When Micheal Jackson, Luther Vandross, and Rick James all became ancestors, I was still an on-the-air host and producer at KPVU FM 91.3 on the campus of Prairie View A & M University. I remember doing Micheal Jackson’s tribute in chronological order, and speaking to an onslaught of grieving fans in between my own tears. I remember going out of my way to make Luther Vandross’s and Rick James’s tributes very special, as if they were listening…strange as that may seem. I recall how tribute shows for transitioned musicians felt on a deeper level of importance than my regularly scheduled broadcasts. This was before I knew anything of ancestors, or any form of African Spirituality for that matter. WHen Prince went to the ancestors, I was in a “dead air” space with radio, or in a space where I wasn’t broadcasting. That made his passing that much harder to accept and digest. Yesterday, June 7th, 2022, all of that changed.
“…how beautiful do the words
have to be….
before they conquer every heart?
How do I know if I’m even in the right key,
if you make me stop before I start?”
-a lyric from the song Dolphin
On my self-created radio station, 222.9 The Mothership, I did a four- hour tribute to Prince Rogers Nelson, muscially known and loved by the world as Prince. It included commentaries of his cosmology according to astrology, and pieces of his wisdom, told in his voice.
At 11AM CST, It took the time highlight Prince’s songs of spiritual prophecy, like “7,” “Sign of the Times,” and “Dolphin.” I also included the live version on Lenny Kravitz’s “American Woman,” where Prince, with all of his musical genius, humbled himself to play background and support his brother, all for the love of music.
When the clock struck 12PM CST, when the Sun reached the highest point in the sky, I shifted the energy of the tribute to sex and uncensorship! I played songs that I knew I would have been fined on with mainstream, commercial radio. Songs like “Sexy MF,” “Gett Off,” and “Erotic City.” It is safe to say I let my horns sprout for a few minutes…
“14 years and tears
I’ve longed to sing my song
A horse couldn’t drag your ass to put me on…
Now I got a number and we’re 3 million strong…”
-a lyric from Letitgo
The third hour of the tribute to Prince featured my personal picks…the Prince songs that spoke the most to my personal soundtrack. They included “Letitgo,” “Thieves in the Temple, ” “When Doves Cry,” and “Facedown.”
“…I’m like a wild cat Martha…
in a celibate rage….
I want you alone…
in my dirty little cage…”
-a lyric from Insatiable
I took a break at 2pm, and at 10PM, I dug in the crates of Prince’s slow…love grooves. The ones responsible for many people running around here today. Tunes like “Adore,” “Insatiable,” “Do Me Baby,” and “The One.” The love hour was shown some love by Blitches Brew Wine, Sweet Cherry Flavor!
In four hours of venerating this ancestor, I am well aware that I hardly knocked a dent in highlighting the vastness of his musical greatness. (this is why a whole lot of his music is in Sango’s veneration rotation on Thursdays!) I am, however, gratuitous that I could honor Prince from the space that I am in today, with a much deeper understanding of ancestor veneration…on my very own station!
Ase in Love,
iiiYansaje T. Muse
Beam up to 222.9 The Mothership Online Radio to enjoy the 24/7 Mystic Groove!