277: Judas Smile

Internet Download (2001) / The Chocolate Invasion (2004)
Without seeing the movie it’s hard to know how much of Judas Smile’s lyrics are influenced by the plot of Spike Lee’s Bamboozled, and how much are further tiles to be placed in the mosaic of Prince’s personal mythology. And to be honest I like it that way. I remember reading that the line “how dare you call the robot Mecca” refers to the Mecha robots in Spielberg’s AI, and if that’s the level of outrage, the more opaque the better. Instead of the paranoid, scattergun lyrics I’d much rather focus on the jittery music: another funky rollout of the space invaders synths, briefly interspersed with a Carlos Santana interlude. It’s the cold shower during an otherwise steamy first half of The Chocolate Invasion; an anxiety dream interrupting a wet one. The beat reminds me of Q-Tip’s Breathe and Stop. But angrier. A Diatribe Called Quest presents The Low End Conspiracy Theory. I don’t know where the vitriol is being directed but seeing it thrash and coil like a high-pressure hose makes Judas Smile a livewire highlight of the NPGMC years.