Let me start by saying that I am opposed to the idea of a Prince hologram; and I am certainly not overly-enthused by the “duet” performed during the Superbowl Halftime Show. And this is not about Justin Timberlake – whom I will neither criticize nor defend here – at all.
This weekend we all witnessed the Purple Fam spiral out of control; and here we are, two full days after the dreaded event, still shaking our fists and “yelling” at each other. This all stemmed from misinformation that, in my opinion, was planted in order to get more buzz about the Halftime Show. We’re still talking about it, so it must have been effective. There was no hologram but since we were – as Trevor Noah put it – “pre-angry,” we had to continue to scream about something so we jumped all over this karaoke-type tribute and continue to argue and criticize when there is nothing to be gained by it.
At one time or another, we have all been guilty of claiming it, but there is no possible way any of us could know with certainty what Prince would/would not want or of what things he would approve/disapprove. Although he remained steadfast in some of his opinions, he was an enlightened being with a progressive mindset who changed his mind often. (One example might be that we never thought he would sign another contract with Warner Brothers, but he did exactly that.) We must be very careful not to project our own opinions and desires onto him. We all feel passionately about him and there is nothing wrong with wanting certain things handled in specific ways, but we have got to own the fact that, in reality, it is what we want and not necessarily what he would have wanted. We must simply use our better judgment and let our conscience guide us with regard to these things. And if you are adamant that you know what his wishes were, I certainly hope you are only streaming his music on Tidal, that you own not one single piece of unauthorized merchandise, you do not view any of his videos – official or otherwise – on YouTube, and you do not share any photos of him on social media. I, for one, have done all of that (except using other streaming platforms) and I don’t feel one iota of guilt because it helps me deal with my grief.
We must also remember that blaming his family for every misstep is both misguided and unfair. Some of the poor decision-making and all of their inability to get along lies squarely at their feet, but Comerica has been charged with administering the estate and the majority of the decisions are theirs to make at this point. I won’t defend Comerica, but I will say that they are doing a hell of a lot better than their predecessor and for all intents and purposes, they are fulfilling their obligation under the law. Comerica has no emotional stake in this situation, thereby making them better suited to make some of the more difficult decisions the estate is facing. Some of the decisions they make will leave a bad taste in our mouths, but we must try to remember that if there is no money flowing, it all goes away. And if you think he is being disrespected now, let the estate go bankrupt and watch some other entity purchase it all and use his work and image in whatever way they choose. At that point, our opinions will matter not at all.
Right now, we at least have the ability to have some impact on the decisions being made. We must learn to use our influence wisely, though. Before deciding whether to take the powers that be to task, we should ponder these two questions:
- Will this compromise the The Maestro’s integrity?
- Will this compromise the integrity of The Maestro’s work?
If the answers are no, we should take a step back and examine the situation further and perhaps search our own hearts and minds to make certain our motives are pure.
We won’t always agree but we must debate like adults. All of this infighting among the Purple Fam takes the focus off Prince and puts it on others who are much less worthy of the attention; and it makes us appear irrational and impossible to deal with. We have to collectively decide that we will choose our “battles” wisely. If we really want to preserve The Maestro’s legacy, we must learn how to articulate our desires in a cogent, intelligent fashion. We must remember that there are rarely absolutes. We must remember to be kind. We must remember to be forgiving. And, above all, we must remember what Love 4 One Another really means.
© 2018 Kim Rodman