Nowhere seems that in the city he loved the two and feels more and more true, helping to put Minneapolis on the map.
In many ways it seems that Prince predicted that these days would come.
“If there is no justice, then there is no peace,” Prince sang.
Five years later, I cannot help but reflect on what is happening to the man and the artist in his hometown. I imagine how heart-rending he was, how he might have taken to the streets to protest and the great art that came from his pain.
Minneapolis became synonymous with the prince, perhaps, against the odds.
He became involved in his earliest encounters with racism in the late 1960s, among students who came from North Minneapolis at a predominantly White elementary school.
“I went to school with rich kids who didn’t like me living there,” he said in his post-2019 memoir, “The Beautiful Ones.” When the student called him the N-word, the prince threw a punch. “I figured I’d have to,” he wrote.
He gained fame and massive success with his first, self-produced album “For You”, which he released in 1978 at the age of 19.
He would become the architect of “Minneapolis Sound”, which starred The Time, Sheila E. And gifted the world with groups and artists including super producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis.
His Paisley Park complex became not only his home, but a sacred place and now a tourist attraction. His longtime hairstylist and friend Kim Berry spoke to me shortly after his death in 2016 about how much Prince loved his city.
Berry said that people in Prince of Minneapolis are currently walking around wearing a coat and they don’t even know it, Berry said, adding that the singer did it during his Love 4 One Other Foundation work
Prince was more public about his work for racial equality.
“Albums still matter,” he said. “Like books and black lives, albums still matter.”
With his spiritual beliefs, the prince chose to keep his philanthropy quiet so as not to seek glory for himself.
Prince also sent money to Trywon Martin’s family after the teenager’s death and traveled to Baltimore for a concert to call attention to Freddy Gray’s death.
The music video for his single “Baltimore” ends with an excerpt from Prince.
“The system is broken,” the quote reads. “It’s going to take young people to fix it right now. We need new ideas, new lives …”
None of us ever thought that the Prince would not be around to see the youth just trying to do it.