The 80s was thing breaking through within a new revolution for pop culture. The 80s gave birth to the Phenomenon known as Michael Jackson with Thriller becoming the biggest selling album in the world. Oliver Stone’s Scarface became a cult classic, The Golden era of Hip Hop was starting to flourish, Hulk Hogan created Hulkamania and it started to sweep the globe, Michael Jordan was taking the NBA to the next level, Mike Tyson was dominating the Boxing scene in a matter where nobody has ever seen and Music within itself was changing.
The P Funk and Funk era created from George Clinton, Rick James, Curtis Mayfield, Rodger Trout-man and many others were slowly dying out and a new sound was emerging. Everything from drugs, fashion, language, style, were shifting into a more metro futuristic style and Prince would be one of the new musicians leading the way.
My first introduction to Prince was when I first seen Purple Rain Late Friday night on HBO. The Semi Autobiography about Prince whom is a talented musician was torn between an abusive father, pressure to keep up with antagonist Morris Day and holding his sexy songstress Apollonia to his side told a very compelling story. The plot looked very basic and yes the acting was sometimes far off but it fit with the times perfectly.
What made Purple Rain such a phenomenon was that you get to see Prince’s true genius as a musician at work. He composed, orchestrated, arranged, and directed the whole vision of Purple Rain. Both the film and the soundtrack. You also get to see Prince’s work on the big screen with the songs fitting the direction of the film and where his character was going. None of the music stood out-of-place to where there were no filler.
After years of putting in work, Purple Rain was where Prince knew that he had to really hit a home run. You can tell by looking at the film at times that He was putting his mind, body, and soul within filming this project. You can hence his struggle, his lost of direction and control at times, and yet further understand why you want to root for him to succeed despite his mystique and at times very sexist character. The Smash hit song Purple Rain has Prince baring his heart and soul for the world to see in what was a magical moment of the film. He re-grabbed the audience he lost, He regained his lost love’s affection, and was gonna break out to be a star. A story thats similar to Prince’s personal life as well.
Purple Rain not only elevated Prince’s stock as an artist but it also helped Morris Day and the Time’s along with Apollonia’s music career. Purple Rain would do monster numbers in both office and soundtrack. Selling close to 13 million copies all over the U.S. alone and further taking music to the next level. He even won an Oscar for the score of the film.
Purple Rain would also be an inspiration for future films such as 8 Mile, Get Rich or Die Trying, and other semi autobiographical movies involving musicians and film. Prince’s style of music would continue to elevate and press buttons going into different decades. Inspiring even todays rappers such as Kanye West, Cee Lo Green, Andre 3000, Bizzy Bone, and many others whom have sampled Prince’s work or grew inspiration by him. Even Dave Chapelle’s skit emulating him re-introduced him into a new demographic of fans that probably didn’t think he would reach. Purple Rain should be considered in the top 20 for greatest albums ever made and the film was the perfect platform for people to see his genius on full display.