It is funk via a rich jazz vein of hep cool cat meanderings, both lyrically and musically. The Prince Estate in conjunction with Sony Legacy Recordings are releasing the album Welcome 2 America on the 30th July to intense expectations of something infused with Prince’s particular brand of genius. I don’t get my hopes up, but listening to the pre-release of the eponymous track, I am not just hopeful, I am overjoyed. People, it is great!
The track sounds fresh and right on topic, as if it was freshly written for 2021. Prince has mined the best of the 70s jazz funk – I am hearing The Headhunters vibe, Miles Davis’s precision and exploration of sound mingled with the fire of Nina Simone’s activism in songs such as Young Gifted and Black.
Prince is on form, coolly lashing out at the mass media, Kardashian sex tapes, tech addiction, monopolies, while drawing our attention to the dark past and present of the USA’s treatment of it’s black citizens. This is an anthem celebrating excellence and black brilliance, it is a manifesto for education over subjugation. It isn’t preaching, it is taking us to school, and it sounds fantastic.
I miss Prince. Broke my heart to see those final haunting photos of him. Fentanyl doesn’t give people a chance, it is lethal. This is a far more fitting last image of the Purple One. I can’t wait to hear what he has to say in the rest of the album, I figure it is going to be incendiary stuff, not just creatively, but socially. It might just be what we need to hear.