New Unreleased Prince Song Was Inspired By Dr. Cornel West Saying He’s “No Curtis Mayfield”

Elijah C. Watson Elijah Watson serves as Okayplayer's News & Culture Editor. When…
New Unreleased Prince Song Was Inspired By Dr. Cornel West Saying He's "No Curtis Mayfield"
Photo Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

The track, titled “Born 2 Die,” appears on the posthumous Prince album Welcome 2 America, which will be released on July 30.

A song that Prince wrote in response to Dr. Cornel West saying that he was “no Curtis Mayfield” has been officially released. Titled “Born 2 Die,” the track will appear on Welcome 2 America, a posthumous 23-track album that was recorded back in 2010.

In a press release for the track, Prince’s musical director Morris Hayes said “Born 2 Die” came about as a result of the late artist “watching videos of his friend Dr. Cornel West on YouTube.”

“During one speech, Dr. West said, ‘I love my brother Prince, but he’s no Curtis Mayfield.’ So Prince said, ‘Oh really? We will see,'” Hayes recalled.

“Born 2 Die” is the second single from Welcome 2 America. The YouTube upload of the song also includes more details about it in its description:

The song was recorded during a flurry of studio activity in the spring of 2010, when President Obama was just a year into his first term and Prince was reflecting deeply on the issues affecting the Black community and the role he hoped to play. As happened countless times throughout his career, Prince ended up shelving the song and the rest of Welcome 2 America in his legendary vault, and the full album will be released from the vault for the first time on July 30.

The late musician’s estate announced the album’s release earlier this year.

“Recorded in 2010 before the Welcome 2 America Tour, the studio album Welcome 2 America documents Prince’s concerns, hopes, and visions for a shifting society, presciently foreshadowing an era of political division, disinformation, and a renewed fight for racial justice,” the estate had previously shared about the album.

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