Prison Radio
Mumia Abu-Jamal

He was not to my liking when he first burst on the scene. He was, quite frankly, too pretty. But Prince was not to be denied.

According to one article, he was a youth when he saw the mighty James Brown – the rest is history.

He was the son of two musicians; Dad played piano, and Mom sang. Music was seeded in his soul.

When he took the stage, he gave voice to brilliance, bitterness, love and loss. He was more than a musician.

He was an Artist.

He painted the world around him in sound, and in order to extend the illusion, he wore heels to create the illusion that he was taller than his 5 feet, 2 inched self.

In truth, he was. He was Prince.

And Prince was an absolute genius: he played numerous instruments; he sang; he wrote music; he wrote for other musicians (!), he led an impressive band (3, in fact!), he played jazz, RnB, soul, and anything else he wanted to do.

He was amazing in many ways and respects.

His songs became the music of millions.

When he challenged the corporates who owned, not just his music – but his name (!) – he identified with an unpronounceable symbol, and came out triumphant.

He was an African-American original, who lived numerous lives in his 57 years of life.

When he died – he died alone, yes.

But, by then, he had entered the lives and consciousness of millions, and will live still, in music that speaks of the deep, hidden yearnings of the heart.

He sang, “My name is Prince!”, and the world heard his song.

He became more than an Ancestor; he became an immortal.