The world can definitely implode in 120 minutes. Today, I got on a flight to head to Atlanta and all was well. When I landed and turned on my phone, the world flipped inside out as I heard that Prince Rogers Nelson had gone on to glory.
I literally said “Nah. That can’t be true.” I said it over and over again with more conviction because surely that is just lies and fallacies and NAWL. It took me a full 45 minutes after hearing about it to be able to type “Prince died.”
That makes no sense and I can’t believe I just typed it.
At times like this, writers are expected to put some words on paper to measure up and verbalize the feeling of loss for those who have no words themselves. I tried when Michael Jackson died in 2009. I gave my best go when Whitney Houston died in 2012.
But I am currently fresh outta adequate words for this. So consider this my weak attempt, in the middle of shell shock.
What do you say about a man who breathed life and gave meaning to the word “icon?” I mean, at one point, his name was an icon.
What do you say about the man who inspires grown ass people to rock purple #alphets, making them look like walking grape juice?
What do you say about the man whose hair game was so immaculate that you knew that yours could never measure up and you shouldn’t even try? This was the man who left his scarf on when it rained at the Super Bowl, and he slayed the halftime performance while protecting his beloved coif.
What do you say about the man who erased the borders of gender and gave no fucks about conforming making it okay for others to do the same? Do you realize how Prince’s presence and HIMness was a sort of revolution? You did. Of course you did.
What do you say about a man who you just KNEW dreamed in musical notes and smelled melody? Because to be that musically gifted, playing countless instruments and churning out decades worth of unfuckwitable shit, you just had to.
What do you say about the man whose music transcended color, genre, gender, time and space?
What do you say about the man who fought unapologetically to exist on his own terms, boldly, bravely and brashly?
What do you say about the 5’2, larger than life, Beautiful One that could totally capture the magnitude of his legacy?
Nothing. Nothing adequate. I should be ashamed for even trying.
Prince. The Purple One. The Patron Saint of Side-Eye. Mr. Steal Your Girl. The Pocket Paramour. Music Mystic.
THAT dude is gone? That dude is gone. That is some bullshit. I know his music lives on, and all that good stuff but WOW. It is hard to compute.
I don’t know what happened. But that cliché of “the good die young” rings loudly. He was 57. SO MANY CLICHÉS abound here. You somehow trick yourself into thinking some people will always be around. He was certainly one of them and I expected a 90 year old Prince, afro fully gray and still luxurious, still throwing shade with the best of them. STILL producing music that saves people’s lives and shows that musicality is really about. I really did expect that.
He embodied words that we throw around loosely. Epic. Genius. Iconic. EVERYTHING. Even if you didn’t like Prince’s music, you couldn’t deny that.
What Proudly Black Ass, Bad Ass, Revolutionary Ass, Creative Ass, Genius Ass, Gender-Bending Ass, Musically Gifted Ass, Unapologetically Insistent on Doing All This Shit on His Own Terms Ass Person do we have?????
We had Prince.
We HAD Prince.
Holy shit. Prince is gone.
Rest and fly and play in power.
P.S. Gahtdambit, 2016. You fucking troll. Please be done. You started off by taking Natalie Cole. Then David Bowie. AND A LOT OF OTHERS. Now Prince. BE DONE.