An expansive and insightful exploration of one of the most iconic and electrifying artists ever, this book reveals the stunning, multi-generational influence and appeal of Prince and his revered music—from celebrated journalist, author, and host of the popular podcast The Touré Show.
Infused with Touré’s unique pop-culture fluency, I Would Die 4 U is as passionate and radical as its subject matter. Building on his lifelong admiration for Prince’s oeuvre and interviews with those closest to the late artist, including band members, his tour manager, and music and Bible scholars, Touré deconstructs the life and work of the enigmatic icon who has been both a reflective mirror of and inspirational force for America.
By defying traditional categories of race, gender, and sexuality, but also presenting a very conventional conception of religion and God, Prince was a man of profound contradictions. He spoke in the language of 60s pop and soul to a generation fearing Cold War apocalypse and the crack and AIDS epidemic, while simultaneously being both an MTV megastar and a religious evangelist. He creatively blended his songs with images of sex and profanity to invite us into a musical conversation about the healing power of God and religion. By demystifying Prince as a man, an artist, and a cultural force, I Would Die 4 U shows us how he impacted and defined a generation.
Through interviews with Prince's current and former band members, managers, notable musicians, and musicologists, Toure (Who's Afraid of Post-Blackness?) presents an eclectic portrait of the musician and composer. A pop star uniquely suited to speak to the alienation and sexuality of generation X, Prince is also deeply religious, and, in his personal and professional life, emotionally distant. He was precocious and ambitious from a very early age, a latch-key kid whose extreme devotion to music served as an escape from a dysfunctional upbringing. This later translated to intense and complicated relationships with his backing bands over the years, as well as difficulty forming intimate relationships. Highly conscious of his public persona as a "hypersexual trickster" in touch with his femininity, Prince employed "a plethora of identity idioms to break free of the conventions and strictures of Black male identity." However, Toure makes the case that his music has always been a "collision of the spiritual and profane," as rife with sexuality as with profound, sincerely held religious images. In this sense, even his most iconic, memorable hits such as "Purple Rain" and "When Doves Cry" come from "the most badass preacher that pop music has ever seen."
Customer ReviewsSee All
A must for Prince/Pop culture lovers
A intriguing look into the man who many love but very few actually know. Once you start you won't want to stop reading. Another great book by Touré.
Not so great
Was reading the sample and when it got time to pay, a price of $3.99 came up and I accepted. Next day was charged $15.00.
The book was fairly boring as far as prince goes, with to much input from the author and not enough information about Prince.
PRINCE BY TOURE
Great read, wish someone would write about his life from 2012 until he died.