Prince’s Former Tour Manager Explains Why ‘The Black Album’ Was Never Released
In November 1987, Prince was scheduled to drop The Black Album. This was before Jay Z‘s and even Metallica‘s. And as hinted by its title, it was a direct response to those who complained that he abandoned his black audience after Purple Rain. Yet a week prior to its release, Prince pulled the album altogether. The reason why is still a mystery. One rumor was that Warner Bros. balked at the explicit content. Another was that Prince had an “epiphany” after a bad ecstasy trip.
But if anyone should know why the late Prince pulled The Black Album, it is Alan Leeds, Prince’s former tour manager and Paisley Park Records president. In a new interview with Rolling Stone, he explains what happened.
According to Alan, Prince was also peeved that hip-hop was becoming mainstream. He also confirms that, yes, Prince had an epiphany. But in the context provided, it makes more sense than anything Prince might have thought while under the influence.
“This was a guy from Minneapolis,” Alan says. “He didn’t grow up in the Bronx. He didn’t really get that. It was like, ‘You’re just talking. You’re a poet and maybe you write some interesting poetry but you’re not a musician. You’re a fucking DJ.’ I was looking at The Black Album as his answer to that; that was his way of answering those people who said, ‘You ain’t funky no more.’ It’s like, ‘Motherfuckers, I can do this in my sleep!’ And then he had the so-called epiphany and thought better of it. And his explanation was simply, ‘It’s an angry album. I made it for the wrong reasons.'”
This also helps explain why Prince would instead release Lovesexy, his “gospel album.”
[via Rolling Stone]