Monday, 11 February 2013

I Would Die 4 U: Why Prince Became An Icon

Author: Touré

Published: March 2013 

What They Say: Celebrated journalist, TV personality, and award-winning author Touré investigates one of the most enigmatic and fascinating figures in contemporary American culture: Prince.

Drawing on new research and enlivened by Toure's unique pop cultural fluency, I Would Die 4 U relies on surprising and in-depth interviews with Prince's band members, musicologists, and Bible scholars to deconstruct the artist's life and work.

Prince’s Baby Boomer status allowed him to play a wise older brother to the wayward kids of Gen X. Defying traditional categories of race, gender, and sexuality, he nonetheless presented a very traditional conception of religion and God and, Touré argues, is the most important religious artist of all time. Prince spoke in the language of 1960s pop and soul to a generation fearing Cold War apocalypse, the end of American world dominance, and the crack and AIDS epidemics. He was both an MTV megastar and a religious evangelist, using images of sex and profanity to invite us into a musical conversation about the healing power of God.

Prince is undoubtedly one of the most enigmatic and fascinating figures in contemporary American culture, and by demystifying the man and his music, I Would Die 4 U shows us how he defined a generation. 

What Elaine Says: I really enjoyed this.  The book takes on the conflicting (and conflicted) reports of Prince’s life and tries to decipher just how (and why) he became, and remains, an icon for Generation X.

This wider, social approach to the biography was very appealing.  There are a plethora of biographies out there about Prince, so to look at why society decided to embrace him as they did, is a clever move and Touré does it very well.

The book also takes on Prince’s seemingly odd juxtaposing of religion and sex in a lot of his music.  Sex and religion on a par in Prince’s world and Touré does a great job examining both.  

All in all an interesting, knowledgable, look at not only Prince, but Generation X as a whole.

Please note this an advance review copy

Elaine's Rating: 7/10 

"Dearly beloved,
we are gathered here today 
to get through this thing
called life"

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