It’s been five years since we lost Prince, one of the most iconic talents in music history. Since his tragic passing, we’ve received two posthumous demo projects — Piano and a Microphone 1983 and Originals, released in 2018 and 2019, respectively. This week, fans get to hear an unreleased single from Prince titled “Welcome 2 America,” a socially and politically conscious number that sees him addressing many of our country’s current ills:
“Welcome to America, welcome to the big show, everybody’s looking for something when there ain’t no place to go, except inside America is the only life I know, transformation happens deep within: yes or no?/
Welcome to America, where you can get hired, fired, rehired and get a seven hundred billion dollar tip, I ain’t trying to be mean, face to face contact now got a screen in between, welcome to America.../”
“Welcome 2 America” is taken from Prince’s forthcoming posthumous album of the same name, which was recorded just prior to a tour in 2010. For those who can’t wait for that releases, fans will be able to hear the album (or parts of it) this Sunday, April 11, on the latest episode of “60 Minutes.” In a video preview, Prince’s keyboardist Morris Hayes told “60 Minutes” reporter Jon Wertheim some information about the long-shelved body of work:
“Like he said man, ‘Here’s the record.’ I want you to overproduce it, anything I don’t want, I’ll take it away.”
Currently in a dispute with the Internal Revenue Service over tax assessments, Prince’s estate further explained that Welcome 2 America will document the late musician’s “concerns, hopes and visions for a shifting society, presciently foreshadowing an era of political division, disinformation and a renewed fight for racial justice.” Sounds like the kind of music we could all use right now.
Press play on “Welcome 2 America” below — the album will officially make landfall June 30.