Unlike most fans who can only tell you about recent projects like Third Eye Girl, or tell you about their love for Purple Rain I can be honest and say my last two album purchases were directly from Prince’s Paisley Park imprint. I have Rainbow Children and Planet Earth. I don’t think anyone could tell you a single song from either of those projects. I’m not saying this to act like I’m a better fan, I’m saying this because it’s part of the reason I’m pissed off about the outpour of support. Michael Jackson died because he literally worked himself to death giving everything he had to the art and to the fans. These same fans spend most of their time streaming music, or illegally downloading, and not supporting these artists. I don’t know how Prince died. I do know that he had a hip replacement. The man did splits and danced at the level of a professional athlete for 40+ years. That type of commitment to showmanship comes with a lot of injuries and pain. This pain is often treated by drugs and the stars can become addicted to the feeling of “not” feeling the pain from injuries accumulated. When you add to this that albums used to go platinum through physical sales where an artists could quantify their appreciation, but now they can release music and not have any idea of how well they are being taken by the world, the only way to find the love is to get back out and be with their fans.
Now I’m not saying that giving their fans a show kills them, but it is really hypocritical to see tributes and the like when music “lovers” don’t take the time to realize how much they hurt the industry. Prince stood for something and he talked about it often, but the consumers only hear the music. They don’t understand why he wrote SLAVE on his face or changed his name for a period of time. It’s all surface to what he was saying.
I’m saying this to anyone who reads this, if you want to support Prince find some independent music artists and go buy some shit. Stop streaming every fucking thing and using Amazon Prime or just opening up a Pandora station, stop just doing that shit and put out 10 to 20 dollars for some music every month. Go and buy Rainbow Children or Planet Earth and look at the beautiful cover art which Prince was the master of cover art. His album covers could be classes taught in colleges.
The album is still important and valuable. Prince stood for this until the end. It’s time for the consumers to start standing for something and being more informed consumers. Support art with your dollars.