Prince gave me street cred, even if it was for a few days
Kids made fun of me because they’re kids and they will hone in on what makes you different instantly: your laugh, your hair, your teeth, the music you listen to, if you’re too quiet or if you’re too loud. If you’re too short or too tall.
I can’t remember the first Prince song I heard – maybe Little Red Corvette? – but I felt an immediate affinity towards him, even if I didn’t know what the heck he was singing about. Maybe it was his clothes or his hair or because his was little like me.
When Purple Rain came out, I almost passed out from awe. I couldn’t see the movie, even though I begged my parents. What is this movie about? they asked me. I shrugged my shoulders and looked at the movie poster: singing and motorcycles and Prince? They looked at the poster as well and came to their own conclusions, which was obviously very different than mine.
But I had enough money saved up and bought the tape at Tower Records. I played it over and over again. I made my grandfather listen to it. He pushed his glasses up and said in his thick Filipino accent, he sings well – okay, I like him.
The following day, I went to school and told people that Prince and I were related. I was met with stares and shrugs and eye rolls. But no one called me out because they couldn’t tell for sure. I mean, he is part Filipino, I would tell them and that would quiet them for awhile.
Image courtesy of Playbuzz.com