Prince was meticulous about his output during his career, frequently self-producing, halting album releases and scrapping some completely if he wasn’t happy. This has led to a plethora of LP’s lying in wait and Welcome 2 America is the first to be freed from the vault.
Prince recorded the 23-track album back in 2010, but it was never released. It is said that the song is Prince’s attempt to imitate Curtis Mayfield after watching a Dr. Cornel West on YouTube during which he announced, “I love my brother Prince, but he’s no Curtis Mayfield.”
According to Prince’s musical director Morris Hayes, this prompted The Purple One to say: “Oh really? We’ll see about that!” Thus, he penned the very Mayfield-Esque track ‘Born 2 Die’, although, naturally, he couldn’t help putting his own text-speech flourish on the title.
For the track, Prince teamed up with various iconic sessions musicians including bassist Tal Wilkenfeld, drummer Chris Coleman, and vocalists Shelby J., Liv Warfield, and Elisa Fiorillo.
Regarding the release of Welcome 2 America which is set to arrive on July 30th, his estate announced that it documents Prince’s concerns, hopes and visions for a shifting society, presciently foreshadowing an era of political division, disinformation, and a renewed fight for racial justice.”
Prior to his death, Prince attributed the following quote to the record himself: “The world is fraught with misin4mation. George Orwell’s vision of the future is here. We need 2 remain steadfast in faith in the trying times ahead,” Prince wrote.
You can listen to the slinky soul number, below.