50+ songs in to this Daily Prince project and here’s one thing I’m noticing: I’m starting to lump some similar songs together in my head. Today we’re listening to “We Gets Up” from 1996’s triple album Emancipation. “We Gets Up” reminds me very much of “Rock ‘N’ Roll Is Alive! (And It Lives In Minneapolis)” from the previous year’s The Gold Experience and “Chelsea Rodgers” from 2007’s Planet Earth. All three are uptempo, crazy high energy party songs featuring a lot of horns. You can’t go wrong with a song like this in Prince’s hands. Always enjoyable and infectious. One interesting note on this song: Prince was known for playing every instrument on his albums except for the horns. On “We Gets Up” he had Rhonda Smith playing bass shortly after she had joined his band. I can’t imagine Prince couldn’t play the part himself, so I’m guessing this was a tryout or trial of sorts for Ms. Smith.
Here’s the first thing I think about when I listen to “We Gets Up” and some other songs from this mid-90’s era: Would I have liked it when it was released? As I’ve written about many times here, I was a Prince fan when I was very young but that was difficult. Hard to dive too deep in to Purple Rain and 1999 when I was eight years old. By the time I was old enough to venture out on my own musically Prince had faded a bit from the pop charts and he was mostly a fond memory for me. The Love Symbol album was the last I recall hearing and my impression of Prince in the 90’s after that was as kind of a traveling circus. He changed his name. He had “slave” written on his face. I remember “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World” being a hit. Not much else until Musicology in 2004. We’re talking about the infancy of the internet and I wasn’t exactly seeking out Prince…not yet anyway. I was big in to hip hop and neo-soul when Prince was dropping The Gold Experience and Emancipation. So, would I have liked them if I heard them then?
If I’m being honest, probably not. I certainly would’ve liked some of it, but once D’Angelo dropped Brown Sugar the only non-hip hop I was trying to hear was neo-soul. Prince’s music at that time definitely was not either of those things. That said, I hear a song like “We Gets Up” and I think I would’ve loved that song at the time. What’s not to love? It’s just fun. I can’t think of another word to describe it. “We Gets Up” would’ve been in my rotation no matter what era.
If this COVID shit ever passes and we can go back to living life I’m going to DJ the massive Prince basement party I’ve been wanting to have for years and “We Gets Up” will be on the playlist.