What would the Purple One do if he were alive today?
Given his commitment to tolerance and inclusivity (and “Baltimore,” the song he wrote for Freddie Gray), it’s likely the Minneapolis native would have a lot to say about the current state of affairs, and he probably would have said it with music. There will never be another Prince, but it’s times like these when his loss can be felt the most.
At least we still have his music.
In honor of what would have been his 62nd birthday on June 7th (but let’s face it, it’s Prince Month), Prince collaborators from multiple bands spanning his near-40 year career have formed a Purple Voltron to rerecord “The Cross.” That’s members from The Revolution, New Power Generation, and 3RDEYEGIRL coming together in Prince’s honor.
“The Cross” is a song about redemption and peace that was included on 1987’s Sign O’ The Times. Kirk Johnson (of KAJ Productions), a longtime Prince collaborator and fellow Minneapolis native, spearheaded the project. Prior to recording and producing, Johnson asked Prince fans via social media which song they should remake, and this was the result. The participating musicians recorded their parts individually, and Johnson edited it all together into one seamless performance.
A statement on KAJ Production’s YouTube page reads:
“In the midst of widespread unrest gripping Minneapolis and America, and the backdrop of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the performance is presented as a message of hope, love and peace.”
We can’t say for sure what Prince would have done if he were still here, but this collaboration is 99.9% on brand.
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Prince dedicated his life to speaking out against injustice, advocating for black excellence, and spreading the message of "Love 4 One Another." In this note that he kept in his personal archives, he wrote a message that still resonates today. "Nothing more ugly in the whole wide world than INTOLERANCE (between) Black, white, red, yellow, boy or girl. INTOLERANCE." #Love4OneAnother #Prince