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Thread started 09/18/20 12:10pm

funkbabyandthe
babysitters

the political relevance of the SOTT album

i know some people have been pissed off that people like dave chappelle are talking up the SOTT album as a political one, or a socially conscious one, but i think its pretty easy to see why. i have picked out two songs to prove that this was indeed princes political masterpiece, but you can find many more examples across the album (ill try and write about them later).

play in the sunshine - a song about climate warming. prince is urging us to party in the sun while we still can, before the earth heats up to an untenable level, one in which playing outdoors will no longer be possible, or pleasurable.

housequake - inspired by prince's fear of earthquakes after experiencing one, he suggests a party as seismic as an earthquake, but knows that such a gathering would attract unwanted attention from the police ('Come on you all, we got to jam
Before the police come'), demonstrating awareness of how the law is inclined to clamp down on large gatherings of people assembled to enjoy themselves, esp during environmental catastrophes.

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Reply #1 posted 09/18/20 12:33pm

Genesia

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Play In The Sunshine is NOT about climate change. rolleyes

What were you doing in 1986? I was working as a journalist and - trust me - nobody was talking about the global warming wealth redistribution scheme under any name back then. It was all AIDS, all the time. That is, until the stock market tanked in October of 1987.

In 1986, Prince was 28 years old. Play In The Sunshine is a metaphor for taking full advantage the fun and folly of youth before life forces you to grow up. If anything, it's a song about his impending 30th birthday.

It's fun to try to force a 2020 sensibility on something from 1986 (almost as much fun as trying to judge the world of 1960 or 1860 by 2020 standards), but it's no less wrong.

[Edited 9/18/20 12:33pm]

We don’t mourn artists because we knew them. We mourn them because they helped us know ourselves.
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Reply #2 posted 09/18/20 1:02pm

KoolEaze

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Other than the title song and maybe The Cross, I don´t really see what would make SOTT a political album. One could argue that If I Was Your Girlfriend has a somewhat gender-related message but even that would be a little bit of a stretch.

I´d like to know what you find political about this album. Just curious.

" I´d rather be a stank ass hoe because I´m not stupid. Oh my goodness! I got more drugs! I´m always funny dude...I´m hilarious! Are we gonna smoke?"
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Reply #3 posted 09/18/20 1:44pm

luv4u

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moderator

Genesia said:

Play In The Sunshine is NOT about climate change. rolleyes

What were you doing in 1986? I was working as a journalist and - trust me - nobody was talking about the global warming wealth redistribution scheme under any name back then. It was all AIDS, all the time. That is, until the stock market tanked in October of 1987.

In 1986, Prince was 28 years old. Play In The Sunshine is a metaphor for taking full advantage the fun and folly of youth before life forces you to grow up. If anything, it's a song about his impending 30th birthday.

It's fun to try to force a 2020 sensibility on something from 1986 (almost as much fun as trying to judge the world of 1960 or 1860 by 2020 standards), but it's no less wrong.

[Edited 9/18/20 12:33pm]


yeahthat

Edmonton, AB - canada
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Ohh purple joy oh purple bliss oh purple rapture!
REAL MUSIC by REAL MUSICIANS - Prince
"I kind of wish there was a reason for Prince to make the site crash more" ~~ Ben
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Reply #4 posted 09/18/20 2:10pm

slyjackson

What a silly statement, Sign and The Cross are as political as SOTT album gets.

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Reply #5 posted 09/18/20 2:18pm

LoveGalore

Hot Thing was a song about stolen goods and economic stress

I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man was actually about genetics and cloning, Prince was always riding the cutting edge on biotechnology

Strange Relationship was about the Cold War
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Reply #6 posted 09/18/20 2:19pm

lustmealways

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this thread is really going over people's heads, huh

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Reply #7 posted 09/18/20 2:51pm

purplethunder3
121

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lol

"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything." --Plato
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Reply #8 posted 09/18/20 2:54pm

funkbabyandthe
babysitters

LoveGalore said:

Hot Thing was a song about stolen goods and economic stress I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man was actually about genetics and cloning, Prince was always riding the cutting edge on biotechnology Strange Relationship was about the Cold War

i would actually say hot thing is abou younger women experiencing the 'ennui' of modern life, trying to make something of herself while also having to pay for a qualification through a job such as stripping ('when you smile, when you smile, when you smile
Are your smiles, are your smiles for me?' is obv about prince as a punter, not being sure if the girl is being real or not).

could never take the place.. is similiarly empathic towards a struggling woman, indicating prince understands the plight of single mothers struggling to raise children on their own, and not having enough sex-ed on birth control, which is why she has another child on the way. it is a pro-choice song, quite clearly. not sure about genetics and cloning, but its possible.

both foreshadow the third, modern wave of feminism.

if i was your girlfriend meanwhile predicts the current 'sexuality wars', where trans people are fighting for their rights. the song indicates prince is clearly in support of gender fluidity/ambivalence/self-identification. if this was released today, it would be incendiary.


[Edited 9/18/20 14:55pm]

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Reply #9 posted 09/18/20 2:59pm

purplethunder3
121

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You can stop now.

"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything." --Plato
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Reply #10 posted 09/18/20 3:16pm

LoveGalore

funkbabyandthebabysitters said:



LoveGalore said:


Hot Thing was a song about stolen goods and economic stress I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man was actually about genetics and cloning, Prince was always riding the cutting edge on biotechnology Strange Relationship was about the Cold War

i would actually say hot thing is abou younger women experiencing the 'ennui' of modern life, trying to make something of herself while also having to pay for a qualification through a job such as stripping ('when you smile, when you smile, when you smile
Are your smiles, are your smiles for me?' is obv about prince as a punter, not being sure if the girl is being real or not).



could never take the place.. is similiarly empathic towards a struggling woman, indicating prince understands the plight of single mothers struggling to raise children on their own, and not having enough sex-ed on birth control, which is why she has another child on the way. it is a pro-choice song, quite clearly. not sure about genetics and cloning, but its possible.



both foreshadow the third, modern wave of feminism.



if i was your girlfriend meanwhile predicts the current 'sexuality wars', where trans people are fighting for their rights. the song indicates prince is clearly in support of gender fluidity/ambivalence/self-identification. if this was released today, it would be incendiary.



[Edited 9/18/20 14:55pm]



Honestly I'm surprised you didn't see how Starfish & Coffee was Prince's way of demanding more funding for mental health and showing support for rioters (Cynthia was mentally ill, yes, but she also led a vanguard that spray painted epithets in schools across the nation). I'm actually shocked the estate didn't release the 1995 version as a BLM fundraising mechanism.
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Reply #11 posted 09/18/20 3:21pm

slyjackson

LoveGalore said:

Hot Thing was a song about stolen goods and economic stress I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man was actually about genetics and cloning, Prince was always riding the cutting edge on biotechnology Strange Relationship was about the Cold War

I dig this point of view actually. Well we could say Starfish and Coffee it's a social commentary on individualism and self awareness.

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Reply #12 posted 09/18/20 4:02pm

TrivialPursuit

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What other names have you posted under?

"eye don’t really care so much what people say about me because it is a reflection of who they r."
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Reply #13 posted 09/18/20 4:07pm

LoveGalore

TrivialPursuit said:

What other names have you posted under?



lol lol lol
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Reply #14 posted 09/18/20 4:43pm

FragileUnderto
w

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funkbabyandthebabysitters said:

housequake - inspired by prince's fear of earthquakes after experiencing one, he suggests a party as seismic as an earthquake, but knows that such a gathering would attract unwanted attention from the police ('Come on you all, we got to jam
Before the police come'), demonstrating awareness of how the law is inclined to clamp down on large gatherings of people assembled to enjoy themselves, esp during environmental catastrophes.


lol wow!
I wonder if this song helped him cope with earthquakes and police and large crowds of people
Cant believe my purple psychedelic pimp slap pimp2

And I descend from grace, In arms of undertow
I will take my place, In the great below
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Reply #15 posted 09/18/20 5:39pm

databank

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Genesia said:

Play In The Sunshine is NOT about climate change. rolleyes

What were you doing in 1986? I was working as a journalist and - trust me - nobody was talking about the global warming wealth redistribution scheme under any name back then. It was all AIDS, all the time. That is, until the stock market tanked in October of 1987.

In 1986, Prince was 28 years old. Play In The Sunshine is a metaphor for taking full advantage the fun and folly of youth before life forces you to grow up. If anything, it's a song about his impending 30th birthday.

It's fun to try to force a 2020 sensibility on something from 1986 (almost as much fun as trying to judge the world of 1960 or 1860 by 2020 standards), but it's no less wrong.

[Edited 9/18/20 12:33pm]

yeahthat

.

Also, besides the title song and possibly The Cross, how is SOTT more political than any other Prince record? I mean one can adopt the "personal is political" perspective and analyze anything from a political standpoint, but at the end of the day most SOTT songs are intropsective songs talking about personal situations, not political statements.

.

At the end of the day, I think Prince's coup de force was to wear glasses on the album cover. This little trick did wonders when it came to giving Prince an appearance of maturity. Add to this the title track's politically aware lyrics and its conceptual music video; the pseudo jazz vibe illustrated mostly by Now's The Time during the subsequent tour, that gave P an allure of sophistication (Sting had just pulled the same trick to much critical acclaim); the pseudo gay-friendly ambiguity of IIWYG at a time when an AIDS struggling gay community was affirming itself; and the fact that some pseudo indie rock songs (ICNTTPOYM and The Cross) were able to please an emerging, new generation of hip, intellectual rock critics that swore only by U2 and The Smiths, and you had the perfect mix for 1987.

.

Don't get me wrong, I love SOTT, I think it's a masterpiece, but I suspect there is a world between the reasons true Prince fans love it and the reason the avarage rock critic loves it. When it comes to suddenly elevating Prince as an intellectual indie rock critics' favorite, SOTT was, in fact, the scam of the decade lol

A COMPREHENSIVE PRINCE DISCOGRAPHY (work in progress ^^): https://sites.google.com/...iscog/home
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Reply #16 posted 09/19/20 6:43am

RJOrion

lustmealways said:

this thread is really going over people's heads, huh

lol...word

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Reply #17 posted 09/19/20 7:11am

goosepumble

It was about civil protest. I want to protest baby every day, alright. It’s about enacting social change by mobilising the masses. Doin’ it is protesting.
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Reply #18 posted 09/19/20 8:50am

funkbabyandthe
babysitters

It is actually about praying. Nothing political there.
It's just meant to seem like its sex but prince in fact smuggled in a song about praying under this guise of it being about carnal matters. That's why the vocal is a bit dispassionate. As he is disappointed he couldnt make it more explicit about God.
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Reply #19 posted 09/19/20 10:17am

Mintchip

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I like this, it's fun
"It" is obviously about the opiod epidemic, which we're still in the middle of. Prince was always ahead of his time. "IIWYG" is about black trans lives matter. Prince wrote it in response to JK Rowling.

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Reply #20 posted 09/20/20 3:53am

Robbajobba

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Mintchip said:

I like this, it's fun
"It" is obviously about the opiod epidemic, which we're still in the middle of. Prince was always ahead of his time. "IIWYG" is about black trans lives matter. Prince wrote it in response to JK Rowling.

This is ridiculous. How can it be about JK Rowling? She didn't publish Harry Potter until TEN years after SOTT came out?

IIWYG is clearly about Joe Biden's unsuccessful 88 presidential run, announced in eary 87. Prince hopes his sense of style can make Biden a successful candidate ("would you let me dress you") and - alarmingly - is already concerned about Biden's cognitive abilities ("all the things you forgot")

[Edited 9/20/20 3:53am]

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Reply #21 posted 09/20/20 4:05am

Rimshottbob

Careful, OP. If you reach any further, you're gonna fall off your chair.

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Reply #22 posted 09/20/20 4:19am

Number23

Genesia said:

Play In The Sunshine is NOT about climate change. rolleyes



What were you doing in 1986? I was working as a journalist and - trust me - nobody was talking about the global warming wealth redistribution scheme under any name back then. It was all AIDS, all the time. That is, until the stock market tanked in October of 1987.

In 1986, Prince was 28 years old. Play In The Sunshine is a metaphor for taking full advantage the fun and folly of youth before life forces you to grow up. If anything, it's a song about his impending 30th birthday.

It's fun to try to force a 2020 sensibility on something from 1986 (almost as much fun as trying to judge the world of 1960 or 1860 by 2020 standards), but it's no less wrong.

[Edited 9/18/20 12:33pm]


Yup.
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Reply #23 posted 09/20/20 5:10am

funkbabyandthe
babysitters

Robbajobba said:



Mintchip said:


I like this, it's fun
"It" is obviously about the opiod epidemic, which we're still in the middle of. Prince was always ahead of his time. "IIWYG" is about black trans lives matter. Prince wrote it in response to JK Rowling.





This is ridiculous. How can it be about JK Rowling? She didn't publish Harry Potter until TEN years after SOTT came out?


IIWYG is clearly about Joe Biden's unsuccessful 88 presidential run, announced in eary 87. Prince hopes his sense of style can make Biden a successful candidate ("would you let me dress you") and - alarmingly - is already concerned about Biden's cognitive abilities ("all the things you forgot")

[Edited 9/20/20 3:53am]




biggrin
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Reply #24 posted 09/20/20 5:31am

Number23

It really is funny though how Strange Relationship has maintained its relevancy, originally written as a study of the political, historical, social and cultural bonds that bind the UK and the US, commonly referred to as the ‘special relationship’. P cleverly turned that term on its head with this tune, perhaps foreshadowing (perhaps forseeing?) Brexit and the UK’s need for closer ties with the US in trade and defence. ‘I guess you know me well I don’t like winter’ is the subservient UK pleading with the dominant US, referencing ‘The Winter of Discontent’ in 1978 where economic meltdown and a recession provoked the widespread strikes by thousands of British workers employed by the state, where bins weren’t collected for months, bodies remained unburied with frequent electrify blackouts. ‘I seem to get a kick out of doing you cold’ is the response line from the US, expressing the need for closer bonds to fight the Soviet menace in the Cold War and how pleasant victory will be for both nation states.
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Reply #25 posted 09/20/20 12:45pm

slyjackson

It's about the Roman Empire and the rise of nationalism.

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