How can a non-musician discuss the future Of music from anything other than a consumer point of view? These few people make decisions for the bulk of us, without consulting any of us Sales and distributions of our futures, uh! If this world were fair and right, they'd give up the car keys this very night Damn
So on the topic of misleading headlines let’s delve into Jay Z “plotting” a release party for the 6/7/19 online streaming release of The Prince Originals Album. I’m not here to defend Jay Z. If you know anything about me at all, you know, I’m just here for Prince. Back to that headline, the word usage is shady. Some folks are already in their feelings about Jay having anything to do with Prince’s catalogue. I have yet to get a reasonable explanation as to why, just emotions.
Feelings are cool and all but if I personally am to be persuaded, a reasonable, concrete argument is required, you know, facts and evidence and whatnot. What we do know is that Prince pulled his music from other streaming sources and gave it to Tidal in 2015 due to the company’s favorable royalty model and similar view of artist ownership of work product. I’m not purporting that he intended the company to have exclusive streaming rights in perpetuity. Unfortunately, the other thing we know is that no will has been found. Those of us who’ve been around for more than a minute recognize that he liked handshake agreements. Sounds nice, but for me personally (I’m an attorney, I make no apologies for the way I think) nice isn’t helpful at present.
I honestly still struggle with the idea that he didn’t set up for his life’s work to be handled in a particular manner. It’s unbelievable because he worked and fought so hard and talked about it nonstop for literal decades. But I digress.
At any rate, Jay Z didn’t just roll up on the scene out of nowhere trying to take over. He is also an artist. Now, I’m not anywhere near saying he’s in the same category as Prince. Stop it. My point is he’s not just some “suit.” He knows the business and he did get the music directly from Prince at a certain point. I hope his intent is good. Some of the other folks making decisions have no real knowledge of Prince/Music/Fam and were not directly given license to the music by Prince at any point. That’s a much scarier notion, in my opinion.
I think his words say it all best so I’m posting some of his lyrics genius and recommend you take a look at his 2015 redacted Ebony Mag Interview. Take a listen to The Slaughterhouse. He kept is ever so 100, whether folks wanted to listen or not.
Here's 50 million dollars - go'n leave us alone (Do U wanna, do U wanna - golden parachute) In appreciation 4 all the creations we now own - do U wanna' (Do U wanna, do U wanna - golden parachute) U brought us jazz, rhythm & blues, hip-hop Even soul, ohh, golden parachute (Do U wanna - golden parachute) 2 own every piece of intellectual property - this is our goal (Do U wanna, do U wanna) Oh, yes it is (Golden, golden) Golden, golden, golden gold (Do U wanna - golden parachute)
Here's 50 million dollars, 2 go along with this boot! (Do U wanna, do U wanna - golden parachute) Just keep your mouth shut, and never tell of the plan 2 conquer and control the very soul of man (Do U wanna, do U wanna) Do U wanna - golden parachute Oh oh oh oh oh! (Do U wanna, do U wanna - golden parachute) This is a tribute 4 all your accomplishments (Golden parachute)The design of a system that allows 4 tax breaks and benefits (Golden parachute) Sugar, do U wanna' (Do U wanna - golden parachute - do U wanna) 17 years old, misled by so-called parachute Down this cold road (Do U wanna) Into this web of deception (Spiders and snakes and bears) Money made but never spent, never mentioned (Golden parachute) Ah let's make a toast, 2 the host, 2 the man with the most (Do U wanna) They worship U, all up under U, applauding (Golden parachute) One who in truth created nothing, nothing In essence, a fraud Golden parachute
I’m in a place where a party to celebrate Our Beloved and his music are just going to have to be good news. Yep, I’m still on my “y’all please release some recent stuff, namely Piano & a Microphone 2016 Concert Tour,” but I will take what I can get.
Always on Our Minds ~ Forever in Our Hearts
 Prince, 2045 Radical Man, The Slaughterhouse, NPG Records 2004.
 Lewis, Miles M., Prince Makes Kind Move with Tidal, Ebony (August 2015) https://www.ebony.com/entertainment/prince-makes-king-move-with-tidal-interview-999/
 Prince, Golden Parachute, The Slaughterhouse, NPG Records 2004.