Prince Taught Me How to Love (But Couldn’t Help Me with Bullies) | Manhood Mondays

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A tale of young love, hate, deceit, and revenge in early 1990s Los Angeles, set to Prince’s Adore.

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I just realized that 3 Stacks doesn’t rap anymore. I mean that literally & figuratively.

There’s this commercial they’ve been playing during the NBA finals, & I don’t know if it’s for Gatorade, Nike, or whatever, but, every time I hear the song, it catches my attention. Not necessarily in a good way, but nevertheless. I can’t begin to describe what type of music it is, but it’s mad unique. Just yesterday, while I was trying to sneak out & blaze a J during halftime (never happened), I figured out what component my ears kept tuning in to; the commercial’s an Andre 3000 song. The next time I heard it, I listened with a different ear.

Back when all I talked about was Hip Hop, I’d always have debates about rap cats’ expiration dates. My point was that rappers are, in essence, artists. Artists don’t put boundaries & limitations on their art. So, how long before a rapper is all rapped-out? Andre is a prime example of this, because he was so ahead of his time, his entire career, rapping his ass off, that he got to a point where his art was bigger than rap music. I’m not mad at that, especially since parents spend the better halves of our childhood’s trying to convince us that the sky’s the limit. It’s only right that that crock of horse manure apply to all facets of our adult lives, as well. Or, at least it should. Apparently, that’s debatable.

Point is, when does “keeping it real” (whatever the hell that means) become a disservice to one’s self? & I’m not talking about “going pop” or crossing over per se, but more self-imposed labels & boundaries that rappers put on themselves that may or may not be beneficial in achieving their goals. Contrary to popular belief, everyone who raps doesn’t just want to rap forever. In fact, I’m almost positive that Andre’s transformation had little to do hitting raw Baduizm, like I once thought. That seed was there already, similar to Erik Shrody. When Shrody was telling the world to jump around, he probably had his eyes on a much bigger picture.

Without sounding like I’m trying to play the mouth harp on Andre’s pubes, he’s an awesome artist. I’ve heard him compared to Prince, which I’d always took for a questioning of his sexuality. Only within the last couple of years have I begun to understand it. Neither artist can be pigeonholed, no matter the amount of success or monetary compensation. Both are “weird” by common standards, but obviously normal by their own. The similarities are more than I’m willing to invest extra time in, but my point remains. It’s okay to be bigger than rap music.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Andre 3000 never releases another rap record. If that’s the case, his might be the first instance of a rapper running out of things to say, so to speak. One can only talk about the same thing for so long. & if you have the ability to think outside the box, that should make the transition that much easier.

In case you missed the link, here’s the Andre 3000 commercial.