As promised, Prince released his new album, now titled HitNRun Phase One, exclusively through Jay Z's Tidal on Sunday night. Tidal users can listen to the album now at the streaming service, while non-subscribers can stream the LP by signing up for a free 30-day trial.
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Prince's 34th studio album opens up with a sample of the slo-mo vocals from "1999" and the sustained opening note and the "Dearly Beloved" psalm from "Let's Go Crazy" before first track "Million $ Show" kicks in. HitNRun Phase One then finds Prince exploring many genres over its 11 tracks. There are woozy ballads ("This Could B Us"), EDM-like experiments ("X's Face"), full-on dance songs ("Fallinlove2nite," "Ain't About to Stop") and atmospheric slow jams ("June"). The album also features appearances by Rita Ora, Lianne La Havas, sister duo Curly Fryz and Judith Hill, whose work with Prince on her own solo LP resulted in a lawsuit.
On top of HitNRun Phase One, Prince also promises to share a new Purple Pick of the Week with subscribers, with Prince personally curating new tracks, rarities and other exclusives from his vast musical vaults to unveil each week on Tidal. The first Purple Pick of the Week is "Stare," a funky track that previously popped up on Spotify without warning. Tidal will also be the exclusive home of Prince's immense catalog.
To celebrate the release of HitNRun Phase One, Prince's Paisley Park Studios in Chanhassen, Minnesota have hosted three consecutive nights of dance parties featuring live music and DJs. According to the Star Tribune, Prince did not appear at the first night of festivities on Friday, while the rocker strapped on a guitar and performed for just 90 seconds during Liz Warfield's set on Saturday night. On Sunday night, the Paisley Park crowd was treated to the Minnesota debut of HitNRun Phase One as the album dropped on the East Coast an hour earlier. Prince did not show up for the listening party.
"After one meeting, it was obvious that Jay Z and the team he has assembled at Tidal recognize and applaud the effort that real musicians put in2 their craft 2 achieve the very best they can at this pivotal time in the music industry," Prince said in a statement after entering into his Tidal partnership "Secondly, Tidal have honored Us with a non-restrictive arrangement that once again allows Us to continue making art in the fashion We've grown accustomed 2 and We're Extremely grateful 4 their generous support. And lastly, in the tech-savvy, real-time world We all live in 2day, everything is faster. From its conception and that one & only meeting, HitNRun took about 90 days 2 prepare its release. If that's what freedom feels like, HitNRun is what it sounds like."
HitNRun Phase One Track List
1."Million $ Show"
2. "Shut This Down"
3. "Ain't About to Stop"
4. "Like a Mack"
5. "This Could B Us"
7. "X's Face"
9. "Mr. Nelson"
10. "1000 X's & O's"