Prince has always been critical of the music industry, but usually that criticism is directed at labels and the bureaucratic, political machine that runs the industry, not the artists themselves. Now he's turned his eye to artists though and in an interview with The New York Post he cited his concerns about the lack of creativity in pop music today as why "it's a bad time for music."
Prince's album HITNRUN is set to drop Sept. 7 as a Tidal exclusive and according to the New York Post, who attended an advance listen to the forthcoming album, it's the "most progressive and aggressive" collection of songs he's put out in many years.
In an era where some of the most popular and critically acclaimed music - including Tame Impala, Miguel, Frank Ocean and The Weeknd - draws from the foundations laid by Prince's reign in the '80s and '90s, it feels like Prince has lost a lot of that influence in his own recent releases.
"There might be music that sounds like me, but what good is that? You're essentially in the feedback loop," he said to The Post. "It's a bad time for music in general. There's not a lot of pop music in the mainstream that makes you feel scared, that makes you wonder what's happening?"
Prince acknowledged that to some it might sound like he's coming off as some sort of curmudgeon who hates all this new-fangled hip music, but assures readers that's not the case. He cites Janelle Monae as an artist paving her own path with her own vision on her own label and said one day she'll be president. A Kanye West and Janelle Monae ticket in 2020 wouldn't be so bad.
Prince also discussed his reasoning for releasing exclusively on Jay Z's music streaming service Tidal. He said it gives him a piece of mind that subscribers are listening to the music exactly the way he intended it to sound in the studio. Still, if he's worried about the commercial success of his music, it's hard to imagine the album will get much traction on Tidal alone.
Listen to the album's lead single "HARDROCKLOVER" below via Soundcloud.