Saturday, November 10, 2007

Prince to fans: No, fuck YOU!

In the grand tradition of passive-aggressive diss songs, Prince has released "PFUnk" in response to PFU (hear it here). He must really be pissed off because he sounds inspired for the first time in ages. This track illustrates perfectly why it's so difficult to remain a Prince fan. On the one hand, it's funkier than a sack o' grandaddies. Great melody and horn parts, hot guitar work, a nice reminder of what he's capable of doing. But the fact he can knock out a great song in such a short time just underscores what a cheat Planet Earth and 3121 were to the fans who paid for them. He's still completely in the wrong with this ridiculous attack on his fans, the sentiment he's expressing is pretty ugly and he seems to be addressing particular individuals in PFU with homophobic epithets. Could he possibly work harder to prove what an asshole he is? From
Prince Releases Diss Track As Battle With Fans Gets Funky

As you may have read, as part of their copyright crusade, Prince’s legal staff recently demanded that all images of the Purple One be removed from specific fan Web pages. Several sites banded together to form Prince Fans United, there was a brief pause in the action and now … a diss track.
In response, Prince registered the Web domain name “” and posted a seven-minute funk jam called “PFUnk,” alerting fans to its presence on fan site message boards. The song makes no secret of its target: “The only reason you say my name is to get your fifteen seconds of fame, nobody’s even sure what you do,” Prince sings. “I don’t care what people may say, I ain’t gonna let it ruin my day.” Toward the end, Prince tells his fans, in his famed helium-like “Camille” voice, “I love all y’all, don’t you ever mess with me no more,” before taking out all his anger on his guitar. Prince goes as far as calling one person, likely a member of the PFU, “a big fat punk,” and threatens someone called “Weemolicious” by singing “Look here Weemolicious, you and your boyfriend, lemme tell you somethin’ right now, you run up on me again with words or otherwise, I’mma knock both you punks out.” He also sings that he wants digital music to “disappear.”

How did the fans, and the PFU, take to the diss track? With open arms and, surprisingly, dropped jaws. As one poster on the board said, echoing the general response, “It really is head and shoulders above anything on [Planet Earth] or 3121.” Another poster thought they discovered an unearthed B-side from 1987, if not for the topical lyrics. Even the union that gets the brunt of Prince’s bile, the PFU, celebrated the track they helped inspire.

Still, the question remains: Why did Prince’s team target specific Web sites and ask for photos of everything from Prince-inspired tattoos to album-cover images to be removed? Could it be that the sites penalized were bootlegging and file sharing concerts, or diverting traffic from Prince’s official site, Avera denies both claims, saying there’s no file sharing on the boards, and that all the sites route traffic to when possible. The sites in question claim they were singled out because they operate message boards that are sometimes critical of the star. Prince does have a history of unleashing his purple wrath on online boards: He terminated the NPG Music Club’s message board, an official paid service for diehard fans, shortly after the release of 2001’s Musicology. “I signed in one day, everything was fine,” Karen Avera, spokesperson for PFU and Housequake moderator, said. “The next day I went and everything was gone. No warning.” Avera speculates negative reactions to the album on the board — which is similar to some of the fan criticism Prince’s Planet Earth received just a few months ago — was to blame.

The fan sites say they have always cooperated with the Paisley Park lawyers — that is, until now. When fan photos of Prince’s London concert marathon started surfacing on message boards, the lawyers asked that the photos be removed and replaced with shots provided by Prince-hired photographers. The fan sites gladly replaced the pictures. Now, however, the lawyers are demanding those photos be taken down. To date, has not removed the images, and since the site is based in Holland, Avera is unsure of whether the cease-and-desist letters are within their jurisdiction.

When Rolling Stone talked to John Giocobbi, the Managing Director of copyright protection agency Web Sheriff, regarding Prince’s battle with YouTube, Giocobbi said, “Prince has always been a very independently minded artist and kind of bold and pioneering in a way. It goes back largely to the kind of promise he had with Warner Bros., when he lost the right to use his own name and then he became The Artist Formerly Known As. And once he recovered his scars from that battle, he was a lot more savvy as a result of that too. And he’s a lot more kind of protective about his rights.” When asked whether the Web Sheriff is just going after illegal bootlegging of Prince videos, Giocobbi admitted that, “In essence we’re going after everything, which is why it’s kind of pioneering.”

As far as Avera is concerned, those message boards are going nowhere. “Oh, we’re going to keep the message boards,” Avera promises, “because the boards go far beyond just talking about Prince’s music. It’s a connection where a lot of people worldwide have come together to talk and make friendships.” Despite feeling unappreciated, and the threat of a looming lawsuit, Avera swears that she, and the PFU, will remain Prince fans. “With everything that’s going on, we continue to listen to his music. We’ll continue to buy his music, because we appreciate his music.”

So now the pioneer of web releases and podcasting wants digital music to disappear? Good luck. Not only is that genie out of the bottle, Prince uncorked it himself.

Recently on PFU:
PFU has been contacted by Prince's Management and we are currently in discussions. We are hopeful that an amicable resolution can be reached wherein all can co-exist peacefully on the internet. However, if the talks are unsuccessful, the Prince Fans United Group vows to continue its fight. In the meantime, Prince has provided "Prince Fans United" with the song named "PFUnk" for your listening pleasure.

Many members and visitors will doubtless have seen the wildly inaccurate statement today by AEG that "Prince is not suing his fans" and referring to the Prince Fans United sites as "phoney". Not only is this statement confusing, libellous and misleading, we have actually been informed by Prince's representatives that his PR company (Outside PR) sent this in error last night and it has been picked up by a few key media organisations today.

We will shortly be issuing a (heavily) revised joint statement, however in the meantime please be aware that stories circulating on the internet that refers to "phoney" fan websites are wildly inaccurate and should not be taken at face value. Outside PR have assured us that every measure is currently being taken to withdraw these articles.

I thought "Chelsea Rodgers" was the one really good track on Planet Earth, and there's a video up for it now at featuring The Twinz. You know about The Twinz, right? (Not to be confused with the musical duo of the same name.) Prince has been squiring around these entertainers (I would never use the term video ho) who joined his tour as backup dancers and singers ever since former Paisley Park employee and possible stalker Manuela Testolini divorced him last year. Matching girlfriends- how very Hef of him.

Listening to: Prince & The New Power Generation - Insatiable
via FoxyTunes