I really wanted to open this article with a bunch of puns that used lyrics from Prince songs. Fortunately, I decided against it, partly because the late pop legend probably wouldn’t have approved of it.
Another thing Prince definitely would not approve of is his music being available on popular streaming sites, like Spotify and YouTube. Now before I get into my argument, just know that I was dreaming when I wrote this. Forgive me if it goes astray. I’m sorry. I had to.
As we approach the one-year anniversary of Prince’s death, there have been countless pieces of audio and video posted online, from live performances to television appearances. If you want to listen to Prince, all you have to do is visit YouTube.
His former record label, Warner Bros. Records, recently allowed music released by Prince during his Warner years to be made available on streaming services. But this was certainly not the case while he was still alive.
There was always a rumor that Prince had an entire team of people working for him, whose job was to pull any and all Prince content off of the internet. The only way to hear his music was to buy his albums or listen to the radio. And it didn’t end there.
A friend of mine who went by the YouTube username “Jeffery C Music” was known for doing bad karaoke as a way to raise awareness for child abuse. At one point, he did a Prince song, and his entire channel was shut down. It still didn’t end there.
I’m sure everyone is well aware of the video where Prince brought Kim Kardashian onstage to dance at one of his shows. After she refused to dance, he kicked her off the stage. This video didn’t have a single song in it, yet it was removed each time it was posted.
Prince even kept his official web presence to a minimum, creating a completely new website each time he released a new album, and taking it down once the project was done being promoted.
I would argue that he was the most inaccessible, yet majorly successful artist that the business has seen yet. So, would Prince be OK with this if he were still alive?
I think it’s obvious that his reaction would be exactly the opposite of OK. In my opinion, he was too tough when it came to the internet, but to be fair, he created the music. He wanted to be the one who decided how that music would be made available. There’s nothing wrong with that.
Does it make fans and record labels look bad when they rush to release all of this material after his death, knowing he wouldn’t want it that way? Only time will tell, but right now it doesn’t look good.