The Prince Estate has shared a track from the late pop icon's forthcoming album, Welcome 2 America. Born 2 Die is the second single to trail the release of the album, which was recorded in 2010 but locked away in his vault.
Shared back in April, the title track saw Prince offer a withering critique of internet culture delivered in spoken word over a laidback pocket of funk-soul. Born 2 Die occupies a similar socially conscious mindset, register and tempo, albeit a little more nocturnal, and it was written as a playful riposte to the scholar Cornel West.
Morris Hayes, who produced the track, recalls Prince watching videos of West's speeches on YouTube when the inspiration took hold. ”During one speech D. West said, ‘I love my brother Prince, but he’s no Curtis Mayfield.’ So Prince said, ‘Oh really? We will see.’”
Challenge accepted, Born 2 Die was originally recorded as a trio, with Prince joined by bassist Tal Wilkenfeld, and the drummer Chris Coleman in the studio, with vocal harmonies later added by Shelby J, Liv Warfield and Elisa Fiorillo.
Welcome 2 America is available to preorder now and will be released on 30 July 2021. This is shaping up to be a big summer for Prince fans, with The Truth being reissued as a standalone album on 12 June for Record Store Day.
The Truth was originally released as part of the triple-album Crystal ball in 1998, with the vinyl reissue featuring foil-embossed artwork from Steve Parke. See Record Store Day for more details.