I had not really understood “Purple Rain.” Like everybody, I looked at it as this great song, [but] I really didn’t have any idea what he was talking about. Talking to Questlove, Bible scholars and some other people, they started pointing to baptism and water as a baptism symbol. It’s sort of oblique, but if you read really hard, there’s a present story of a person who wants redemption because this relationship is breaking up, but they still love that person. They did everything right in the relationship but the relationship has to end. You want to be sort of blessed in that moment, redeemed in that moment, like, “Hey, you’re not a bad person, it’s ashamed it had to end, but it had to.” Then that third verse is so crucial, where Prince is kind of saying, “follow me, I am a messiah figure.” It’s extremely powerful and important in trying to understand who he is.
Toure, from his interview
with Quinn Peterson of Life + Times about I Would Die 4 You, his book-length examination of Prince. I’ll admit, I’ve had a number of issues with Toure’s writing style and opinions about pop culture and politics, but this looks very intriguing (and only 8.99 for the Kindle version
!). Check out the interview, its some really good stuff (including this fascinating bit about Prince ‘passing’ as a bi-racial man). via Okayplayer