POP CULTURE 101

Class In Session: 11 Lessons We’ve Learned From Prince

PRINCE

Growing up, everyone has a story on music or films or series that they connected with early on and staked their way forever into their hearts for one reason or another. For me, those hands down Top 3 are The Lost Boys, Nightmare on Elm Street, and Purple Rain. Being raised by two parents heavy in working the club scene I was about five years old when I really remember being introduced to the world that was style, sexuality, tragedy, and glamour aka Prince Rogers Nelson–and I couldn’t get enough. From the moment that silhouette faded into the screen behind those fabulous purple letters PURPLE RAIN sprawled across calling attention to all that is dearly beloved, I was hooked.

Religiously watching the story of the creative tortured underdog, I eventually wanted to know more about this magical man who captivated my heart at such an early age, so I quizzed my parents on everything they knew about Prince. Was this story true? Where is Minnesota and when are we going? What’s eyeliner and where can I buy some? When am I getting a guitar? If my birthday is 10 days after his, does this mean we’re soul mates? What’s a Gemini?

By the time I was around 7, I was bit hard by the writing bug, heavily into my white balloon covered notebook scribbling every thought, fear, or idea that came to mind with the sounds of my dad’s vinyl record player blaring in the background. It became my favorite pastime and something I looked forward to every weekend when visiting him, and upon my arrival he always knew to put on your purple majesty.

Kids always play games, especially growing up opposite the rich side of the tracks you had to make your own fun. Ours was Prince and the Revolution, grabbing mops and brooms and swaying fast to the instrumental sounds of air and terrible adolescent voices. It was a known fact amongst my group of cousins and friends that I, was always Prince. The kid of my mother’s friend that randomly joined one afternoon didn’t get that memo, shoving me to the side shouting that I couldn’t be Prince because I was a girl, therefore needing to step to the left or right to play either Lisa or Wendy. Let’s just say that young man still may have a knot upside his head in shape of a broom stick and I was grounded the remaining summer. And I definitely played Prince that day.

And when it comes to The Artist, most of us have these stories. Where we were, what pulled us in, what inspired us on, what turned us on, what brought us down, and what pulled us through. Most can’t talk music in particular without mentioning his name. This realization was more than apparent upon breaking news yesterday that Prince Rogers Nelson passed away at the age of just 57. Almost needless to say, I needed a moment. I needed more than a few. I’ve definitely been sad in the past of some celebrity deaths, but this one hit me like a ton of purple bricks and I ugly cried as if a close family member died. An immense part of my childhood, my adulthood, my creative drive–felt ripped to pieces. Eventually pulling myself  and my eyeliner together, I of course had to take to social media and the response to Prince’s death was surprisingly soothing–reading all the impactful stories and seeing so much footage and never before seen photographs. The man was beyond legendary. And shouts to MTV for going MTV playing music videos again and taking a break from Teen Shore whatever.

And stories aside, most of us were given lessons. Let’s talk things we’ve learned from Mr. Nelson.

STAY READY AND YOU WON’T HAVE TO GET READYphair

This goes beyond garments, hair and makeup. Stay prepared–save your money. Write even if you plan on no one reading it. Play to an empty room, practice makes perfect. Tell jokes in the mirror with a candlestick to build confidence. Practice makes perfection.

IF YOU’RE GOING TO COME IN HEELS, COME CORRECT

pwalk

Prince was the only man who could and probably only can rock six-inch stilettos with confidence and still snatch somebody’s woman. If you find yourself in some pumps, own it, and own it well.

SASSY, ALWAYS CLASSY

PSIS

OWN YOUR SEXY

PSEY

BE READY TO BUST A MOVE

pdance

SAY NO TO THE BULL

PNO

Drama? Fuckboys? Phony friends? New Avril Lavinge? Ain’t nobody got time for that.

WARDROBE READY

PWALK2

Down to a fresh tee and jeans or a paper bag, you better rock.

SLAY SHADE

pshade

Shade is a true art form.

BE UNAPOLOGETIC

PPLAYED

No one runs your life but you, and there’s no one else like you. Embrace it and stand in your self. Not everyone will get it, but not everyone matters, at least not to your story. Their character belongs to another script.

STAY AWARE

PLOOK

Prince was a known advocate for social awareness and has gone on record that the only television he’s watched as of late has been the news and New Girl. Stay in the know. Read the paper, read a book, watch news clips online, or keep an app. Learn a new language, get out and meet someone totally opposite from yourself. That’s the only way you grow.

NEVER BE AFRAID TO TAKE RISKS

PHOOP

Take creative risks. Travel to a new city you’ve always wanted to visit–no one else can make it?–visit alone. Take career risks. Risks that will mean something. This doesn’t mean going buck wild raw on a Friday night in Playa del Carmen with the first crispy fried bachelor/bachelorette attendee you stumble upon.

PFACEWith all that being said, I end with a thank you. Thank you for the music, the filmography, the quotes, the outfits, the ever-changing hair, the knowledge, the confidence, and of course, the shade. It’s only been a solid 24 hours since the news, but the Prince will live on forever in our hearts and in our ears.

PRINCE ROGERS NELSON           JUNE 7 1958-APRIL 21 2016

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  • Mike Pierce
    April 23, 2016 at 4:36 am

    Good job on this…shared it on my blog. Bout time you start writing again.

    • Vodka & Cupcakes
      April 23, 2016 at 9:49 pm

      Yay!! Thank you sir!!

  • katielookingforward
    April 23, 2016 at 2:27 pm

    Hell yes. I am so grateful to live in St. Paul, I already had tickets to Amy Schumer for thursday night in minneapolis, and so I stopped by first ave to be with everyone in the street. I am so bummed I never made it to paisley park, its a reminder to not only take opportunities as they come, but to also seek out opportunities.

    • Vodka & Cupcakes
      April 23, 2016 at 9:50 pm

      I’m sure being at First Ave was an overwhelming experience, and a memorable one. Same here! Definitely agree!