I found out about Prince when I was 14. I watched him on American Bandstand with my uncle E-Woo and played the “For You” & “Prince” albums in his room. Although he doesn’t remember buying them. Maybe Earl or one of the twins brought them over. I wouldn’t know. I just know they were there. I became a serious Prince fan when I was 16 (35 years ago). Devouring his lyrics, trying to find hidden spiritual messages to convince my parents that he wasn’t the antichrist. 🙄 When I was 17, my mom passed and I had no siblings to look up to, so I latched onto his spirit and never let go. Unfortunately, I was unable to bear anyone who reminded me that my mom was gone, so I distanced myself. Therefore Prince has been my mentor, my heart, and my soul for what seems like an eternity.
This week, starting Wednesday 10/12/16, I made my Pilgrimage to Minnesota to pay homage, my respects, and say farewell to my mentor, in the city of his birth and eternal life. He provided the soundtrack to many moments in my life since 1981.
Watching Over Me
Everything turned out perfectly, but so many things started off by going wrong during this trip, then suddenly were corrected. From train mishaps; On the way to the airport, we got on the wrong train and ended up in Brooklyn, looking for Queens — to not having tickets this whole time for the Official Tribute and then suddenly having 5 seats together 2 hours before the show, to not missing events like the “Under the Cherry Moon” / “Sign o’ the Times” double feature at St. Anthony Main Theater because we lost track of time at the Fogo de Chão restaurant, and not missing Morris Day & The Time featuring Bilal at First Avenue. The Tribute ran so long that everything was delayed to the point where they only started the First Avenue show the moment we walked through the door. I truly believe he wanted us to be at these events, and be ok with everything that happened.
Showing Love 4 One Another
This trip was a roller coaster of emotions, but I am so blessed and so grateful that he provided me access to the most beautiful people God placed on this planet. He constantly asked us, the Prince Army, aka the True Funk Soldiers, to all show love for one another and to love and take care of each other. I received so much love during my trip, that I feel a tiny bit of the dim has brightened. I want to thank all the people who gave me hugs on this trip. There were so many people I didn’t know, who came to comfort me the few times that I broke down. I hope that Prince knows how strong his influence was to make sure we all saw each other as family. We didn’t have to know each other or even be from the same country, but we could feel each other’s pain and offer support. And I received that in abundance during my pilgrimage. Not just from the people I knew, but from people I had never seen before as well.
No matter how many times I see the movie “Under the Cherry Moon”, I keep thinking that each time will be easier. But Wednesday night, it was not. I told my friends I was going to the concession stand to get popcorn. I made it halfway there and then went straight into the wall on the opposite side. I stood there crying. I felt a hand squeeze my shoulder. I turned to see someone I had never met before. He put his arms around me and squeezed me tight. He said, I know, we’ve both shed so many tears, but we’re going to be ok. Then he went back to the theater.
When I was in Paisley Park, on 10/14/16, with my head bowed, I tried to compose myself when we were asked to stand around Prince’s urn. I had seen a picture of it online, so I figured, because of that, I would be prepared to be there and see it for real. But when the tour guide spoke about it being the receptacle for his remains, I fell apart. 😭 At that moment an arm circled around me and pulled me close to his chest. Everything was blurry because all I had were tears, but I could see the black and white sleeve from “Under the Cherry Moon”, as he cradled my head to his shoulder. At first, my heart shattered, but then I remembered one of the fans came in wearing that outfit. He held me until I calmed down. What a beautiful soul. 💜 That’s Prince’s influence still speaking loud and clear.
“Love is God. He’s inside of all of us. There’s a new power in this room tonight. Do u believe?!!” – Prince 1988 🙏🏽
We are the New Power Generation: and We will continue 2 Live 4 Love. Thank u Prince 4 giving us your all. I will miss you. ✨💜✨