Presented & Moderated at Prince 78-88 Conference

On 3 June 2021, De Angela presented, “Conjuring The Prince Mystique” at the virtual 3-day Prince 78-88: The First Decade, a 2-day Interdisciplinary Conference, 3-5 June 2021, organized by Dr. Kirsty Fairclough, Dr. Mike Alleyne, and Kristen Zschomler. She also moderated the excellent Under The Cherry Moon panel, also on 3 June 2021.

Presentation Abstract:
Before the symbol and the color purple, Prince’s key visual signatures were the trench coat and smoke. Both were prevalent beginning with Dirty Mind and reaching their peak during the Controversy and 1999 eras. This talk will concentrate primarily on how the ubiquitousness of smoke from fog machines, combined with light, present in music videos and album art would come to symbolize how Prince was ultimately evoked–mysterious, otherworldly, and bewitching.

Please note that the Estate of Prince Rogers Nelson is not affiliated, associated or connected with the Prince 78-88 conference, nor has it endorsed or sponsored it. Further, the Estate of Prince Rogers Nelson has not licensed any of its intellectual property to the organizers or speakers.

Presented at Pop Conference 2021

C. Liegh McInnis, Kamilah Cummings & De Angela presented a panel, Prince: Disrupting Notions of Blackness, at Pop Convergence 2021 on Friday, 23 April 2021. Our panel was moderated by Michaelangelo Matos.

Pop Conference 2021— the longest-running music writing and pop music studies conference of its kind—brought together the world’s leading pop scholars, journalists, writers, musicians for three days of virtual events exploring pop music’s role in mirroring and shaping one of the most chaotic and disruptive moments in modern global history, from 22 to 25 April 2021. The conference was hosted by NYU’s Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music and Tisch School of the Arts and was free and open to the public.

De Angela presented “Controversy: The Blueprint of Prince’s Musical Transformation and Disruption.” Kamilah Cummings presented “Purple, Lace, & Race: Prince and the Art of Protest.” C. Liegh McInnis presented “The Art of Double Disruption: How Prince Worked in the Tradition of Jean Toomer and Richard Wright to Rebel Simultaneously against White Supremacy and Black Self-Limitation.”

Our Panel Description:
Prince’s legacy as a Pop music icon is undisputed. His influence on popular culture is endless. In addition to being one of the greatest entertainers of all time, he was a groundbreaking songwriter, musician, arranger, composer, producer, and entrepreneur. Prince was also the ultimate disruptor. In a career that spanned five decades, Prince challenged systems, spaces, and sounds. In the process, he disrupted widely held notions about what it meant to be a black artist, activist, and, ultimately, a black person in a society that remains at odds with its own concepts of blackness, freedom, and equality. Through analysis of his music, lyrics, and individual acts of protest, this panel seeks to expand the discussion of Prince’s legacy by examining his role as a disruptor.

My Presentation Abstract:
In the 15 November 1981 Baltimore Sun article, “Whites Are Missing Good Rock By Blacks,” Geoffrey Himes proclaimed, “As young and talented as Prince is, he has a better opportunity to demolish the rules about black rock ‘n’ rollers than anyone else.” Not only did he accomplish this three years later at the pinnacle of his commercial success with 1984’s Purple Rain film and its accompanying soundtrack, but Prince would also go on to create a genre of music labeled the “Minneapolis Sound.” However, by 1988’s critical masterpiece Sign O’ The Times, Prince was his own genre, often copied, but never duplicated.

While Sign O’ The Times would encapsulate everything Prince was as a singer, songwriter, composer, arranger, and producer, the linchpin of Prince’s discography is 1981’s Controversy. The album is the perfect amalgamation of Prince as a disruptor. Although its predecessor 1981’s Dirty Mind would shock fans and critics alike with Prince’s sexual explicitness and sociopolitical awareness, while adopting punk’s aesthetics and ideologies, Controversy is where all the themes that Prince would revisit throughout the rest of his career–race, sex, gender, politics, spirituality, duality, and love—and a bricolage of musical genres–rock, pop, soul, r&b, new wave, and rockabilly—were woven together in a quilt of his authentic voice and sonic palette.

In this talk, the deconstruction of Controversy reveals that the album as a whole would ultimately anchor the trajectory of Prince’s career, while also serving as the blueprint of constant transformation and disruption for the rest of it.

Featured in an article written by Jon Bream for Minneapolis’ Star Tribune

Prince: Five Years Later by Jon Bream for Minneapolis’ Star Tribune
Prince Five Years Later by Jon Bream for Minneapolis’ Star Tribune

I was beyond thrilled to be featured in this article, “Prince: Five Years Later,” written by the one and only Jon Bream in Minneapolis’ Star Tribune on 18 April 2021. Jon Bream covered Prince’s career from the very beginning. He’s been writing about Prince for almost 40 years. I’ve read so many Jon Bream articles over the DECADES that it’s totally surreal to see my name in one. His book was the very first Prince book that I purchased in real-time. So to say that this was a big deal is an understatement.

There are a couple of corrections I need to make to the article. While I have spent a lot of my own money on my Prince symposia and other events, I personally haven’t spent $10K. If you’ve ever put on an in-person event, you should understand how costly they can get. I ask several, generous NYU sponsors for money in order to make these events happen. I am EXTREMELY grateful for their continued support. I couldn’t do these symposia without them. Otherwise, I would definitely have to start charging.

While I want to keep these events FREE as long as I can, they are not cheap, not even the virtual ones. They come with a lot of sacrifices, particularly from the speakers. The biggest sacrifice being their time. They spend hours upon hours, having to field A LOT of email or slack messages, texts, or phone calls, crafting their presentations, showing up for the tech checks (even though despite tech checks, tech issues still arise), getting themselves ready and finally participating! Again, I am EXTREMELY grateful for their continued support. There would be no symposia and other events without the speakers.

I listened to Dirty Mind on the floor of my Aunt’s house, not my grandmothers’. However, even more important than that, it was a vinyl record, as opposed to a cassette 🙂 

Even though I did purchase 1999 on cassette, twice, I played the first cassette so much that the tape shredded. However, I eventually got the vinyl. I wish I could say that I learned my lesson, but I also bought a cassette of Graffiti Bridge, which I still possess as I am an archivist as Steven G. Fullwood would want me to say.

If you watch this 6 minute video which was filmed in MPLS at the Guthrie Theater in 2016 about my record collecting habits for the EYEO Festival, hopefully, you’ll understand my love of vinyl and why that distinction is important to me.

Eyeo 2016 Ignite! – De Angela Duff from Eyeo Festival on Vimeo.

This talk is not very representative of my normal delivery as this was super stressful. I don’t know if you know about the ignite (aka Pecha Kucha) talk format but the slides advance automatically: 20 slides, 15 seconds each… So I was trying to make sure I said everything I wanted to say before I ran out of time. I’m much calmer and measured when giving “normal” talks.

Even though I did purchase 1999 on cassette, twice, because I played the first cassette so much that the tape shredded. However, I eventually got the vinyl. I wish I could say that I learned my lesson, but I also bought a cassette of Graffiti Bridge, which I still possess as I am an archivist as Steven G. Fullwood would want me to say.

Words fail to express how grateful I am for Jon Bream’s Prince coverage over the years and even now! A mere, “Thank you so very much, Jon Bream!” will have to suffice!

Contributed to SOTT Deluxe #PrinceTwitterThread

And That Says Wha

De Angela contributes to the #PrinceTwitterThread curated by Edgar Kruize and Deejay UMB for Prince’s 1988 Sign O’ The Times Super Deluxe album.

Her contribution was for the songs, “And That Says What? & It Ain’t Over ‘Til The Fat Lady Sings.” https://twitter.com/polishedsolid/status/1346634372561174528

To see the entire series of Sign O’ The Times Super Deluxe threads, visit Edgar Kruize’s purplepicks.net.

Curated 🍑 + 🖤 2 (#SOTTSDC): A Virtual Sign ‘O The Times Super Deluxe Celebration & After Salons

Peach and Black 2 A Sign O’ The Times Super Deluxe Celebration

Peach + Black 2 (#SOTTSDC) was not a symposium. #SOTTSDC was a virtual Sign O’ The Times (SOTT) Super Deluxe Celebration on Saturday, 10 October 2020, for the September 2020 box set released by Warner Bros. Records, featuring 45 unreleased studio tracks from Prince’s vault, a full unreleased concert from the Sign O’ The Times era in Utrecht, and 2 hours of unreleased video from a New Year’s Eve benefit concert at Paisley Park on 31 December 1987, showcasing his only on-stage collaboration with jazz legend Miles Davis.

#SOTSDC is a polished solid production, curated by De Angela L. Duff.

#SOTTSDC consisted of four roundtable panels about the Sign O’ The Times Super Deluxe box set: the original #SOTT30BK panel of Zaheer Ali, Anil Dash, Miles Marshall Lewis, Elliott H. Powell, and De Angela, the live Utrecht show included in the box set, Madhouse Live, and the 1987 New Year’s Eve show at Paisley Park, which is the DVD included in the box set. The speakers are international Prince enthusiasts, scholars, and podcasters. Our Prince special guests were members of Prince’s band during this era, keyboardist Dr. Fink, saxophonist Eric Leeds, and trumpet player Atlanta Bliss. For more detailed information and video archives, visit the #SOTTSDC website.

Some attendees mentioned that #SOTTSDC was too short. So, for 5 consecutive Saturdays from Oct. 24 – Nov 21, 2020 on YouTube and Facebook simultaneously, De Angela hosted a virtual #SOTTSDC After Salon!

What’s a salon? It’s an informal gathering (often in someone’s living room) of old and new friends engaging in intimate and stimulating conversations.

  • 24 Oct 2020 – Vault Tracks 1
  • 31 Oct 2020 – Vault Tracks 2
  • 07 Nov 2020 – Vault Tracks 3
  • 14 Nov 2020 – SOTT Live
  • 21 Nov 2020 – SOTT Live Pt. 2 & closing remarks

A very special thanks to Rev3rend for the design and illustration for the event.

Moderated The Purple Paisley Brunch Presents The Brothas of the Park

Purple Paisley Brunch Brothas of the Park Sep 2020
Purple Paisley Brunch Brothas of the Park Sep 19, 2020

The Purple Paisley Brunch Presents The Brothas of the ParkThe Purple Paisley Brunch (PPB) is an annual event created by Tonya Giddens, Founder of Bklyngurl Productions, an event planning company that specializes in private events in the New York City area. This year, PPB is going virtual and will be presented in multiple parts.

De Angela was elated that she was invited to moderate the first two panels, Purple Paisley Brunch: Ladies of the Park Parts 1 & 2 on Saturday, July 18, 2020, and Friday, August 21, 2020, respectively, which both featured Sueann Carwell, Jill Jones, and Ashley Tamar Davis with special guest Jerome Benton.

De Angela is excited to be invited back for a third time to continue the conversation with The Brothas of The Park, Jerome Benton, Wally Safford, and Greg Brooks, but most of all to celebrate Jerome Benton’s birthday on Friday, September 19, 2020, from 8-10 pm EDT. You can purchase tickets here via Zoom.

Prince And Popular Music book review in UK music monthly Record Collector

Prince and Popular Music Review Record Collector Magazine
Prince and Popular Music Review Record Collector Magazine

De Angela was surprised and delighted to discover her essay, “Under the Cherry Moon: Prince as His Most Authentic Self,” highlighted in this book review by Jason Draper (who released his own Prince book in 2016) for Prince And Popular Music: Critical Perspectives On An Interdisciplinary Lifeedited by Mike Alleyne & Kirsty Fairclough in the September 2020 issue of UK music monthly Record Collector.

Wrote 30-year Graffiti Bridge retrospective for Rock And Roll Globe

Graffiti Bridge is 30 (Art: Ron Hart)
In this article for Rock and Roll Globe, De Angela was grateful for the opportunity to further reflect beyond the #DM40GB30 symposium about 30 years of Graffiti Bridge!

#DM40GB30 shoutouts to Anil Dash, Monique W. Morris, Arthur Turnbull, and, of course, Jill Jones in the article! De Angela wishes she could have highlighted everyone who participated in the symposium, but she didn’t want to lose focus on the album!

Moderated The Purple Paisley Brunch 2020: The Ladies of The Park, Part 2

De Angela is super excited to moderate part two of The Purple Paisley Brunch 2020: The Ladies of The Park with Sueann Carwell, Jill Jones, and Ashley Tamar Davis! Part one was so much fun! De Angela is grateful for the opportunity to moderate, again! Get your tix!

The Purple Paisley Brunch is an annual event created by Tonya Giddens, Founder of Bklyngurl Productions, an event planning company that specializes in private events in the New York City area. This year, it is going virtual.

The Purple Paisley Brunch 2020: The Ladies of the Park, Part 2

Moderated The Purple Paisley Brunch July 2020: Ladies of the Park

The Purple Paisley Brunch is an annual event created by Tonya Giddens, Founder of Bklyngurl Productions, an event planning company that specializes in private events in the New York City area. This year, it is going virtual. De Angela was elated that she was invited to moderate a panel comprised of Sueann Carwell, Jill Jones, and Ashley Tamar Davis. Jerome Benton and André Cymone both joined in on the conversation. It was truly a fun, wonderful event!

Ladies of the Park
Ladies of the Park

Wrote Essay for Prince and Popular Music Book

De Angela is very proud to have her essay, “Under the Cherry Moon: Prince as His Most Authentic Self,” in the book, Prince and Popular Music: Critical Perspectives on an Interdisciplinary Life, edited by Mike Alleyne & Kirsty Fairclough and published by Bloomsbury. Her essay is based on the talk of the same title that she gave at the first Prince academic conference, Purple Reign: An interdisciplinary conference on the life and legacy of Prince, at the University of Salford in Manchester, England, in May 2017.

Alongside the editors and a number of essay authors, she participated in a Prince and Popular Music Digital Book Launch on Sunday, June 28, 2020, on Zoom.

Prince and Popular Music: Critical Perspectives on an Interdisciplinary Life
Prince and Popular Music: Critical Perspectives on an Interdisciplinary Life

Curated Prince #DM40GB30 Virtual Symposium

Prince DM40GB30 Virtual Symposium June 12-14, 2020

The Estate of Prince Rogers Nelson is not affiliated, associated or connected with the ‘Prince DM40GB30 Symposium,’ nor has it endorsed or sponsored the ‘Prince DM40GB30 Symposium.’ Further, the Estate of Prince Rogers Nelson has not licensed any of its intellectual property to the producers, advertisers or directors of the ‘Prince DM40GB30 Symposium.’

#DM40GB30 was a 3-day virtual symposium, celebrating Prince for 40 yrs of Dirty Mind & 30 yrs of Graffiti Bridge, on June 12, 13, & 14, 2020 that De Angela curated and co-produced!

We were so looking forward to the Prince #DM40GB30 Symposium in April. Then, COVID-19 happened and we had to postpone the original event. We eventually pivoted to a virtual symposium online using the Hopin platform.

We had 1,200 people register on the Hopin platform from 16 countries: US, UK, Netherlands, Canada, France, Australia, Germany, Spain, Russia, Peru, New Zealand, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Italy, and Ireland. We also had international speakers from the UK, the Netherlands, and Scotland. There was a steady state of 300 to 400 people at ALL times over the course of 3 days for approximately 8-9 hours per day.

You can find a recap of the schedule, alongside speaker bios & abstracts on the symposium website at http://bit.ly/DM40GB30.

While it won’t be the same experience without the communal Hopin platform, video archives are in the process of being posted within the #DM40GB30 playlist. Subscribe to De Angela’s YouTube channel to get notified as more video archives are posted.

Thank you video for attending #DM40GB30

Special Wrote Essay for Prince Edition of Black Magnolias: A Literary Journal

De Angela is honored to have her Jill Jones paper, “She’s Always in My Hair: Jill Jones–The Unheralded Muse of Prince,” (originally presented @ Black Portraiture[s] IV: The Color of Silence at Harvard University on Friday, March 23, 2018.) alongside some of her favorite writers, Michael A. Gonzales, Robert Loss & C. Liegh McInnis, in a special Prince issue of Black Magnolias Literary Journal. You can either read it online or order a print copy. The cover was created by Monica Taylor-McInnis. 

Edited by C. Liegh McInnis, author of The Lyrics Of Prince Rogers Nelson: A Literary Look At A Creative, Musical Poet, Philosopher, And Storyteller, this special issue contains articles from accomplished academicians, literary creatives, and musicians, including Robert Loss (author of Nothing Has Been Done Before: Seeking the New in 21st-Century American Popular Music) and Michael A. Gonzales (whose work has appeared in VibeEssencePitchforkThe Village Voice, Wax PoeticsCatapultSoulhead.comEbony, and  The Paris Review).

Black Magnolias Literary Journal Cover Special Prince Edition

Contributed to What Does Prince Mean To You? Video

What an honor & privilege for De Angela to be in the number to express what Prince means to her in this official video from Paisley Park, “What Does Prince Mean To You?” In 2019, she was interviewed at the bridge across the street from Paisley Park in MPLS during the Celebration. #Prince2Me