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I'm going to have to talk my son about how to talk to girls. A significant portion of that conversation will involve Prince. Watching Prince as a kid, we derided him as gay and had no sense as to why all the young girls were into him. But looking at him now, though it much it aggrieves me, it must be said that Prince is, indeed, a sexy motherfucker.


Homophobia doesn't just make you bigot, it ruins your music taste and makes it harder to understand women--perhaps not in that order.

EDIT: Rewatching this with Kenyatta, there's also the fact that I didn't simply perceive Prince in gendered terms, but in racial terms also. In other words, against the overt, cartoonish faux-maleness, and exaggerated blackness of hip-hop, I thought Prince as not merely gay, but "white" and "gay."  I don't know if that's "Purple Rain" or the fact that this was the era where mo-fos were rocking curls and green contacts. 

Whatever it was, it caused me to miss out on a lot. Of music, that is. Only music. Have I told you that I was really into music? Yep. Didn't think about much else...


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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle. More

Born in 1975, the product of two beautiful parents. Raised in West Baltimore -- not quite The Wire, but sometimes ill all the same. Studied at the Mecca for some years in the mid-'90s. Emerged with a purpose, if not a degree. Slowly migrated up the East Coast with a baby and my beloved, until I reached the shores of Harlem. Wrote some stuff along the way.

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