Charity Prince Part 1:
The Man Behind The Symbol

Since Prince passed away, there’s been a lot of discussion about his Paisley Park Vault and what should be done about all that unreleased and many times incomplete material. On one hand some people argue that if it’s in the Vault it should remain there, unheard and untouched based on the assumption that if Prince wanted it to be shared with the World, he would have released it. On the other hand, some people think that those recordings should see the light of day and even finished if they were not, perhaps because we all know there will never be another one like him. But that is not what I want to talk about today.

Prince
Prince by nico7martin is licensed under CC BY 2.0

As a musician myself, it is hard not to focus attention in the tremendous impact he’s had –and will have- in the music industry. He was a brilliant composer, singer, performer and multi-instrumentalist. He was a genius and also had the guts to stand up for what he thought was right…he was a feisty one for sure! Prince was not afraid to challenge the status quo both in the artistic and business realms and we have so much to learn from that. But honestly there are plenty of people who are more qualified than me to talk about that, specially the fortunate ones that had the chance to work with him directly and I am not part of that select group. So I won’t talk about that either.

Prince
Prince-Guitar_pink by Nick J Nixon is licensed under Public Domain

The beautiful truth is that the scope of his influence goes far beyond music and art and it ventures into all aspects of human life and reality, including a significant and mostly unknown legacy in charity work…Charity Prince… it has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? The more I read, heard and though about it, the clearer it became that Prince was, is and will always be a true Modern Icon.

When I was faced with the challenge of writing an article about Prince through a philanthropic lens the first thought that crossed my mind was: would he want me to? As a Jehova’s Witness he did not believe in talking about his good deeds and for that reason his exemplary life, as a philanthropist and humanitarian remained mostly unknown…should it remain that way? But since the cat is already out of the bag and people are already talking about it, the question almost seemed irrelevant; I’m too late to be the whistle blower. Yet I was still struggling with a sort of preemptive guilt.

Then it hit me like a ton of bricks! Turns out my high school teachers were right after all: I should have been a lawyer. There was a way around the problem and the only tool needed was a small license in hypocrisy. He was not supposed to talk about it, but he’s not the one doing the talking. So now, we find ourselves at a crossroad. Do we walk down the path toward the remembrance of a brilliant artist/musician? Or, do we dig a littler deeper to try and understand the man behind the music? I for one, am always up for a challenge, so screw it… Let’s see just how deep the generous rabbit hole goes… Read Charity Prince Part 2: Yes We Code.

—J.C.