In Hip-Hop and Beyond: Prince
Charting the purple and paisley effect from LL Cool J to Lil B.
Though he is in many ways its swaggering essence and a forefather in his own right, Prince and hip-hop (at large) have always had a strange relationship. Children of the same era feuding over the spotlight and bankrolls of pale faces. Eventually, they’d resolve and settle in their own lanes with borrowed cues from each other’s playbooks. And yet, “Erotic City” is just over the “Planet Rock” horizon.
Truth is, hip-hop has long championed The Purple One (probably more than he’d ever reciprocated) even beyond his drum machine mastery and the many technical innovations we can trace back to the Paisley Park studio. I mean, name another musician whose oral history was recorded on a disco rap slapper at the peak of their success, has been flipped by everyone from Rick Rubin to DJ Teddy Ted to D’Angelo to Lil B, and defined not one or two, but arguably three decades of music. I’ll wait.
While you ponder, flip through the latest installment of In Hip-Hop and Beyond, dedicated to the late and sorely missed, Prince. Hit the link below to subscribe to Okayplayer’s Spotify channel for more guided musical meditations on the impact of icons and unheralded legend alike.