Prince recorded his final album Welcome 2 America over a decade ago and now, it’s finally about to be released. Prince’s estate first announced the exciting project back in April with the title track, which is a spoken word reflection on the pitfalls of mass media. Now offering another look at the album, Prince’s funk-forward track “Born 2 Die” is officially here.
As noted by Prince’s team, the song was conceived over a decade ago as Prince reflected on issues of racial justice:
“The song was recorded during a flurry of studio activity in the spring of 2010, when President Obama was just a year into his first term and Prince was reflecting deeply on the issues affecting the Black community and the role he hoped to play. As happened countless times throughout his career, Prince ended up shelving the song and the rest of Welcome 2 America in his legendary vault.”
Prince’s collaborator and longtime music director Morris Hayes recalled how the musician wrote “Born 2 Die” after being compared to Curtis Mayfield. “We got to ‘Born 2 Die,’ and Prince said, ‘I’ll tell you how that came about,'” Hayes said. “He had been watching videos of his friend Dr. Cornel West on YouTube, and during one speech Dr. West said, ‘I love my brother Prince, but he’s no Curtis Mayfield.’ So Prince said, “Oh really? We will see.”
Listen to “Born 2 Die” above.
Welcome 2 America is out 7/30 via The Prince Estate/Legacy Recordings. Pre-order it here.