrace that album.

He dared to discuss what many are afraid to talk about or acknowledge regarding the historical, racial issues that has happened between specific groups, that is still a very, touchy, uncomfortable topic today No question, many of us have seen these topics discussed in P&R many times in heated debates, because not too many want to listen, acknowledge or read about those ugly, historical and some current truths about racism, and many disagree on topics regarding religion. So both topics are very uncomfortable to discuss, and many take both topics personally.

The question is, were some fans uncomfortable because he made comparisons between the Jewish Holocaust vs Transatlantic Slave Trade, and some fans interpreted the line "Jewish Holocaust aside" , in the song, as the artist trying to devalue that tragedy? When I listened to the song 'Family Name', I didn't see it that he meant it that way at all, and I'm only speaking for myself.

It seems to me, he was bringing attention to the fact that the Transatlantic Slave Trade (TSA) was a holocaust, and that has never really been acknowledged or given the same respect, on a national or international basis, like the Jewish Holocaust has been, and I believe that was the awareness he was trying to raise, in specific songs on that album. He injected bits and pieces of historical events of the TSA, to raise awareness to the listene,r as to how could it not have been a holocaust, but yet to many in this countr,y and the rest of the world, the Jewish Holocaust is acknowledged as a 'holocaust', while the TSA tragedy, is not acknowledged as such or on that same level, for that matter, and that is where the comparisons are being made in Prince's song, 'Family Name'. .

When he references Jewish names and states "'...at least you have your family name", well there is truth to that, although I have heard that many Jewish people were forced at one time or another to change their surnames, as a matter of survival, and due to discrimination. But I believe the point in the song about their names, was at least many were still able to trace the history of their famlly name, and had a 'home' so-to-speak, they could trace it to. With many enslaved Africans during the Transatlantic Slave Trade, (I'm just referencing the enslaved Africans brought to what is known today as America, although many enslaved Africans, taken to different places around the world, experienced similar, tragic experiences), many had no choice, as they were forced to let go of their birth names, history and culture, once enslaved by their owners, and were given names was bought/sold/traded, by their owners, and later on given surnames of their owners.

Remember now, they came from many African ethnic groups with different languages, cultures, religious beliefs, when they were bought/sold/traded to various owners, and some more name changes took place during the process, many times, when they were sold to new owners. Many never made it back to their homelands, and died with the surnames given to them by their slave owners.

The offspring of the enslaved Africans, born on what is known today as America, who were born on American soil, adopted those surnames as well, because they had no choice, given the historical circumstances. The children/descendants of native-born Africans, thereafter, passed those surnames to every generation of those who identify as Black American today. If those surnames are traced today, it would mainly lead to a European or European American who may not even have any family relation to Black Americans, this is of course,is if the slaveowner of their African ancestors, didn't produce any children from any of his enslaved, African females. The surnames of the majority of enslaved Africans are not of 'Black African ethnic origins. So I get Prince's point in the lyrics of 'Family Name', because he's only telling an uncomfortable truth, and truth be told, uncomfortable truths will ruffle feathers and make some uneasy and nervous. But honestly, when doesn't these types of discussions on racial, historical matters don't make some uncomfortable?

So I don't think it was not an intention on Prince's part, to divide his fans, moreso than it was about educating them regarding the comparisons of those two tragic events, and raising awareness that many within American society and around the world do not acknowledge or give the same respect to the history, victims/outcome of the Transatlantic Slave Trade tragedy, as they give to the history and victims/survivors of the Jewish Holocaust. An uncomfortable truth? Yes, of course.

Insightful post, I remember some years ago reading some of the antisemitic accusations put towards Prince regarding the TRC album on this site and being completely baffled by it. How on earth anyone could come to this conclusion after reading the lyrics remains a mystery to me.

"Like a thief in the night, my Lord come and strike
Leave nothing but ashes 2 the left, dust 2 the right
Holocaust aside, many lived and died
When all truth is told, would U rather be dead or be sold?
Sold 2 the one who can now mate
The displaced bloodline with the white jail bait
Thinkin' like the keys on 'Nato's piano just fine "

If anything Prince is clearly saying that the Holocaust was the biggest work of evil in modern history followed by the Transatlantic Slave Trade.

As for TRC the album, I often see this album in the same way as Radioheads OK Computer, a masterpiece. However, I rarely ever play it because I find it draining. Musically, it is probably
Prince´s best work but with the lyrical concept added in, it becomes a completely different beast which demands the listener to concentrate and evaluate the message.

Thank you so much, and I appreciate that, and I have to say referencing the highlighted/bolded part of your post, you just summed it up entirely and to the point. Yet by the time the Jewish Holocaust took place, humans still had not learned what the outcome of power/mind control, greed and ignorance could bring among the human population.

Also, just want to add, in my own interpretation of that particular line of the song, where he mentions “Holocaust aside, I don’t see it as a dismissal or a slight, but an ‘acknowledgement’ that the Jewish Holocaust was in fact, a holocaust, as he referred to it respectively, but (again my own views, and only speaking for myself). I felt his intention to inject the Transatlantic Slave Trade into that line, was to also point out or raise the listener’s awareness or even to remind the listener, that the purpose behind the Jewish Holocaust was based on the same evil intentions, as those who were involved in the Transatlantic Slavery trade, which was based, as mentioned earlier, on power/control, greed and ignorance, and the outcome of both historic and tragic events combined, led to human suffering and death of millions.

From ancient to present day, many powers-that-be worldwide have used various methods to maintain power and control, within their ‘majority’ systems. They do this by creating fear, lies, and other false beliefs and images of ‘targetted’ groups, and spoonfeeding this to their majority. These types of methods/views often paves the way for long term division/mistrust/suspicion, class divisions, among the ‘majority’ vs ‘targetted’ groups, (whether those targetted groups are based on race/ethnicity or religion), and at the same time has given the powers-that-be around the world, the opportunity to maintain mind control over the ‘majority’ and ‘targetted’ groups. As stated earlier, we see these same types of control systems being used in present day around the world.

Always smile in the face of adversity. smile
#NOFEAR
BIDEN/HARRIS 11/3/20
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