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Reply #240 posted 09/11/17 1:05pm

fen

avatar

1725topp said:

fen said:

An interesting post, and I do sympathise with your position. I agree that it’s important for any oppressed group to establish a sense of collective identity and to carefully critique the subtle and often internalised manifestations of power (I’m guessing that you’ve read Franz Fanon). That said, I also believe that the end-game of all liberatory struggles must be individualism.

How we judge Prince in this regard depends upon his motivations. Was it a cynical strategy to gain broad cultural appeal or, as an individual in the purest sense, was his instinct to reject any agender other than his own? If the latter was true, would he not be leading by example? When does healthy cross-pollination between various social groups become damaging cultural appropriation? Would Sly Stone be subject to the same criticism, Miles even? To me, his being a “racially ambiguous erotic nymph child” was interesting because he illustrated the potential fluidity of these externally applied and restrictive social signifiers. Nobody seems particular eager to admit this, but race is a social designation, not a biological one, albeit one with very real material consequences. Personally, while I don’t believe that Prince had a particularly rigorous intellectual philosophy, I think that his instincts where always profoundly individualistic, and that he was simply too impatient to allow himself to be annexed by any of these limiting forces. That said, he was certainly capable of somewhat cold strategic thinking at times, so I don’t have any definitive answers.

With regard to his dating habits, again I agree that we need to be mindful of racist notions of beauty, but I don’t think it’s fair to accuse Prince of having internalised them. As individuals, the qualities that we find beautiful or physically attractive are often quite specific. Speaking personally as a white man, I find all races and complexions attractive, but I’ve always been particularly attracted to darker women. Does that make me guilty of some kind of sordid racial fetishism, exoticism etc? (it doesn’t feel that way, it’s more immediate and carnal than that) No one would question my choice of partner, unless it was motivated by simple racism or some archaic notion of racial loyalty. As I said above, our individual genetic heritage is so varied as to render concrete biological notions of race nonsensical. My point is that as a white man, I’m not subject to the same claims of ownership or responsibility, and I don’t feel the need to represent anything other than myself, my desires and my values. Of course, such demands are a consequence of the oppressive social structures that you mention and are necessary to a degree, but we shouldn’t lose sight of the individual in our desire to liberate the group.

[Edited 9/10/17 20:14pm]

*

Yes, I've read Fanon extensively.

*

If you read Dave Hill's Prince: A Pop Life and C. Liegh McInnis' The Lyrics of Prince and view Prince Unauthorized, all three works interview folks who were close to Prince from the beginning who say that Prince specifically wanted a white drummer partly because of his love and fascination for Sly Stone and partly because of the cross-over effect. For instance, both Owen Husney and Pepe Willie state that Bobby Z is a good drummer, but he wasn't the best drummer in Minneapolis. Thus, Z was chosen as much for being white as for being good. That point/fact does not diminish Z's talent or contribution, but it shows that Prince was--from the beginning--calculating about the nature of race as it related to the type of artist he wanted to be and how he wanted to be perceived. I agree that it was partly because he didn't want to be limited by his skin color, but I also agree that it was partly because African Americans have been indoctrinated to ingratiate themselves to the white power structure. As Husney states in McInnis' The Lyrics of Prince, what separates Prince from Sly is that, while Sly was more devastated when his art didn't change the fundamental landscape of American racism, Prince could be comforted by the size of his bank account if his desire to create a racial utopia failed.

*

I'm not opposed to acknowledging individual or collective/group notions and reasons for why people or groups do what they do, including dating/romance. But, I also understand that each of those collective and individual actions and notions must be evaluated based on the historical landscape and evidence. That being said, my comments are more about what women Prince choose to highlight moreso than what women he choose to date. And, while, with Prince, the women he choose to highlight were, more often than not, the women he choose to date, I'm making a point about how Prince's early desire to cross-over or ingratiate himself to the white power structure impacted the women he choose to highlight. So, as for your specific choice of female or what you find attractive, that would be impossible for me to address here without a full range of things. Yet, with Prince, while we don't have all the factors, again, using the research we do have as well as the history of race in America, the questioning of or discussion of the types of women Prince chose to highlight cannot be ruled as absurd. As such, I don't think that anything that I said loses sight of Prince as an individual but moreso enables one, if one so chooses, to understand/analyze the actions and art of the that individual in a more holistic manner or through a historical (socio-political) lens without diminishing him as an individual.

*

And, yes, race is as much a socio-political construct as it is a biological reality, but it is also clear that Prince understood race as a powerful "aspect" with which Americans are concerned and worked to use/manipulate that "aspect" for a certain desired effect--early in his career positioning himself as a racially ambiguous erotic nymph child and later in his career as an African American concerned with issues specific to African Americans. In either case, I don't think that Prince was neglecting one group for the other but being his natural creative and unbound self. Yet, while I agree that "liberatory struggles must [include] individualism," I also understand that it is meaningless for me to be a free individual when others who look like me and come from where I come are oppressed simply because they look like me and come from where I come. In fact, how is that freedom for me at all?

As I said, I think that your general line of questioning is valid. I champion the approach taken by the likes of Frantz Fanon, Edward Said and so on. Regarding inter-racial relationships, as a white man I’m unlikely to be accused of socio-political motivations or racial insecurities in the same way that a black man dating a white woman might be. I find that problematic. I’m not arguing that these forces do not exist, often unconsciously as you say, or that they do not require careful analysis, I’m simply wary of treating them as universally applicable. You wasn’t suggesting this of course, and I’m not entirely sure how I’d interpret some of Prince’s actions, but it’s an important caveat nonetheless.

My comments regarding individualism were not intended to negate collective movements at all, or the need for empathy and mutual support. None of us are immune from socio-political forces in the shaping of our personalities, but it’s perfectly possible for a person’s individual feelings of difference and eccentricity to far outweigh their sense of group identity (with reference to race, gender or sexuality). Unless we affirm difference at the individual level, there’s a risk that our efforts will achieve no more than equality in conformity. I’ll admit that this may seem rather abstract when there are very real material inequalities at work within society, so I value anyone who is making a thoughtful effort to combat them, as you are.

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Reply #241 posted 09/11/17 3:20pm

Astasheiks

avatar

rogifan said:

Going through some old threads on live shows and it’s just one complaint after another (with his new music sucks thrown in for good measure). The set lists are boring, same songs, too many covers, sampler set is stupid, too many singers on stage blah blah blah, bitch bitch bitch. Good lord I can only imagine what the bitching will be like once valet music starts being released. eek

biggrin

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Reply #242 posted 09/11/17 3:52pm

gandorb

fen said:

1725topp said:

*

Yes, I've read Fanon extensively.

*

If you read Dave Hill's Prince: A Pop Life and C. Liegh McInnis' The Lyrics of Prince and view Prince Unauthorized, all three works interview folks who were close to Prince from the beginning who say that Prince specifically wanted a white drummer partly because of his love and fascination for Sly Stone and partly because of the cross-over effect. For instance, both Owen Husney and Pepe Willie state that Bobby Z is a good drummer, but he wasn't the best drummer in Minneapolis. Thus, Z was chosen as much for being white as for being good. That point/fact does not diminish Z's talent or contribution, but it shows that Prince was--from the beginning--calculating about the nature of race as it related to the type of artist he wanted to be and how he wanted to be perceived. I agree that it was partly because he didn't want to be limited by his skin color, but I also agree that it was partly because African Americans have been indoctrinated to ingratiate themselves to the white power structure. As Husney states in McInnis' The Lyrics of Prince, what separates Prince from Sly is that, while Sly was more devastated when his art didn't change the fundamental landscape of American racism, Prince could be comforted by the size of his bank account if his desire to create a racial utopia failed.

*

I'm not opposed to acknowledging individual or collective/group notions and reasons for why people or groups do what they do, including dating/romance. But, I also understand that each of those collective and individual actions and notions must be evaluated based on the historical landscape and evidence. That being said, my comments are more about what women Prince choose to highlight moreso than what women he choose to date. And, while, with Prince, the women he choose to highlight were, more often than not, the women he choose to date, I'm making a point about how Prince's early desire to cross-over or ingratiate himself to the white power structure impacted the women he choose to highlight. So, as for your specific choice of female or what you find attractive, that would be impossible for me to address here without a full range of things. Yet, with Prince, while we don't have all the factors, again, using the research we do have as well as the history of race in America, the questioning of or discussion of the types of women Prince chose to highlight cannot be ruled as absurd. As such, I don't think that anything that I said loses sight of Prince as an individual but moreso enables one, if one so chooses, to understand/analyze the actions and art of the that individual in a more holistic manner or through a historical (socio-political) lens without diminishing him as an individual.

*

And, yes, race is as much a socio-political construct as it is a biological reality, but it is also clear that Prince understood race as a powerful "aspect" with which Americans are concerned and worked to use/manipulate that "aspect" for a certain desired effect--early in his career positioning himself as a racially ambiguous erotic nymph child and later in his career as an African American concerned with issues specific to African Americans. In either case, I don't think that Prince was neglecting one group for the other but being his natural creative and unbound self. Yet, while I agree that "liberatory struggles must [include] individualism," I also understand that it is meaningless for me to be a free individual when others who look like me and come from where I come are oppressed simply because they look like me and come from where I come. In fact, how is that freedom for me at all?

As I said, I think that your general line of questioning is valid. I champion the approach taken by the likes of Frantz Fanon, Edward Said and so on. Regarding inter-racial relationships, as a white man I’m unlikely to be accused of socio-political motivations or racial insecurities in the same way that a black man dating a white woman might be. I find that problematic. I’m not arguing that these forces do not exist, often unconsciously as you say, or that they do not require careful analysis, I’m simply wary of treating them as universally applicable. You wasn’t suggesting this of course, and I’m not entirely sure how I’d interpret some of Prince’s actions, but it’s an important caveat nonetheless.

My comments regarding individualism were not intended to negate collective movements at all, or the need for empathy and mutual support. None of us are immune from socio-political forces in the shaping of our personalities, but it’s perfectly possible for a person’s individual feelings of difference and eccentricity to far outweigh their sense of group identity (with reference to race, gender or sexuality). Unless we affirm difference at the individual level, there’s a risk that our efforts will achieve no more than equality in conformity. I’ll admit that this may seem rather abstract when there are very real material inequalities at work within society, so I value anyone who is making a thoughtful effort to combat them, as you are.

I appreciate both of your thoughtful points with the absence of personal attacks. Now if only that could become the norm for discourse around here lol .

[Edited 9/11/17 15:55pm]

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Reply #243 posted 09/11/17 4:17pm

Bodhitheblackd
og

YES!!!!! great conversation, much appreciated yes yes yes

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Reply #244 posted 09/11/17 5:00pm

fen

avatar

^ Thank you. x I remembering seeing a panel discussion shortly after he died in which they discussed some of the issues raised by 1725topp. I’m struggling to find a link, but I’m sure many of you will have seen it (it was generally very positive). They highlighted a particular scene in UTCM and discussed how black woman may have found it hurtful, so it has obviously been part of the critical discourse surrounding Prince for a long time. Spike Lee was a member of the panel if I recall.

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Reply #245 posted 09/11/17 5:27pm

Bodhitheblackd
og

fen said:

1725topp said:

*

Yes, I've read Fanon extensively.

*

If you read Dave Hill's Prince: A Pop Life and C. Liegh McInnis' The Lyrics of Prince and view Prince Unauthorized, all three works interview folks who were close to Prince from the beginning who say that Prince specifically wanted a white drummer partly because of his love and fascination for Sly Stone and partly because of the cross-over effect. For instance, both Owen Husney and Pepe Willie state that Bobby Z is a good drummer, but he wasn't the best drummer in Minneapolis. Thus, Z was chosen as much for being white as for being good. That point/fact does not diminish Z's talent or contribution, but it shows that Prince was--from the beginning--calculating about the nature of race as it related to the type of artist he wanted to be and how he wanted to be perceived. I agree that it was partly because he didn't want to be limited by his skin color, but I also agree that it was partly because African Americans have been indoctrinated to ingratiate themselves to the white power structure. As Husney states in McInnis' The Lyrics of Prince, what separates Prince from Sly is that, while Sly was more devastated when his art didn't change the fundamental landscape of American racism, Prince could be comforted by the size of his bank account if his desire to create a racial utopia failed.

*

I'm not opposed to acknowledging individual or collective/group notions and reasons for why people or groups do what they do, including dating/romance. But, I also understand that each of those collective and individual actions and notions must be evaluated based on the historical landscape and evidence. That being said, my comments are more about what women Prince choose to highlight moreso than what women he choose to date. And, while, with Prince, the women he choose to highlight were, more often than not, the women he choose to date, I'm making a point about how Prince's early desire to cross-over or ingratiate himself to the white power structure impacted the women he choose to highlight. So, as for your specific choice of female or what you find attractive, that would be impossible for me to address here without a full range of things. Yet, with Prince, while we don't have all the factors, again, using the research we do have as well as the history of race in America, the questioning of or discussion of the types of women Prince chose to highlight cannot be ruled as absurd. As such, I don't think that anything that I said loses sight of Prince as an individual but moreso enables one, if one so chooses, to understand/analyze the actions and art of the that individual in a more holistic manner or through a historical (socio-political) lens without diminishing him as an individual.

*

And, yes, race is as much a socio-political construct as it is a biological reality, but it is also clear that Prince understood race as a powerful "aspect" with which Americans are concerned and worked to use/manipulate that "aspect" for a certain desired effect--early in his career positioning himself as a racially ambiguous erotic nymph child and later in his career as an African American concerned with issues specific to African Americans. In either case, I don't think that Prince was neglecting one group for the other but being his natural creative and unbound self. Yet, while I agree that "liberatory struggles must [include] individualism," I also understand that it is meaningless for me to be a free individual when others who look like me and come from where I come are oppressed simply because they look like me and come from where I come. In fact, how is that freedom for me at all?

As I said, I think that your general line of questioning is valid. I champion the approach taken by the likes of Frantz Fanon, Edward Said and so on. Regarding inter-racial relationships, as a white man I’m unlikely to be accused of socio-political motivations or racial insecurities in the same way that a black man dating a white woman might be. I find that problematic. I’m not arguing that these forces do not exist, often unconsciously as you say, or that they do not require careful analysis, I’m simply wary of treating them as universally applicable. You wasn’t suggesting this of course, and I’m not entirely sure how I’d interpret some of Prince’s actions, but it’s an important caveat nonetheless.

My comments regarding individualism were not intended to negate collective movements at all, or the need for empathy and mutual support. None of us are immune from socio-political forces in the shaping of our personalities, but it’s perfectly possible for a person’s individual feelings of difference and eccentricity to far outweigh their sense of group identity (with reference to race, gender or sexuality). Unless we affirm difference at the individual level, there’s a risk that our efforts will achieve no more than equality in conformity. I’ll admit that this may seem rather abstract when there are very real material inequalities at work within society, so I value anyone who is making a thoughtful effort to combat them, as you are.

This captures the essence of Prince for me, personally. I am so grateful for your posts.

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Reply #246 posted 09/11/17 5:47pm

Nadia47

fen said:

^ Thank you. x I remembering seeing a panel discussion shortly after he died in which they discussed some of the issues raised by 1725topp. I’m struggling to find a link, but I’m sure many of you will have seen it (it was generally very positive). They highlighted a particular scene in UTCM and discussed how black woman may have found it hurtful, so it has obviously been part of the critical discourse surrounding Prince for a long time. Spike Lee was a member of the panel if I recall.

It was called Remembering Prince: Reflections on the Life and Legacy of a Musical Genius: Spike Lee, Questlove and More Remember Prince/Panel 2016. it's on Billboard's YouTube Channel:

[Edited 9/11/17 17:53pm]

[Edited 9/11/17 18:35pm]

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Reply #247 posted 09/11/17 7:04pm

purplefam99

Nadia47 said:



fen said:


^ Thank you. x I remembering seeing a panel discussion shortly after he died in which they discussed some of the issues raised by 1725topp. I’m struggling to find a link, but I’m sure many of you will have seen it (it was generally very positive). They highlighted a particular scene in UTCM and discussed how black woman may have found it hurtful, so it has obviously been part of the critical discourse surrounding Prince for a long time. Spike Lee was a member of the panel if I recall.




It was called Remembering Prince: Reflections on the Life and Legacy of a Musical Genius: Spike Lee, Questlove and More Remember Prince/Panel 2016. it's on Billboard's YouTube Channel:





[Edited 9/11/17 17:53pm]

[Edited 9/11/17 18:35pm]



It is a great panel discussion.
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Reply #248 posted 09/11/17 7:33pm

udo

avatar

EnDoRpHn said:

Wow, who'd have thought, people talkin' sh!t about Prince in a thread about people talking sh!t about Prince.

.

You want to deny the askissing?

You want to deny what happened? (he was left alone while using pills)

You want to deny that that situation prevented timely help?

Pills and thrills and daffodils will kill... If you don't believe me or don't get it, I don't have time to try to convince you, sorry.
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Reply #249 posted 09/11/17 7:56pm

fen

avatar

Nadia47 said:

fen said:

^ Thank you. x I remembering seeing a panel discussion shortly after he died in which they discussed some of the issues raised by 1725topp. I’m struggling to find a link, but I’m sure many of you will have seen it (it was generally very positive). They highlighted a particular scene in UTCM and discussed how black woman may have found it hurtful, so it has obviously been part of the critical discourse surrounding Prince for a long time. Spike Lee was a member of the panel if I recall.

It was called Remembering Prince: Reflections on the Life and Legacy of a Musical Genius: Spike Lee, Questlove and More Remember Prince/Panel 2016. it's on Billboard's YouTube Channel:

[Edited 9/11/17 17:53pm]

[Edited 9/11/17 18:35pm]

Thank you Nadia, but I was mistaken – Spike Lee wasn’t on the panel. This is part of the discussion:

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Reply #250 posted 09/11/17 8:36pm

1725topp

fen said:

1725topp said:

*

Yes, I've read Fanon extensively.

*

If you read Dave Hill's Prince: A Pop Life and C. Liegh McInnis' The Lyrics of Prince and view Prince Unauthorized, all three works interview folks who were close to Prince from the beginning who say that Prince specifically wanted a white drummer partly because of his love and fascination for Sly Stone and partly because of the cross-over effect. For instance, both Owen Husney and Pepe Willie state that Bobby Z is a good drummer, but he wasn't the best drummer in Minneapolis. Thus, Z was chosen as much for being white as for being good. That point/fact does not diminish Z's talent or contribution, but it shows that Prince was--from the beginning--calculating about the nature of race as it related to the type of artist he wanted to be and how he wanted to be perceived. I agree that it was partly because he didn't want to be limited by his skin color, but I also agree that it was partly because African Americans have been indoctrinated to ingratiate themselves to the white power structure. As Husney states in McInnis' The Lyrics of Prince, what separates Prince from Sly is that, while Sly was more devastated when his art didn't change the fundamental landscape of American racism, Prince could be comforted by the size of his bank account if his desire to create a racial utopia failed.

*

I'm not opposed to acknowledging individual or collective/group notions and reasons for why people or groups do what they do, including dating/romance. But, I also understand that each of those collective and individual actions and notions must be evaluated based on the historical landscape and evidence. That being said, my comments are more about what women Prince choose to highlight moreso than what women he choose to date. And, while, with Prince, the women he choose to highlight were, more often than not, the women he choose to date, I'm making a point about how Prince's early desire to cross-over or ingratiate himself to the white power structure impacted the women he choose to highlight. So, as for your specific choice of female or what you find attractive, that would be impossible for me to address here without a full range of things. Yet, with Prince, while we don't have all the factors, again, using the research we do have as well as the history of race in America, the questioning of or discussion of the types of women Prince chose to highlight cannot be ruled as absurd. As such, I don't think that anything that I said loses sight of Prince as an individual but moreso enables one, if one so chooses, to understand/analyze the actions and art of the that individual in a more holistic manner or through a historical (socio-political) lens without diminishing him as an individual.

*

And, yes, race is as much a socio-political construct as it is a biological reality, but it is also clear that Prince understood race as a powerful "aspect" with which Americans are concerned and worked to use/manipulate that "aspect" for a certain desired effect--early in his career positioning himself as a racially ambiguous erotic nymph child and later in his career as an African American concerned with issues specific to African Americans. In either case, I don't think that Prince was neglecting one group for the other but being his natural creative and unbound self. Yet, while I agree that "liberatory struggles must [include] individualism," I also understand that it is meaningless for me to be a free individual when others who look like me and come from where I come are oppressed simply because they look like me and come from where I come. In fact, how is that freedom for me at all?

As I said, I think that your general line of questioning is valid. I champion the approach taken by the likes of Frantz Fanon, Edward Said and so on. Regarding inter-racial relationships, as a white man I’m unlikely to be accused of socio-political motivations or racial insecurities in the same way that a black man dating a white woman might be. I find that problematic. I’m not arguing that these forces do not exist, often unconsciously as you say, or that they do not require careful analysis, I’m simply wary of treating them as universally applicable. You wasn’t suggesting this of course, and I’m not entirely sure how I’d interpret some of Prince’s actions, but it’s an important caveat nonetheless.

My comments regarding individualism were not intended to negate collective movements at all, or the need for empathy and mutual support. None of us are immune from socio-political forces in the shaping of our personalities, but it’s perfectly possible for a person’s individual feelings of difference and eccentricity to far outweigh their sense of group identity (with reference to race, gender or sexuality). Unless we affirm difference at the individual level, there’s a risk that our efforts will achieve no more than equality in conformity. I’ll admit that this may seem rather abstract when there are very real material inequalities at work within society, so I value anyone who is making a thoughtful effort to combat them, as you are.

*

Maulana Karenga, in his seminal essay "Black Art: Mute Matter Given Force and Function," differentiates between individuality and personality, asserting that individuality is the impulse to separate oneself from the collective whereas personality is the impulse to see one's uniqueness even within the community context of the collective. Ironically, until this very moment, I've never agreed with Karenga's notion of or differing between individuality and personality even though I do love the rest of the essay. That being said, I think that our impasse or line of disagreement has to do with the ability to cite empirically whether or not someone's aesthetic tastes are driven mostly by innate, organic, personal reasons or by external, communal reasons. Simply put, are one's aesthetic tastes born of nature or nurture. I've always answered this question with the notion that our aesthetic tastes are born/developed by a combination of nature and nurture, the individual and the communal. And, of course, based on one's particular upbringing, either the communal or the individual will have more or less or equal weight on one's aesthetic tastes. So, yes, it's "possible for a person's feelings of difference and eccentricity to far outweigh their sense of group identity.' Yet, it is also possible that a person's “feelings of difference and eccentricity” from the group, especially in a manner in which that person views the group as somehow inferior or perverted, to be motivated by racial self-hatred. As such, I don't think it's an issue of whether or not one affirms a difference at an individual level as much as it is an issue of having each African-American individual to know--to be conscious of--the external and often negative factors that shape or impact one's aesthetic tastes as it is teaching African-American individuals to hate themselves on a daily basis. So, it's not so much a question of what one likes but does one know why one likes what one likes? For the white individual there is rarely an external force impacting and teaching white individuals to hate themselves. There is no prolonged history of black supremacy that has controlled white individuals in every aspect of their lives. However, there is a very real and documented white supremacy that has a prolonged history of controlling/negatively impacting every aspect of an African-American individual's life. Thus, every African-American individual must be made aware of this "force" to be sure if those "feelings of difference and eccentricity" are created by nature or nurture or created by one's natural personalized development or by negative external forces, i.e. white supremacy. In fact, not making every African American aware of this external “force” is to risk that each so-call African-American individual is merely a conformity of whiteness or an imitation of what whiteness perceives African-American individuals to be.

*

As far as the "risk that our efforts will achieve no more than equality in conformity," I'm not sure that any African American who has questioned/discussed the types of women that Prince has decided to showcase has done so with the intent of having Prince conform to some notion of "authentic blackness." I would propose just the opposite that their concern is that Prince choosing to showcase one, specific type of woman only serves to minimize and marginalize African Americans into a mythological monolith by asserting/affirming that certain types and shades of African Americans are limited in what roles they can play and what types of beings they can be. Could a dark-skinned African-American female be Annie Christian? Could a dark-skinned African-American female be Anna Stesia? Could a dark-skinned African-American female be the lady cab driver? Could a dark-skinned African-American woman be the female wearing the raspberry beret? Could a dark-skinned African-American woman be Electra from "The Ladder"? Could a dark-skinned African-American female be the love interest of Purple Rain, Under the Cherry Moon, or Graffiti Bridge? As such, by showcasing mostly one type of female, it was Prince, not the people who questioned his choices, who became guilty of "conformity" or "stereotyping" or "marginalizing" or "flattening" what African-American women could be. Of course, I would be incomplete if I didn't add that, over time, as he evolved, he began to highlight and showcase darker skinned women. So, the question is: Is one actually being an individual when one is merely perpetuating the self-debilitating notions of beauty crafted by one's oppressor? Or, is true individuality refusing to accept a notion of beauty or an aesthetic taste that causes one to view oneself or one's race/group as inferior? I can't think of one African-American fan or critic who questioned Prince's choice of women to showcase that wanted him to conform to anything, especially some “authentic notion of blackness”; they just wanted him to think more consciously about the message he was sending by rarely showcasing darker-skinned women, which, again, functions to "conform" darker-skinned women as well as the race to negative imagery or a lesser place/status/role in American society.

*

And, I'm really enjoying this discussion.

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Reply #251 posted 09/11/17 8:50pm

Bodhitheblackd
og

THIS IS A MONUMENTAL, AND MONUMENTALLY IMPORTANT, ORG. THREAD. IT SHOULD BE A BOOK.

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Reply #252 posted 09/11/17 8:59pm

PeteSilas

udo said:

EnDoRpHn said:

Wow, who'd have thought, people talkin' sh!t about Prince in a thread about people talking sh!t about Prince.

.

You want to deny the askissing?

You want to deny what happened? (he was left alone while using pills)

You want to deny that that situation prevented timely help?

i won't deny asskissing, but as far as Prince's death, i still don't think we know much. I happen to think he very likely committed suicide. We don't see a lot of that kind of talk on this fan board but oddly, it seems a lot of non-fans came to that conclusion, maybe because they aren't as close to the subject. The more info that leaks out, the more it looks deliberate too, he had like over a hundred times what he needed to kill him. Eventually it'll all come out, it'll just take some time.

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Reply #253 posted 09/11/17 10:22pm

rdhull

avatar

Wht happened was (canned laughter) is that the denizens from AMP moved hereafter amp and all other newsgroups became defunct and defunked. The...end.

c'mon baby, where's ya guts?
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Reply #254 posted 09/12/17 6:26am

purplefam99

fen said:

Nadia47 said:

It was called Remembering Prince: Reflections on the Life and Legacy of a Musical Genius: Spike Lee, Questlove and More Remember Prince/Panel 2016. it's on Billboard's YouTube Channel:

[Edited 9/11/17 17:53pm]

[Edited 9/11/17 18:35pm]

Thank you Nadia, but I was mistaken – Spike Lee wasn’t on the panel. This is part of the discussion:

fen there is indeed a panel with spike lee and questlove and maybe alan leeds i think it was done

at New York University. I remember it cause Spike said he joked with prince "hey man where are

all the sisters?"

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Reply #255 posted 09/12/17 6:40am

udo

avatar

PeteSilas said:

udo said:

.

You want to deny the askissing?

You want to deny what happened? (he was left alone while using pills)

You want to deny that that situation prevented timely help?

i won't deny asskissing, but as far as Prince's death, i still don't think we know much. I happen to think he very likely committed suicide.

.

Could be.

But then none of the people that knew his 'pills' situation stayed with him.

Or tried to, as far as we know.

.

We don't see a lot of that kind of talk on this fan board but oddly, it seems a lot of non-fans came to that conclusion, maybe because they aren't as close to the subject. The more info that leaks out, the more it looks deliberate too, he had like over a hundred times what he needed to kill him. Eventually it'll all come out, it'll just take some time.

.

It depends on whether he knew what he was taking.

Pills and thrills and daffodils will kill... If you don't believe me or don't get it, I don't have time to try to convince you, sorry.
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Reply #256 posted 09/12/17 6:41am

purplefam99

this thread should be sticky. thank you 1725 and Fen for your diplomatic fencing.

[Edited 9/12/17 6:42am]

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Reply #257 posted 09/12/17 7:02am

OldFriends4Sal
e

avatar

moderator

purplefam99 said:

fen said:

Thank you Nadia, but I was mistaken – Spike Lee wasn’t on the panel. This is part of the discussion:

fen there is indeed a panel with spike lee and questlove and maybe alan leeds i think it was done

at New York University. I remember it cause Spike said he joked with prince "hey man where are

all the sisters?"

I believe that was somewhere in the mid-late 90s when he asked Prince. He later said Prince put him in his place, but wouldn't repeat what Prince said.

#IDEFINEME #ALBUMSSTILLMATTER

A Liar Shall Not Tarry In My Presence
I will make you cyber shit in your pants!
What's the matter with your life
Is poverty bringing U down?
Is the mailman jerking U 'round?
Did he put your million dollar check
In
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Reply #258 posted 09/12/17 7:10am

Bodhitheblackd
og

purplefam99 said:

this thread should be sticky. thank you 1725 and Fen for your diplomatic fencing.

[Edited 9/12/17 6:42am]

YES, and Please Mods can you ask 1725 and Fen to retitle this conversation to somethng like Prince and Race or Prince Transcended Race so more people can see and appreciate and participate in the conversation. It's a little lost on'Going through old threads... Such an important topic and I know many Org. memers would love to join in!

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Reply #259 posted 09/12/17 7:19am

OldFriends4Sal
e

avatar

moderator

Bodhitheblackdog said:

purplefam99 said:

this thread should be sticky. thank you 1725 and Fen for your diplomatic fencing.

[Edited 9/12/17 6:42am]

YES, and Please Mods can you ask 1725 and Fen to retitle this conversation to somethng like Prince and Race or Prince Transcended Race so more people can see and appreciate and participate in the conversation. It's a little lost on'Going through old threads... Such an important topic and I know many Org. memers would love to join in!

It doesn't need to be stickied, it's a pretty active thread that stays on the first page

Rogifan is the OP, these are two very different topics happening.

#IDEFINEME #ALBUMSSTILLMATTER

A Liar Shall Not Tarry In My Presence
I will make you cyber shit in your pants!
What's the matter with your life
Is poverty bringing U down?
Is the mailman jerking U 'round?
Did he put your million dollar check
In
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Reply #260 posted 09/12/17 8:56am

Bodhitheblackd
og

PeteSilas said:

udo said:

.

You want to deny the askissing?

You want to deny what happened? (he was left alone while using pills)

You want to deny that that situation prevented timely help?

i won't deny asskissing, but as far as Prince's death, i still don't think we know much. I happen to think he very likely committed suicide. We don't see a lot of that kind of talk on this fan board but oddly, it seems a lot of non-fans came to that conclusion, maybe because they aren't as close to the subject. The more info that leaks out, the more it looks deliberate too, he had like over a hundred times what he needed to kill him. Eventually it'll all come out, it'll just take some time.

Exactly right, I hear that conclusion among non-fans too. IMO, the fans are blinded by the daisies in their yards and by grief and don't yet have the emotional strength or clear enough overview to connect the dots. They will. And then another wave of mourning will commence, a cleansing wave.

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Reply #261 posted 09/12/17 12:25pm

purplefam99

OldFriends4Sale said:

purplefam99 said:

fen there is indeed a panel with spike lee and questlove and maybe alan leeds i think it was done

at New York University. I remember it cause Spike said he joked with prince "hey man where are

all the sisters?"

I believe that was somewhere in the mid-late 90s when he asked Prince. He later said Prince put him in his place, but wouldn't repeat what Prince said.

Perhaps that is a different panel discussion, the one i saw was indeed after he had passed away.

And i am not sure of the time period when the conversation between spike and prince happen regarding his questioning of "where are the sisters?" here is the link for the interview with

spike and questlove and others.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6dIxuQHb-g

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Reply #262 posted 09/12/17 12:29pm

OldFriends4Sal
e

avatar

moderator

purplefam99 said:

OldFriends4Sale said:

I believe that was somewhere in the mid-late 90s when he asked Prince. He later said Prince put him in his place, but wouldn't repeat what Prince said.

Perhaps that is a different panel discussion, the one i saw was indeed after he had passed away.

And i am not sure of the time period when the conversation between spike and prince happen regarding his questioning of "where are the sisters?" here is the link for the interview with

spike and questlove and others.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6dIxuQHb-g

Yeah the original time that Spike asked that was during the Emancipation period. or right before.


And this is where/when Spike talked about it and Prince putting setting him straight

#IDEFINEME #ALBUMSSTILLMATTER

A Liar Shall Not Tarry In My Presence
I will make you cyber shit in your pants!
What's the matter with your life
Is poverty bringing U down?
Is the mailman jerking U 'round?
Did he put your million dollar check
In
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Reply #263 posted 09/12/17 12:32pm

purplefam99

the name of the panel discussion with Spike Lee and Questlove and others is "Prince Reflection Prince Discussion Panel. it is on youtube.

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Reply #264 posted 09/12/17 12:33pm

purplefam99

OldFriends4Sale said:

purplefam99 said:

Perhaps that is a different panel discussion, the one i saw was indeed after he had passed away.

And i am not sure of the time period when the conversation between spike and prince happen regarding his questioning of "where are the sisters?" here is the link for the interview with

spike and questlove and others.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6dIxuQHb-g

Yeah the original time that Spike asked that was during the Emancipation period. or right before.


And this is where/when Spike talked about it and Prince putting setting him straight

thx!

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Reply #265 posted 09/12/17 12:34pm

purplefam99

OldFriends4Sale said:

purplefam99 said:

Perhaps that is a different panel discussion, the one i saw was indeed after he had passed away.

And i am not sure of the time period when the conversation between spike and prince happen regarding his questioning of "where are the sisters?" here is the link for the interview with

spike and questlove and others.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6dIxuQHb-g

Yeah the original time that Spike asked that was during the Emancipation period. or right before.


And this is where/when Spike talked about it and Prince putting setting him straight

did you mean for it to be a still shot or video?

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Reply #266 posted 09/12/17 1:32pm

1725topp

fen said:

^ Thank you. x I remembering seeing a panel discussion shortly after he died in which they discussed some of the issues raised by 1725topp. I’m struggling to find a link, but I’m sure many of you will have seen it (it was generally very positive). They highlighted a particular scene in UTCM and discussed how black woman may have found it hurtful, so it has obviously been part of the critical discourse surrounding Prince for a long time. Spike Lee was a member of the panel if I recall.

*

The article was an interview between Spike Lee and Prince was titled "The Artist" published originally in 1997 by Interview Magazine. The entire article can be read here: http://www.interviewmagaz...prince/#_. However, the point to which you are referring is this except:

*

LEE: Six or seven years ago I had the audacity to write a letter about your choice of women used in music and music videos. Do you remember that?

*

PRINCE: Yes.

*

LEE: Let's talk about that. I think it was very rude on my part. I'll be forty on March 20th and in a lot of ways back then I was too righteous about that type of stuff. Tell the audience what was in that letter I wrote you.

*
PRINCE: I don't remember exactly. It's really vague to me.

*

LEE: I wrote, "Are there going to be any women of dark complexion in your music videos and your films? You had only white women in your stuff." Do you recall what you wrote back to me? You set me straight there!

*

PRINCE: I probably said one had to look at everything I have done, not just the most successful pieces. But I have to be honest, I know you as a different person now, too. We met under different circumstances back then, and I have grown and so have you.

*

Of course, we'll have to take Lee's word that Prince "set him straight" though there is no denying that Prince rarely used "dark complexioned" women in his work. At that time when Lee raised the issue, Prince was overwhelmingly using white and lighter-skinned women in his work. So much so that when he used a dark-skinned woman in "Black Sweat" it set off a storm on this very website. Additionally, while Prince was able to defend his position of rarely using darker-skinned women to Lee (again, we don’t know what Prince said), he also admits to "having grown" in regards to that area and other issues, which I find interesting since so many white fans on this site had a problem with Prince addressing issues specific to African Americans after spending so many years wondering why African Americans would raise the issue of the complexion of the women in Prince's videos and films. It just seems disingenuous to me that white and mix-raced fans who didn't have a problem with Prince using mostly lighter-skinned women in his videos and films would then have a problem with Prince addressing issues specific to African Americans unless they either didn't view Prince as an African American or felt that Prince should not be wasting his time or talent addressing issues that are of no concern to them, proving that what they really wanted Prince to be/remain is their racially ambiguous erotic nymph child. So the question remains: would these same white and mixed-raced fans have loved Prince as much if he would have used darker-complexioned women in his videos and films and if he would have begun is career addressing, in a more specific manner, issue specific to the African-American community? Again, a hypothetical is almost impossible to answer, but the truth is that many white and mixed raced fans, as evident of this site, have a problem accepting Prince as an African American, especially when he was using his talent and status to bring attention to issues specific to the African-American community.

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Reply #267 posted 09/12/17 1:40pm

fen

avatar

1725topp said:

fen said:

As I said, I think that your general line of questioning is valid. I champion the approach taken by the likes of Frantz Fanon, Edward Said and so on. Regarding inter-racial relationships, as a white man I’m unlikely to be accused of socio-political motivations or racial insecurities in the same way that a black man dating a white woman might be. I find that problematic. I’m not arguing that these forces do not exist, often unconsciously as you say, or that they do not require careful analysis, I’m simply wary of treating them as universally applicable. You wasn’t suggesting this of course, and I’m not entirely sure how I’d interpret some of Prince’s actions, but it’s an important caveat nonetheless.

My comments regarding individualism were not intended to negate collective movements at all, or the need for empathy and mutual support. None of us are immune from socio-political forces in the shaping of our personalities, but it’s perfectly possible for a person’s individual feelings of difference and eccentricity to far outweigh their sense of group identity (with reference to race, gender or sexuality). Unless we affirm difference at the individual level, there’s a risk that our efforts will achieve no more than equality in conformity. I’ll admit that this may seem rather abstract when there are very real material inequalities at work within society, so I value anyone who is making a thoughtful effort to combat them, as you are.

*

Maulana Karenga, in his seminal essay "Black Art: Mute Matter Given Force and Function," differentiates between individuality and personality, asserting that individuality is the impulse to separate oneself from the collective whereas personality is the impulse to see one's uniqueness even within the community context of the collective. Ironically, until this very moment, I've never agreed with Karenga's notion of or differing between individuality and personality even though I do love the rest of the essay. That being said, I think that our impasse or line of disagreement has to do with the ability to cite empirically whether or not someone's aesthetic tastes are driven mostly by innate, organic, personal reasons or by external, communal reasons. Simply put, are one's aesthetic tastes born of nature or nurture. I've always answered this question with the notion that our aesthetic tastes are born/developed by a combination of nature and nurture, the individual and the communal. And, of course, based on one's particular upbringing, either the communal or the individual will have more or less or equal weight on one's aesthetic tastes. So, yes, it's "possible for a person's feelings of difference and eccentricity to far outweigh their sense of group identity.' Yet, it is also possible that a person's “feelings of difference and eccentricity” from the group, especially in a manner in which that person views the group as somehow inferior or perverted, to be motivated by racial self-hatred. As such, I don't think it's an issue of whether or not one affirms a difference at an individual level as much as it is an issue of having each African-American individual to know--to be conscious of--the external and often negative factors that shape or impact one's aesthetic tastes as it is teaching African-American individuals to hate themselves on a daily basis. So, it's not so much a question of what one likes but does one know why one likes what one likes? For the white individual there is rarely an external force impacting and teaching white individuals to hate themselves. There is no prolonged history of black supremacy that has controlled white individuals in every aspect of their lives. However, there is a very real and documented white supremacy that has a prolonged history of controlling/negatively impacting every aspect of an African-American individual's life. Thus, every African-American individual must be made aware of this "force" to be sure if those "feelings of difference and eccentricity" are created by nature or nurture or created by one's natural personalized development or by negative external forces, i.e. white supremacy. In fact, not making every African American aware of this external “force” is to risk that each so-call African-American individual is merely a conformity of whiteness or an imitation of what whiteness perceives African-American individuals to be.

*

As far as the "risk that our efforts will achieve no more than equality in conformity," I'm not sure that any African American who has questioned/discussed the types of women that Prince has decided to showcase has done so with the intent of having Prince conform to some notion of "authentic blackness." I would propose just the opposite that their concern is that Prince choosing to showcase one, specific type of woman only serves to minimize and marginalize African Americans into a mythological monolith by asserting/affirming that certain types and shades of African Americans are limited in what roles they can play and what types of beings they can be. Could a dark-skinned African-American female be Annie Christian? Could a dark-skinned African-American female be Anna Stesia? Could a dark-skinned African-American female be the lady cab driver? Could a dark-skinned African-American woman be the female wearing the raspberry beret? Could a dark-skinned African-American woman be Electra from "The Ladder"? Could a dark-skinned African-American female be the love interest of Purple Rain, Under the Cherry Moon, or Graffiti Bridge? As such, by showcasing mostly one type of female, it was Prince, not the people who questioned his choices, who became guilty of "conformity" or "stereotyping" or "marginalizing" or "flattening" what African-American women could be. Of course, I would be incomplete if I didn't add that, over time, as he evolved, he began to highlight and showcase darker skinned women. So, the question is: Is one actually being an individual when one is merely perpetuating the self-debilitating notions of beauty crafted by one's oppressor? Or, is true individuality refusing to accept a notion of beauty or an aesthetic taste that causes one to view oneself or one's race/group as inferior? I can't think of one African-American fan or critic who questioned Prince's choice of women to showcase that wanted him to conform to anything, especially some “authentic notion of blackness”; they just wanted him to think more consciously about the message he was sending by rarely showcasing darker-skinned women, which, again, functions to "conform" darker-skinned women as well as the race to negative imagery or a lesser place/status/role in American society.

*

And, I'm really enjoying this discussion.

Another thought provoking comment 1725topp, and again, it contains plenty that I can agree with. I’m a little short of time today I'm afraid, but I’ll give it a full response soon. Best wishes. x

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Reply #268 posted 09/12/17 2:00pm

Bodhitheblackd
og

1725topp said:

fen said:

^ Thank you. x I remembering seeing a panel discussion shortly after he died in which they discussed some of the issues raised by 1725topp. I’m struggling to find a link, but I’m sure many of you will have seen it (it was generally very positive). They highlighted a particular scene in UTCM and discussed how black woman may have found it hurtful, so it has obviously been part of the critical discourse surrounding Prince for a long time. Spike Lee was a member of the panel if I recall.

*

The article was an interview between Spike Lee and Prince was titled "The Artist" published originally in 1997 by Interview Magazine. The entire article can be read here: http://www.interviewmagaz...prince/#_. However, the point to which you are referring is this except:

*

LEE: Six or seven years ago I had the audacity to write a letter about your choice of women used in music and music videos. Do you remember that?

*

PRINCE: Yes.

*

LEE: Let's talk about that. I think it was very rude on my part. I'll be forty on March 20th and in a lot of ways back then I was too righteous about that type of stuff. Tell the audience what was in that letter I wrote you.

*
PRINCE: I don't remember exactly. It's really vague to me.

*

LEE: I wrote, "Are there going to be any women of dark complexion in your music videos and your films? You had only white women in your stuff." Do you recall what you wrote back to me? You set me straight there!

*

PRINCE: I probably said one had to look at everything I have done, not just the most successful pieces. But I have to be honest, I know you as a different person now, too. We met under different circumstances back then, and I have grown and so have you.

*

Of course, we'll have to take Lee's word that Prince "set him straight" though there is no denying that Prince rarely used "dark complexioned" women in his work. At that time when Lee raised the issue, Prince was overwhelmingly using white and lighter-skinned women in his work. So much so that when he used a dark-skinned woman in "Black Sweat" it set off a storm on this very website. Additionally, while Prince was able to defend his position of rarely using darker-skinned women to Lee (again, we don’t know what Prince said), he also admits to "having grown" in regards to that area and other issues, which I find interesting since so many white fans on this site had a problem with Prince addressing issues specific to African Americans after spending so many years wondering why African Americans would raise the issue of the complexion of the women in Prince's videos and films. It just seems disingenuous to me that white and mix-raced fans who didn't have a problem with Prince using mostly lighter-skinned women in his videos and films would then have a problem with Prince addressing issues specific to African Americans unless they either didn't view Prince as an African American or felt that Prince should not be wasting his time or talent addressing issues that are of no concern to them, proving that what they really wanted Prince to be/remain is their racially ambiguous erotic nymph child. So the question remains: would these same white and mixed-raced fans have loved Prince as much if he would have used darker-complexioned women in his videos and films and if he would have begun is career addressing, in a more specific manner, issue specific to the African-American community? Again, a hypothetical is almost impossible to answer, but the truth is that many white and mixed raced fans, as evident of this site, have a problem accepting Prince as an African American, especially when he was using his talent and status to bring attention to issues specific to the African-American community.

in your opinion, was Prince also a 'racially AND SEXUALLY ambiguous erotic nymph child?

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Reply #269 posted 09/12/17 2:38pm

purplefam99

bodhitheblackdog, i know your asking 1725 this

"in your opinion, was Prince also a 'racially AND SEXUALLY ambiguous erotic nymph child?"

but i wanted to say i think it was a coat he chose to wear that enabled him to "pass".
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