Who is Chelsea Rodgers? I’m not sure. There’s a lot of speculation on the internet about it, but I’m not sure what the actual answer is. If you take Prince at his word (I’m not sure you should in this case) she’s simply a model who inspired this song. Some say a girlfriend. Honestly, who cares? Whoever she is – real or fictional – she inspired a dope song, and that’s all that matters.
“Chelsea Rodgers” is one of the standouts on Prince’s otherwise lackluster 2007 album Planet Earth. It doesn’t matter what your mood is when this track starts. “Chelsea Rodgers” will get you off your ass and on your feet. Upbeat funk with all live instruments. Fantastic bass line courtesy of Joshua Dunham. No drum machines here. Prince brought out the all-star team for this one. Sheila E. is back on drums. The legendary Maceo Parker on sax. There’s an entire horn section prominently involved throughout with some fantastic solos toward the end of the track. Prince takes a backseat on this track vocally to powerhouse Shelby J. The song is at its best when the two of them are singing together. The song is catchy as hell and everyone involved brought their A game to this one.
I want to take a second to address the video. I hadn’t seen it in at least 10 years until I started researching this song a few days ago. It’s a throwback to his mid-90’s Versace experience stuff. The entire video is a fashion show with beautiful models everywhere. I was happy to see plenty of screen time given to Mandy & Naya McClean, a.k.a. The Twinz. They spent a few years in the mid-2000’s as part of Prince’s crew. The few times I’ve seen them I’ve been fascinated. You may have seen them during Prince’s legendary Super Bowl halftime performance or his SNL performance to promote 3121. I don’t believe you ever actually hear their voices on any of Prince’s studio recordings, but they contributed occasionally during tours. Their main role seems to be backup dancers, but what they’re doing feels like more than that. They’re like Prince’s entourage. They’re tiny and gorgeous, but also seem like if someone rushed the stage and started running at Prince they might kick the shit out of them. The Twinz steal the show whenever they’re involved. What’s amazing to me is the work they do while basically wearing stilts. Have you seen them on a slick stage during the Super Bowl XLI halftime? How did they not both fall and break their legs? The “Chelsea Rodgers” video is more of the same. These women are sprinting up and down a catwalk with what look like 6″ heels. Respect to The Twinz for being badasses and the most talented high heeled dancers who ever lived.
I have nothing bad to say about “Chelsea Rodgers.” Fun throughout. I wasn’t sure where to rank it. It’s getting a bit trickier now that I’m more than 25 songs in to this. My gut says 3.5 out of 5, but when I look at the list I think it fits better with the songs that got a 3. So, my final answer on “Chelsea Rodgers” is 3 out of 5 stars and you should definitely check it out.
P.S. My wife’s name is Chelsee and every time I hear Shelby J shout “go ‘head, Chelsea” I want to make it her text alert. This song should be her ringtone.