Purple Politics: 14 Prince Songs You Can March To [Playlist]
Original illustration by JaeilCho for Okayplayer.
So it’s the first President’s Day in the most hated administration in American history. There’s a lot of feelings in the air, and reasonably so. Some are taking to the streets for “Not My President’s Day” rallies, others are sitting back praying for a quiet day in headlines. Whichever route you take, you’ll need something in your ear. And seeing as how we’ve officially reentered the streaming phase of Prince’s afterglow, The Purple Planet’s a damn-good place to start.
Though the high-heeled-stage-stomper was best known for his prolific songwriting and death-defying-showmanship, our reverence for him, more often than not, fails to consider a razor-sharp political edge. Sure the raunch was in full-effect and it may have been hard to hear him rail against Reagan through thigh-highs and a scant bikini bottom, but pay close attention to “Partyup” and you’ll hear a twenty-something raging against the military with defiant funk. He names names in “Ronnie Talk To Russia,” crosshairs religion in “Annie Christian,” dices gender politics in “Controversy” and delivers one of the most empowering ballads of a generation in “Free.”
That’s just pre-Purple Rain, Prince for ya. Down the line he’d offer a bleak diagnosis in “Sign O’ The Times” and transform an ode to The American Promise into an electrifying indictment (“America.”) And so, on this particular President’s Day, we hope you look to His Royal Badassness for the needed spark and perspective.
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