Prince hoped that his new memoir The Beautiful Ones could “solve racism”, writer Dan Piepenbring has revealed.
The book, which arrived today (October 29) via Random House, is in partnership with Prince’s estate and contains 50 handwritten pages from the late star. It also features contributions from The New Yorker writer Piepenbring, who was personally selected to work on the project.
Piepenbring has now explained to the BBC that the Purple One had hoped for the release to have a powerful impact on the issue of racism.
“In one way he wanted it to be an autobiography, a fairly straightforward story about his life, his childhood and especially his parents,” the writer explained.
“But he also saw the book as a way to extend the activism that he had begun, especially his work with Black Lives Matter. [Prince said] ‘Could it solve racism?’ That really stopped me in my tracks.”
Piepenbring added: “To sit in a room with him and lock eyes with him and to hear him utter that question. Something that feels impossible in any other context, in that context suddenly feels natural, and makes you bristle with excitement.”
The unearthed letters that form The Beautiful Ones also see Prince criticise the pop stars Ed Sheeran and Katy Perry. Within the notes, the ‘Purple Rain’ singer hit out at the music industry for “trying to ram” the two singers “down our throats”.
“We don’t like [their music] no matter how many times they play it,” he said.
Speaking of working on The Beautiful Ones with The Guardian, Dan Piepenbring explained: “The sheer quantity of paper was surprising… In one room you’d find something from 1979, and within arm’s reach there’d be something from 2002.”
Meanwhile, the Prince Estate recently released an acoustic demo of the late musician’s 1979 track, ‘I Feel for You’.