Nona Gaye with Andre Cymone, Levi Seacer, Tony M, Damon Dickerson and Tommy Barbarella at the tribute for Prince on Saturday in Minneapolis.
Honestly, I’m shocked Nona was there, as all Prince fans know Prince and Nona didn’t really end on a good note. I hope both of them made peace with each other before, you know. Even if they didn’t, it’s clear Nona made peace since she came out to show respect.
“Some time before Christmas 1987, a record appeared on Warner Bros.’ release schedule called “Something” by “Somebody,” This “Somebody” was Prince and the album was to be slipped into the shops with no artist details or promotion, it’s mission to flood the dance floors with the most relentlessly funky dance music Prince had ever recorded. the album had no title to speak of, but with a plain black sleeve and only the catalog number in peach on the spine, it became known as The Black Album.
The Black Album was motivated by a strong need to prove that Prince was still daring and at the forefront of pop music. Despite the fact that Sign O’ The Times contained some of Prince’s “blackest” music in years, accusations that he was turning his back on his black roots and losing his funk abilities had struck a nerve in him. “So the Black Album was put together to show people, “Yeah, I can do that kind of music if I want to,” said Levi Seacer Jr. “It wasn’t something he believed in because it was too easy.” observed Cat. “Prince doesn’t like simplicity. People say, “How come he doesn’t do that kind of music? It’s because it’s too simple. He did it because a lot of people said he was losing it.”
With the emergence of hip hop and rap as a new strong force in black music, Prince was for the first time in his career seen as somewhat old-fashioned and conservative, losing much of his street-level credibility in the process. This offended him even more than being accused of selling out the black elements of his music, so he set out to assemble a cutting edge dance record, with little or no concern for mainstream appeal.
In his liner notes for the Lovesexy tour programme, Prince explained the genesis of the album and why he pulled it by adopting the alter ego of Camille. He implies that Camille conceived of the album as a spiteful rejoinder to critics who claimed he had lost his funky edge: “Camille set out to silence his critics, ‘No longer daring - his enemies laughed.’ ‘No longer glam, his funk is half assed… one leg is shorter than the other one is weak. his strokes are tepid, his colors are meek.”‘ Prince realized that the Black Album was a work of hate and he felt he was wrong in recording it. He believed that “Spooky Electric” convinced him to create this thing of “evil.”“ Uptown Magazine, Issue. 17