In a shocking turn of events, American music legend Prince Rogers Nelson died last week at the age of 57. The world was not only saddened by the news of Prince’s passing, but also confused about how this even happened. Over a week later, we still do not have a complete view or legitimate answer regarding what led to Prince’s sudden and unexpected death.
Amongst all of the sadness, confusion, and rumor-spreading following Prince’s death, one interesting little tidbit of information popped up in random pockets of the internet that repeatedly peaked my interest:
Prince was rumored to have a giant vault in his home that contained thousands of unreleased songs that he recorded over his +3-decade career. Naturally, as Prince was no longer alive to control the vault, music-heads aware of the mythical musical El-Dorado began to question what would happen to the unreleased Prince tracks. That is, if the vault actually existed.
When I first heard the rumor of Prince’s mysterious musical vault that supposedly contained nearly 10 thousand unreleased tracks, I scoffed at the idea that this could possibly be true. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m always a natural skeptic and cynic. But my doubt regarding this rumor was based in 2 legitimate facts:
- Prince has released over 30 albums over his near 40-year career. That’s an absurd and ridiculously impressive amount of material for any artist to produce. There’s no fucking way he could have recorded thousands of additional songs on top of his already incredibly massive discography.
- This shit never happens, because it’s too good to be true. For instance, Dr. Dre’s “Detox”, which supposedly had hundreds of different tracks recorded featuring the likes of Eminem and Kendrick Lamar for Dre to pick from, was never released. Instead, fans were stuck with a late and relatively underwhelming “Compton” album, that really only came out as a marketing gimmick to compliment the NWA movie “Straight Outta Compton”.
Arguably more surprising than Prince’s death itself, is the news that Prince’s mythical musical vault actually does exist. In fact, the giant bank vault resides under neath Prince’s Paisley Park estate near Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Holy shit. That’s one big-ass safe. Hmmm…. I wonder what could be so important and large that Prince would need such a big vault for? Maybe, say, thousands of music recordings? Or maybe just a life-supply of Aunt Jemima Pancake Mix?
According to ABC News, the vault has apparently now been drilled into by Bremer Trust, who was appointed administrator of the estate. The vault needed to be drilled open because Prince never had a will created in preparation of his potential death, and gave no one else the code to open the vault. With no will, Prince’s entire possessions and estate need to be tallied and appraised prior to the distribution of his assets. One tiny asset that some family members of Prince’s might be interested in would be a treasure trove of unreleased music.
And following the drilling, various media outlets have now confirmed that the giant vault did in fact contain a smorgasbord of recordings that Prince had stashed away over the years.
On top of that, we have this unreal and shockingly revelatory information:
As it turns out, Prince’s former sound engineer has also confirmed that the vault does in fact exist to hold a bounty of unreleased Prince songs. Susan Rodgers didn’t even need ABC News nor Bremer Trust to confirm what the secret bank safe contained. Via CoS:
According to Prince’s former sound engineer, Susan Rodgers, the vault pre-dates the release of 1984’s Purple Rain. “When I left in 87, it was nearly full,” she explained in an interview with the Guardian. “Row after row of everything we’d done. I can’t imagine what they’ve done since then.”
Wait, wait, wait…. hol’ up a second. You’re telling me that 1) Prince actually did have a giant bank vault hidden in his Paisley Park estate, 2) this massive fucking safe holds a bunch of unreleased Prince music, and 3) this unreleased Prince music goes as far back as to the prime of his musical career, a la when he wrote, produced, and recorded “Purple Rain”. Are you fucking kidding me? That shit never happens, ever. This is pretty much equivalent to finding out what was in the Marcellus Wallace’s briefcase after all these years:
I want to focus observation #3 that I just named above. If what Susan Rodgers says is true, this now-opened bank vault containing unreleased Prince music features songs that were recorded before, during, and after the recording of “Purple Rain”. This means that this mythical vault includes recordings from peaks of Prince’s musical prowess.
Just unreal, man.
That’s like finding out, nearing 20 years after he was murdered, that Notorious B.I.G. recorded 3 unreleased albums in between “Ready to Die” and “Life After Death”. That’s like finding out Tupac and Dre recorded an exclusive collaboration album before Pac was gunned down in Las Vegas. Obviously it’s a bit different, considering Biggie and Pac (especially Biggie’s) considerably smaller musical catalogue compared to Prince. But this is still unbelievable news.
PS: Damn, can you imagine if a brand new Biggie album dropped out of the blue this year instead of another bitch-ass, lyrically-weak Drake album?