The Future of Prince is Utopian Science Fiction
Among music nerds and the Prince faithful, much has been made of his fabled vaults. Not just since his passing either. No, fans of Prince have wondered for years just what sort of genius might lurk beyond that imagined, 24-bolt Diebold vault door.
Side Note: Do you think that there really is a vault like that? That would be so cool. Or maybe did Prince just keep all of his recordings in a regular closet somewhere? Like, some of it is in the garage, stacked haphazardly in the corner? Realistically, it's all probably saved on a computer somewhere with lots of backups. Anyway.. For the sake of this article, let's just keep pretending that there is a full-on, real vault.
Since his death, speculation has run rampant.
One headline boasts that Prince recorded enough unreleased material during his lifetime to assure that a new album could be released every year for the next 100 years.
Another horrifyingly announces that Prince's will dictates that all of the contents of his sacred vault are to be destroyed promptly following his funeral.
Perhaps you've already heard everything Prince wanted you to hear.
The purple curtain has fallen.
The show is over.
Or is it?
In collaboration with Reddit user /u/loquacious, I present to you...the future.
This is what Prince has in store for you. The timeline follows:
April 21st, 2021
The first unreleased Prince album drops. It's titled titled Purple Reign and the single is "Party Like It's 2099". It sells 250 million copies in under a month, primarily online. But there are a surprising number of people buying it on vinyl.
One full length concept album is released every year after, with singles and B-sides and side projects. An entire industry of remixes rises around sampling the albums.
April 21st, 2030
Paisley Park has sold billions of records, and has surprisingly become a rather large industrial bio-medical engineering and entertainment firm, rivaling Disney and Altria. As instructed, the pre-appointed staff begin investing heavily into gene splicing, in vivo cloning, holographic and VR technologies along with interactive music production applications, enabling a rabid fan-base of remixers and supported performers.
April 21st, 2031
Criticisms of Paisley Park's clandestine bio-engineering and industrial wing surface, asking questions about why the hell a record label needs so many robots, even if they are supremely funky and good dancers.
Paisley Park quietly buys as much critical media as it can, releasing the blockbuster space electrofunk breaks album Cold Stone Foxy Shit which sparks off the 4th wave of 1980's nostalgia
By now the Generation Z (the children of the Gen Y and millennial generations) are becoming pre-teens and teenagers and this album sparks fads like wearing video-display hammer pants and trying to collect, buy and refurbish antique portable cassette tape players and cassettes.
The uber-rich bratlings of the Snake People demographic drive up the prices of vintage blank cassettes to thousands of dollars, and working copies of 1980's pop cassettes by ah-Ha, Erasure, Whitesnake and The Cure fetch hundreds of thousands of dollars.
A sealed copy of Purple Rain demands over 20 million at Sotheby's.
April 21st, 2032
Generation X quietly begins to retire, finally finding the money to do so in selling off their carefully hoarded cassettes and old audio crap to young, rich hipsters at insane prices.
Paisley Park releases "Let Me Lick Your *&#$* And Then (&@#% Your &^#$%@ (A Rainy Night In Soho in C Minor)". The song is so ridiculously sexy that for the first time in the history crime and violence plummets.
April 21st, 2040
The Church of the Everlasting New Funk is officially founded in Minneapolis.
The event is marked and celebrated by a holographic and robotic concert festival and orgy that lasts over a month attended in total by nearly 25 million visitors. There are so many participants in the orgy that it causes a major birth spike nine months later and much chafing.
These very funky children are later known as The Purple Ones.
Minneapolis now rivals Mecca, Disneyland and Paris combined for annual visitors. It is now painted almost entirely in shades of purple and red. The luridly erotic purple street lights can be seen from space like a hickey.
Paisley Park releases the electro-klezmer-funk album My Pants Are Too Hot And Tight (So I'm Taking Them Off) that features intergalactic and sometimes homoerotic love stories of afro-Arabic, Muslim and Jewish partners finding each other across time and space, causing rampant outbreaks of peace in the Middle East, mainly due to them uniting against the perceived threat and funky offensiveness of Paisley Park.
April 21st, 2050
The United States of Funk is formed out of the now feeble nations of most of the Americas, Europe and much of Africa.
Minnesota is now simply known as Paisley Park, or just, The Park.
There has now been an ongoing concert and festival featuring a mixture of holographic and robotic performers and rotating live guest artists for over five continuous years, attended by an average of well over one million people on any given day.
The continuous, thudding bass and ripping, funky guitar solos from the massive, city-sized stage and sound system have somehow managed to heat the air locally around Minnesota so much so that the atmosphere of Earth is reborn. It has also, oddly enough, killed all the birds in the area, each found with a single tear escaping from one eye.
Paisley Park releases "I Feel So Damn Funky", which was streamed and listened to from start to finish a dozen times by over 3 billion people simultaneously, uncontrollably dancing in the streets for most of the day. The number of people who dropped dead from either old age or exertion or hypothermia numbers over 20 million people in a single day.
April 21st, 2060
The United States of Funk And Love (the name was changed in 2042) now controls 99.9% of the population of the planet, ruled by an elite class of funkiness - The Purple Ones.
Purple dancing bio-robots patrol the streets, thudding funky basslines everywhere they go.
Funkiness is mandatory. Dancing is mandatory. Sexiness is Mandatory.
April 21st, 2070
Prince is reborn! The Park announces that they have cloned Prince from DNA fragments, carefully engineering only the most supreme funkiness possible in a carefully calculated plan to educate and train the newborn Prince as he grows.
The world rejoices and travels to Paisley Park to pay homage. Over 90% of the population makes the journey over the next five years.
April 21st, 2080
Paisley Park releases Prince2, featuring Prince playing with Prince. It's super funky and minds are blown.
April 21st, 2090
Paisley Park releases Is It Sexy In Here Or Is It Just Me? and nearly 100 million people die from sexual frustration and exhaustion.
Decade-long preparations begin for what will become known as The Party.
April 21st, 2099
The year-long festivities and concerts have been well underway since January 1st, 2099, and will continue until New Years Eve.
Dancing and funkiness is mandatory. All must dance. All must submit to the funk. All is purple.
Millions of aggressively funky robots patrol the streets, forcing everyone out of their homes to dance their way towards The Park on foot, where Prince2 waits in an enormous purple sapphire throne idly playing hours-long guitar solos.
Nearly 12 billion people dance-march towards what used to be Minnesota and the Midwestern US. Nearly 2 billion perish in the diaspora and gathering.
On December 31st, 2099 The Funk is released. The Funk isn't an album. The Funk is a highly contagious, self-replicating bio-engineered nanomachine-virus hybrid.
Paisley Park states that The Funk is mandatory, and it is merely designed to make everything even funkier and sexier for everyone, that we're going to have a party - The Party, the party to end all parties and party like it's 2099.
The Funk proceeds to do just that, and everyone begins to change.
Jan 1st, 2100
We are all Prince, and we bow before Prince2 and his Supreme Funkiness. We are all Prince. We are all Purple, and Paisley. I am Prince. You are Prince. We are all Prince, and we are all very sexy and funky.
Dearly beloved, let us all be very sexy and funky together, now.
For, it is written.