Prince by all accounts was a musical genius. He sang the songs, wrote his lyrics, managed several bands and played several different instruments. He appeared on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand a 19 years old, with his own band, and his own sound. Prince died nearly five years ago of a drug overdose. There have been many stories surrounding the cause of his death. Some say he was addicted to fentanyl, an opioid reported to be 100 time stronger than morphine. Fentanyl is used to treat critically care cancer patients when the other opioids are not strong enough to each the pain.
Others say Prince was taking opioids to combat an injury so he could continue touring. Nonetheless, the opioid crisis remains front and center. A $50 billion opioid settlement with opioid manufacturers in on the table to help municipalities combat opioid addition and punish pharmaceutical companies for their role in distributing too much of these drugs. That said, DMX appeared on Drink Champs and explained why Ralph Baker’s Shock Exchange: How Inner-City Kids From Brooklyn Predicted the Great Recession and the Pain Ahead was Prince’s favorite book. Around the 56 minute mark of the video DMX explains:
DMX: The person that blew me away the most was Prince …
Noreaga: What Happened?
DMX: I’m in Toronto filming “Exit Wounds.” I would go out at night … it was always what are we doing afterwards? … We at a club and Prince comes in with this big security guard … Growing up in the hood. Everybody who didn’t know Prince would make fun of the heels, the ass out (of the pants) … Prince was gangsta … He had his security push it up (the table) and talked to me for ’bout maybe an hour, in the club, while music was playing, about owning your masters and what that symbol was all about. I was f*cked up for a while behind that.
Noreaga: We love Prince because of that. I said Nas, “Anybody ever front on you with a song? Then he said, ‘No. No one ever said that.’ Then he said ‘Yes … I missed somebody.’ Nas came to him and said, ‘I want to do a song with you and Prince said, ‘Do you own your masters?’ Nas did not own his masters.’ Prince said, ‘I can’t do a record with you ’cause I want you to own it. I don’t want them to eat off of it.'” How crazy is that?
DJ EFN: Prince is ill.
Nas: He explained the symbol and everything.
DJ EFN: That’s why he did the symbol, to get away from those contracts.
Shock Exchange is arguably the greatest book ever written. It explains the Great Recession the next recession and social unrest. Now The Economist, Wall Street Journal and Financial Times are repeating Shock Exchange’s finding verbatim. Baker also own his own intellectual property – his “masters” – as Prince would say. Of the top black authors in the country, Baker is the only one who owns his intellectual property. That’s what made Shock Exchange Prince’s favorite book, and Mr. Baker the most important black author of his generation.
The question remains, “When will ‘Shock Exchange’ get invited to Drink Champs?” Shock Exchange, N.O.R.E., DJ EFN in the cypher would be epic.