I, like many, am a Prince fan. I try to get my mitts on anything that comes out by The Purple One. I was doing this before his death and will continue to do so one year (and beyond) after his death. However, I'm a bit conflicted about the new EP of Prince songs slated to drop this week, Deliverance. On one hand, the title track sounds amazing.
On the other hand, it could be a project produced through ill-gotten means. The lawsuit surrounding the EP states that the "co-producer" of the songs in question, Ian Boxill, doesn't own the rights to distribute the tracks. But, "in the spirit of Prince's independence," he's trying to release them anyway. Now, to be fair, a lot of Prince stuff that we, as fans, have gotten our hands on has been unofficial and bootlegged. That's just how it goes, since the man has Tupac levels of unfinished and unreleased music. However, if these tracks were finished after Prince's death, how much of it is really Prince and how much is Prince-inspired?
That's always the issue with posthumous releases. Many times, since the works are based off of unfinished/unpolished pieces, we get an approximation and/or an estimate of what the artist would've wanted out of the track. This is mainly because, as fans, we don't want to see these works go unnoticed. We see some sort of value in these unreleased posthumous tracks. So, producers get their hands on them and try to make the best of a crappy situation. Sometimes, it works. Other times, we're left with underwhelming so-called "tributes."
We saw that with Tupac. We saw it with Biggie. We saw it with MJ, Cobain (to an extent), and Hendrix. We've seen it with countless dead artists. And now we're potentially about to see it with Prince. Because of this, I'm on the fence about the project. Again, on one side it's new Prince. But is it really "new Prince" or "new Prince with tweaks and edits from a producer trying to finish a project in light of its creator's death?" We'll never know and that's the thing that bugs me about it.
Will I still give Deliverance a look if it's released? Probably. But part of me will still wonder "should I really listen to this?"
(Update 1, 4/20 11:05AM: Deliverance has been scrubbed from all streaming services and the EP has been, thus far, blocked. More updates as news develops)