Music Monday: Nope, You Can't Talk Greasy About Prince Around Me

The other night I overheard some serious blasphemy that made me rethink my disdain for corporal punishment. I was driving with my sons and had one of those Prince's Greatest Hits CDs playing on the car stereo. I'm singing along, "'cause tonight we're going to party like it's 1999" and what do I hear bubble up from the backseat? My otherwise of sound mind and body 12-year-old son, Mr. O, remarking to his 10-year-old brother, Mr. T, "Don't you think Prince is kinda overrated?" 
Say what?
Prince is the only musical act other than Depeche Mode that I've sat on a sidewalk for so that I could see a performance. I've loved Prince ever since my cousin Wesley brought Prince's second album home. He lived with my grandma so we had to sneak listen to it cos grandma would get all, "Turn that mess off." She thought all Prince did was cuss and talk about sex. Ahem, Grandma was only partly right. 

My mom wasn't checking for Prince, either. Every other girl in my seventh grade class had a copy of the Purple Rain soundtrack and went to see the film multiple times. Not me. He was banned in our house--and I understand why. What parent really wants their pre-teen/teenage daughter going around singing "Soft and Wet?"

But did that stop me from listening to Prince on the sly? Nope. I can recall jacking somebody's cassette copy of "Lovesexy" and sneak listening to it for hours on end. (Goodness, that was a good album.)

When I was pregnant with Mr. O, I'd regularly hook my belly up with headphones so he could listen to music--you know, brainy baby via musical geniuses. His in utero playlist included Mozart, Vivaldi, Depeche Mode, and Prince. And you know how you have music playing in the delivery room to drown out the sound of the obstetrician yelling "push, beeyotch"--at least, that's what it felt like my ob/gyn was yelling--I am pretty sure Mr. O finally decided to emerge into the world while a Prince song was playing.

So you can understand that I was mentally like this...
...over his "Don't you think Prince is kinda overrated?" comment. And I did not take it well.

Indeed, you know those times growing up when your mom would use the voice that let you know that 1. you said something you shouldn't have, and 2. you better run? Well that was me.

I turned down the volume on the car stereo.

"What did you just say?" Maybe I'd misheard him. I'd give him the chance to correct the crazy.

But Mr. O kept on with the madness.

"Prince is WAY overrated. I mean, 'party like it's 1999?' What is that? It's 2013."

"Did you fall on your head before we got in the car?" I asked. "Are exhaust fumes giving you brain fog? You better take that back."

Mr. O laughed. "Why are you getting mad? I'm entitled to my opinion. He's just not that great."

The boy might as well have thrown a red flag in front of a bull. "I can't believe you'd say that," I hissed.

His brother, Mr. T, did not agree. "Dude, are you serious? Prince is, like, ah-maaaay-zing...also, I think you're really making mom mad. You better take it back."

At least one of my children recognizes the truth AND knows how to kiss ass. Thank goodness for that. The other one? He just kept on trolling.

"He's not amazing," O replied. "He's always screaming and yelping like he just saw a mouse. Ain't nobody got time for that."

That poor, misguided child. Pull the car over and put him out.
"You're going to have to get out of my car if you're going to talk like that about Prince," I said.


"You heard me. You want to diss Prince, you can't ride in my car. Let me find somewhere to let you out."

"You can't put me out! That's child abuse."

"Tell that to the cops." I'm a firm believer that sometimes it's good to make your kids think you're a little off your rocker, so I changed lanes and slowed down like I was looking for a spot to give him the boot.

"Let me see," I said. "Hmm...this doesn't look like a dangerous enough spot to eject you for being the Prince Anti-Christ. We need to find somewhere with some homies on the block that'll give you the beat down you deserve."

"Oh my gawd! Mom! All I said is that Prince is overrated. Are you serious?"

"Yes, I'm serious. You want to talk greasy about Prince in MY car? You gotta go."

"But I'm your son!" Mr. O laughed nervously.

"Not anymore. You're disowned. And just wait till I call your dad and tell him what you've said..."

Mr. T was clearly enjoying this. "You better take it back, dude...hey mom, that corner up there looks pretty good."

"You're right, it does," I said. "O, do you have your phone so you can call the Department of Children and Family Services? Oh wait, the moment you tell them you got put out of the car for dissing Prince, they'll probably call me up and give me a holiday bonus..."

"Okay, okay. I'm sorry," Mr. O said, laughing. "I was just kidding. Prince is awesome."

"And the yelping like he just saw a mouse?"

"Well it is kinda still yelping," Mr. O said. I started to pull the car over to the curb. "OKAY, OKAY!" Mr. O laughed. "That's him being surprised."

That was more like it. And then we had a nice discussion about current musical acts that are influenced by Prince. At the top of our list? Los Angeles-based Yellow Alex.

If you watch the video below for the song "Lisa, Lisa, Lisa," you'll see the clear Prince influence. And the yelp/screaming that has nothing to do with mice.

Guess who else Yellow Alex is influenced by?

Yup, Depeche Mode. For Mr. O's sake, let's hope he never has the nerve to say Depeche Mode is overrated. He might be put out of the car for real.


Popular Posts