Next month, the Prince Estate will open the Paisley Park vault to unearth Prince’s shelved 2010 album Welcome 2 America. After sharing the title track earlier this year, the Estate has now released another early preview of the LP, “Born 2 Die”.
Recorded in the spring of 2010, “Born 2 Die” found Prince reflecting on the growing push for social justice in the wake of President Obama’s first year in office. Slow drawn horns back the ’70s soul vibes of the track, over which Prince sings of a woman doing what she can to survive. “She sells everything, from A to Z/ Anything just to keep her free from the/ From the hustle of the streets,” he coos. “She left the church a long time ago/ Said they couldn’t teach what they did not know/ That’s when she lost her virginity.”
Featured on the song are bassist Tal Wilkenfeld; drummer Chris Coleman; and vocalists Shelby J., Liv Warfield, and Elisa Fiorillo. Morris Hayes, who provided production for “Born 2 Die”, had this to say:
“We got to ‘Born 2 Die’ and Prince said, ‘I’ll tell you how that came about.’ He had been watching videos of his friend Dr. Cornel West on YouTube, and during one speech Dr. West said, ‘I love my brother Prince, but he’s no Curtis Mayfield.’ So Prince said, ‘Oh really? We will see.'”
Take a listen to Prince’s “Born 2 Die” below.
Ahead of Welcome to America’s arrival, Prince’s 1998 album The Truth will be available as a stand-alone release for the first time ever as part of Record Store Day’s June 12th RSD Drop. Originally accompanying the 1198 triple-LP Crystal Ball, the record will be pressed to vinyl for the first time for this special release. Find more info at RSD’s website.