Seriously, July can’t end fast enough. If you’ve been following along you know what I’m talking about. The highest rated song of July has been “Let’s Work” and that was July 2. “Let’s Work” is the shit, but it’s hard for me to believe that it’s been almost a full month of Prince music and that’s the best song we’ve heard. July has brought us forgettable tracks like “Style,” “Velvet Kitty Cat,” “Tick, Tick, Bang,” and “Mr. Happy.” Today we add another one to that list.
When it comes to Prince I still enjoy most of the forgettable stuff. The songs I listed above are more good bad than bad bad, if that makes any sense. A song like “Velvet Kitty Cat” is the kind of stupid nonsense that’s fun to listen to. I enjoy it because it’s bad the same way I enjoy something like the beach volleyball scene in Top Gun. It’s not good, but it makes you shake your head and smile. Prince has given us more good music than anyone. He’s allowed to make something stupid once in a while. Even when a Prince song isn’t that good, it’s rarely boring.
That leads me to the 2007 album Planet Earth. Prince was coming off the success of 2006’s 3121. The album debuted at #1 on the Billboard album chart. Here’s a bit of trivia for you: 3121 is the only Prince album to ever debut at #1. Isn’t that unbelievable? Anyway, 3121 had four singles and five Grammy nominations. For most musicians that’s the album of a lifetime. For Prince it a return to a mountaintop he had climbed many times. He followed it up in 2007 with a Planet Earth album that was…kind of boring. That’s not to say that there wasn’t some amazing work on the album. Here’s some more Prince trivia: Prince’s final Grammy win was in 2007. He took home “Best Male R&B Vocal Performance” for the song “Future Baby Mama” from the album Planet Earth. “Guitar” and “Chelsea Rodgers” are great Prince songs. There’s some cool stuff on the album. There’s also some boring stuff. Again, I can take good bad, but some of Planet Earth is boring bad.
Case in point, today’s smooth but bland R&B sex jam “Mr. Goodnight.” Prince doesn’t sing a word on the track. He raps. On a slow jam. I’ve noticed that many of the Prince songs that I criticize have one thing in common: Prince is usually attempting some kind of rap, and the lyrical content is usually shit talking about his sexual prowess and/or money. “Mr. Goodnight” checks all of those boxes. A lot of cringeworthy bragging about how cool he is and what he’s capable of in the bedroom. There is one odd standout moment on this track: As Prince is rapping the third verse he blindsides you with a head scratching line that doesn’t rhyme or make a lot of sense. I’ll let you find it for yourself:
MP3, Mike Philly in the band got jams at midnight
Before the main attraction, you see
Slow it down somewhere here on Earth
Just to check how your reaction be
And if your heartbeat goes up a notch or two
There ain’t no telling what I might do
But I got a mind full of good intentions
And a mouth full of Raisinets (better not tell you)
We can watch Chocolat on the big screen
Before we convene in the pool (yeah)
The waterfall’ll wash your cares away
Already I love you, I do
Wait…he has a mouth full of Raisinets? Is that a euphemism? I do a double-take every time I hear that line. Is it supposed to be sexy? Are raisins an aphrodisiac? Why would he rap about having a mouth full of food that looks like woodland animal feces while trying to sell a woman on how he’s going to pleasure her that night? Who can answer these questions for me? I guess Prince just had so much game that he was like, “Yeah, I’ve got a mouth full of Raisinets, fuck it. I’ve got this girl in the bag. I’m Prince.” I wish he would’ve taken it a step further and sang that he had a mouth full of fettuccine alfredo or liver and onions. In hindsight, it was a baller move by Prince.
Sexy Raisinets reference notwithstanding, I don’t like “Mr. Goodnight.” Prince has made literally hundreds of songs better than this, many of them on the same topic. I sincerely hope that July finishes stronger than this.