For so long, Prince was what defined the concept of sexual ooze against a backdrop that seemed to perpetually exude 80s-chic aestheticism. With his unexpected death on April 21, the two very entities that he personified, sex and the 80s, have seemed to follow him to the grave.
From the outset, Prince’s musical and visual style were unlike anything the world had ever known, perhaps even more singular than Michael Jackson himself. Indeed among the 1958 trifecta of pop icons (Madonna, Michael Jackson, Prince = holy trinity), he was quite possibly the most bizarre, possessing the sort of weirdness that perhaps made him to artcentric for having children (a remarkable feat for any celebrity who seems to pop them out like natural accessories of wealth).
His debut album, For You, in 1978, established his eventual reign not as the King of Pop, but as the King of Sex. The single, “Soft and Wet,” was all anyone needed to hear to know that this was the man to lead you to orgasm. From there, Prince established a career inimitable in terms of output. His release of a total of thirty-nine albums showed not only an insatiable need to create, but an insatiable need to be sexual.
Of course, there is no better epitome of this hyper-sexuality than Purple Rain. Not so much the album, but the role of The Kid, in which he plays, well, basically himself. Between leaving naked women to fend for themselves at the river and near masturbating on stage, everything that Prince represented is incarnate in Purple Rain.
In fact, the film and record are, along with Like A Virgin and the “Thriller” video (all released that same year, 1984), what made the 80s the 80s. While Prince’s premature death has lopped off a giant chunk of sexual prowess and musical talent from the world, we can always look back to what he gave us for inspiration on how to live, how to dance and, most importantly, how to fuck.