Prince Goes Political in New Video for “Fixurlifeup”

Slate's Culture Blog
May 24 2013 1:27 PM

Prince Goes Political in New Video

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Prince performs during the 2013 Billboard Music Awards on Sunday

Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Prince has always been a political artist, but most often he’s expressed his politics through songs about sex. His new single, “Fixurlifeup,” on the other hand, takes a different tack. The video, which flashes the lyrics in front of images of the band and protesters and the American flag, puts politics out front.

Sporting his afro, upside-down-heart-shaped sunglasses, and a vest that looks like the cover for Watch the Throne, Prince leads his new band 3rd Eye Girl through a throwback video filmed, ’80s style, in front of an audience. Prince has always featured people of all colors and genders and sexualities in his bands, and here he emphasizes the subversive nature of his all-female backing group: “Girl with a guitar is 12 times better than another crazy band of boys/ Trying 2 be a star when you’re just another brick in the misogynistic wall of a noise,” he sings, before ceding the floor to bassist Ida Nielsen and guitarist Donna Grantis, who each rip into a solo.

Though he takes aim specifically at the U.S. and Britain, the overall message—squarely in line with his power-to-the-people dance anthems like “Uptown” and “1999”—is utopian: “When the leaders learn how to follow and let all the people lead/ Instead of everybody getting’ what they want, they can get what they need.” One of the song’s final messages could also apply to Prince himself, who seems to be excelling lately in a groove of his own: “Don’t worry about what the crowd does/ Just worry about just being good at what you love.”

Previously
Prince Remakes “Let’s Go Crazy”
Prince Is Back and He Sounds Great, Obviously
The Prince Comeback Continues
Prince Keeps Teasing Us

Forrest Wickman is a Slate staff writer. 

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