Why in the world did I tell people I was related to Prince?

Prince lives forever

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.

If it wasn’t for Purple Rain, no one would’ve spoken to me in 4th grade. No one.


Image courtesy of Playbuzz.com

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