The Prince legend wasn’t just fueled by the seemingly endless flow of music, but by his entire shifting, mesmerizing, purple persona. And up around legends like that grow stories. Like the time he rented an NBA star‘s house in LA and redid it as a sort of purple palace without permission, knocking down walls. (Prince was so good at that, knocking down walls.) Prince wasn’t always a godhead of pop — he struggled too. People sometimes booed or, worse, ignored him at first. But Prince stayed on his own singular course — he persevered and triumphed. Yet Prince always played with a chip on his shoulder, no matter the stratosphere he eventually occupied. You can see it in his famous Rock Hall of Fame “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” performance. You can hear it (and see it) in Purple Rain.
And best of all — outside of the music genre — you can see that giant chip Prince carried (and his grace) in the true story skit from Dave Chappelle. It’s all there in Charlie Murphy’s hilarious but telling tale about the time Charlie and his brother Eddie played hoops against Prince and the Revolution, his band. After Prince (a former varsity athlete, despite his size — more chip there) delivered the Murphys a beat down, he served them pancakes. Really good ones, apparently: “as good as he played guitar,” Charlie Murphy testified. That detail about Prince playing in his full-on, flowing, purple concert wardrobe? Maybe a bit of poetic license there. But with Prince gone, the declaration his Chappelle doppelganger makes so definitively rings as true as “Purple Rain”: Game, Blouses.