Musings in the Dark: Prince's Legacy: #8


Prince's Legacy: #8

#8: Love Symbol

In the early 90s, Prince went to war with Warner Brothers and changed his name to an unpronounceable symbol, which consisted of conjoined female and male glyphs.  My friends and I called him “Shem” or “TAFKAP,” which stands for “The Artist Formerly Known As Prince.”  Anyway, he dropped an album in 1992 that was titled with said glyph.  It has since come to be known as the Love Symbol Album.  Prince conceived the album as a rock fantasy opera and it is a mix of different musical styles and the songs tell a story.  There is a short movie that goes with the album called 3 Chains o’ Gold. 

Favorite cuts are “My Name is Prince,” “Sexy MF,” “7” and “Damn U.”  “My Name is Prince” is a great track.  Title alone says it all.  It’s a funky-ass jam that will get you up out of your seat and moving to the beat, no lie.  The irony is that the year after the song dropped, Prince changed his name to the aforementioned glyph.   I remember in the video, he had a gold microphone gun and it was awesome.

“Sexy MF” is one of my theme songs.  ‘Nuff said. 

“Damn U” is a sexy, soulful track that my bff and I used to sing when we did laps on the track (she loved Prince as much as I do) and ogled the athletes who were working out on the infield.

“7” is my favorite song off Love Symbol.  It’s a beautiful song that has a heavy Middle Eastern influence and tells a story about Prince befriending a woman named Mayte Garcia, whom he would later marry in 1996.  I watched the video constantly, as it is mesmerizing.  Prince was deep lyrically and my friends and I debated as to what the song/story was about (I never saw 3 Chains o’ Gold).  I remember variations of Prince becoming stuck in a glass box and disappearing.  Mayte was featured prominently as an Egyptian belly dancer and there are children dancing everywhere. 

To date, I’m still not 100% sure what the song is about, but it doesn’t matter because art is all about interpretation.  I love the hell out of “7.”

Love Symbol peaked at #5 on Billboard.

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