A new studio album from Prince’s vault is coming out July 30th

Prince Dies At 57 ***FILE PHOTOS***
Prince was one of my favorite artists from my childhood. Although I know he was extremely protective of his music, I am excited about the new studio album from his vault to be released on July 30th. Prince recorded the album back in 2010 with vocalist Shelby J and producer/keyboardist Morris Hayes. The album is entitled Welcome 2 America and is said to be perfect for what we are going through this last year. The album is said to address “social justice, American greed, and Black consciousness.” It is supposedly a throwback to the funk era of music and Prince was trying to outdo Curtis Mayfield after a dig from his friend Cornel West. Below are a few more details from People:

Morris Hayes, the NPG keyboardist and the album’s co-producer, and singer Shelby J both spoke to PEOPLE for a new edition of a special issue, Celebrating Prince, which is out now.

In an exclusive interview, Hayes recalls a conversation with Prince around the time that the album was being recorded in 2010. Prince had asked him to come to Paisley Park and listen to something he’d been working on. Rather than head to the studio, they went to Prince’s black Mercedes truck. “He told me to hop in,” says Hayes. Prince popped in a CD, and, as if testing the groove under real-life listening conditions, “he did that thing—when he heard something funky he’d make that face.” Prince would turn over several raw tracks to Hayes with instructions to “‘overproduce it—I’ll take away whatever I don’t need.’ It was liberating. He gave me an open palette to try new things.”

When it came time to record with the band, remembers vocalist Shelby J, “we did it old-school,” singing live around one mic, instead of layering separate voice tracks. “It vibrates differently. There’s some music that you hear and some music that you feel. Prince makes music you feel. When you do that analog, there’s seasoning and soul in that tape.”

They completed the album, which now had a name, Welcome 2 America, its title track a bounding, funky treatise on racism, hookup tech culture and our country’s overindulgence in media. Prince and his band sat for a cover shoot and prepped the Welcome 2 America tour. But after playing a few dates, they noticed something odd: They weren’t performing the new songs. “We’re singing a completely different album,” says Shelby J. “Sometimes he sang the lyrics of ‘Welcome 2 America’ over the music of another song that people were familiar with. We rolled with it.”

Available at last, Welcome 2 America suits the present moment so well it might have been written over the tumultuous past year. “He was always ahead with fashion and music,” notes Shelby J. “People are going to see how far ahead he was socially, politically.” Songs like “Running Game (Son of a Slave Master)” and “One Day We Will All B Free” reflect a focus on social justice, American greed and Black consciousness.

[From People]

I started tearing up when writing this post because I will never forget that Prince died exactly two weeks after my 40th birthday in 2016. I had already lost several of my faves including David Bowie and Vanity that year. My friends had been trying to purchase some tickets to Prince’s encore performance scheduled in Oakland that month and he never made it. Prince unfortunately didn’t leave a will, which threw his estate into a frenzy. A lot of music was released to streaming services which Prince abhorred. And I don’t think he wanted the music in his vault released. But leaving no will means he doesn’t get a posthumous choice in how his music is released.

I am actually looking forward to this album because selfishly I don’t want to let the genius of Prince go. Prince, Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston dominated my childhood soundtrack. With this new release he gets to live on in his music. I do hope that this album does him proud and that in the end it would have been what he wanted. I am very curious about how the end product turned out since Shelby J said they were always changing the songs up when they would sing them live. I also love how Prince did the album to prove a point to Cornel West. In true diva style, Prince seems to always have the last laugh.



Photos credit: FameFlynet and WENN

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18 Responses to “A new studio album from Prince’s vault is coming out July 30th”

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  1. Snuffles says:

    Wow! I can’t wait. I’ve been waiting for this. I’ve heard that his vault is literally OVER FLOWING with unreleased material. Audio AND visual.

  2. Frida_K says:

    This is going to be a gift.

    Has anyone been to Paisley Park? I went a couple years ago and did the Cadillac version of the tour. There were five other people in my group, we had two and a half or so hours with a guide, and we got extra perqs like being able to hold one of his guitars. It was marvelous. You can really feel his spirit there in his home. And the employees could not be more sweet. They want to hear your stories about how Prince touched your life, and there are Kleenex boxes discreetly all around so if you end up crying, someone can hand you a tissue, and at the end, you get to have his favorite cookies. It was magical.

    I miss Prince too. There are a few celebrity deaths that really hit hard, and for me, Prince was one of them.

    • Snuffles says:

      I want to tell my Prince story! I was fortunate enough to see him live once and not long after I briefly met him in person. One year I got the hook up to attend the NAACP awards. I got to sit up close in the VIP section with the celebrities. I nearly passed out when I saw Prince walking down the aisle to his seat. Them during a recording break I got the nerve to go up to him with my program to ask for an autograph. He was polite and said it was against his religion. I stood there stumped for a second, then asked if I could get a hand shake instead. He looked like he was trying to come up with a reason not to but eventually smiled and gave me a handshake.

      I was on CLOUD NINE the rest of the night! 😂

  3. Darla says:

    I really cannot wait for this.

  4. faithmobile says:

    It’s been so long since I bought a whole album, I am here for this!

  5. Merricat says:

    I regularly look up the youtube video of his solo at the tribute to George Harrison. No one is cooler than Prince.

  6. Ariel says:

    I remember he died shortly before our 7 day Jazzfest in NewOrleans and almost every artist I saw covered a Prince song. All kinds of groups interpreted his music, it was spectacular.
    Though seeing (on YouTube cell phone video) Cynthia Errivo blow everyone, including her Color Purole cast mates, away doing a capella Purple Rain still sends a shive update my spine.

    When I was growing up/ there was just no one like him.

  7. LadyMTL says:

    Oya, we’re practically the same age (I turned 40 in the fall that year) and Prince’s music was such a part of my childhood that I actually started crying at my desk when I heard he’d died…good thing I work from home so nobody saw me!

    I am excited for this new music too, but a part of me wonders if he really would have wanted to have anything released after his death. He was so protective of his music that if it hadn’t been released in the 6-ish years after it had been recorded, then maybe he didn’t want it to be? Or maybe I’m just overthinking, and should hush up and enjoy it lol.

  8. teecee says:

    One of the few people who was called a genius who actually deserved it. But I’m torn about this release if, as you write, he did not want this music public.

  9. MerlinsMom1018 says:

    One of the hands down best shows i ever went to was seeing Prince in Houston. 2+ hours of music and magic. He just never stopped.
    and what a SMILE

  10. Lisa says:

    I am so torn. I adored Prince. He was so much a part of my HS and College soundtrack. But I cringe a bit now when I hear his music being used for adverts and commercials, knowing how against his beliefs it is. It seems like his family is trying to make money from what he wanted to be deeply personal, and that just rubs me the wrong way. I just found the Prince channel on Sirius XM. WOW, I have been loving it, but still am torn.

    This feels a bit like looking at someone’s diary, reading personal thoughts that they don’t want made public. Sigh.

  11. smegmoria says:

    His music showed up on YouTube about two seconds after he died. It was really suprising.

  12. Milkweed says:

    I 💜 Prince too! I grew up in Minneapolis and saw him when I was stopped at a stoplight once in Chanhassen where Paisley Park is located. He was driving a yellow Geo Storm with purple racing stripes and his symbol all over it. He was fixing his hair in his rear-view mirror. He was the coolest!

  13. Tiffany :) says:

    I don’t know how to feel about this! I love Prince, but he was so particular about his music. I don’t know if he would approve music being released that wasn’t up to his incredible standards. I hope they respected his wishes throughout the process.

  14. TeeMajor says:

    See THIS is why I come here, I am ALWAYS informed of things. I lovelovelove me some Prince and he was very instrumental in me not being ashamed of my early developing body. I can’t explain how his music and MJ’s music brought me through alot of things. I had lost both of my parents by the age of 12 and my grandparents were raising me and I was a only child.
    The teasing from kids that my mother was dead and that my grandmother was old was hard on me…but I never wanted for a single thing and they allowed me to listen to Prince, (alot of the music could be a bit salacious) I thank them for that.

    I am looking forward to this and will purchase this music. Thanks for the heads up CB, as usual you are doing the damn thing!

  15. Bobbie says:

    He’s turning over in his grave that Paisley Park has become Graceland, that all these unreleased videos and songs/demos are on youtube and all this music is getting released. He was a control freak. His family is doing all this to make money for the estate.