Woke up this morning never thinking that the first thing I would read is "Prince dead at 57". I scoured the internet hoping that it wasn't true.
I had the distinct pleasure of spending some time with this man. When I was finding myself and entering into the most important era of my life, he saw something in me and said I had "soul". He was the first person to buy my products (without even seeing them), and from there it led to a working relationship. I designed shoes for Prince and his back up dancers and worked on some of his merch. He even gave me my first publishing credit in his book "21 Nights".
I thought Id share some of the stories I have that displayed the strength of his character.
He was one of the most principled people I've ever witnessed (next to Frank Ocean). One night, we were out, and this young guy came up to Prince and asked him if he could take a photo of him for a publication.
Prince responded with "Is this for your magazine brother?"
Guy said "No, its for blah blah" - (I don't remember what it was for.)
Prince said "Let me get this straight, you want me to let you take my picture so you can sell it and go buy yourself a chicken sandwich tonight? My brother, when you start your own magazine, then you can come and take a picture of me."
I'll never forget that and I don't think that guy will either. He always encouraged young people, especially young people of color. He had so much integrity and a wicked sense of humor.
Another night, I was at his house before one of his parties, and he asked me if I wanted to play a game of pool. In my head I was like "OMG I'M ABOUT TO PLAY POOL WITH PRINCE!!!!!". This happened around the time Dave Chappelle had done the Prince skits on the Chappelle show. Of course, Prince demolished me in the game of pool and after made a joke saying "you want me to make you some pancakes?". One of the best moments ever!
A lot of people had a lot of ideas about him because they thought he was bigger than life, and in a lot of ways, he was. However, from what I witnessed, he was also humble, real and had a childish quality that made him fun. I didn't have as many experiences with him as did many other people, but the short amount of time I did get to see him, and the 20 or more times I saw him perform and do jam sessions, are moments that I will forever cherish. I am also eternally thankful for the true friends I made through him. I will always associate him with the beginning of a new era for me personally, one that propelled me forward unapologetically as an artist in my own right.
I am assured that his soul will continue being the incredibly creative force in the next realm that it was in this world . Sending up prayers and great gratitude for the man that is Prince. You will always be loved.