407: Same Page Different Book

Unreleased (2011)
It speaks volumes about the magnitude of Prince’s output that he can effectively throw away a quality song like this strutting anti-war sermon. Same Page Different Book never received an official release but was streamed on his 3rdEyeGirl YouTube channel for a brief period in 2013 before being deleted, never to be referenced again like a shamed uncle. The title reminds me of Edmund Wilson’s quote that “no two persons ever read the same book” but instead it refers to there being “only one God, whatever name He took” and is a welcome, less dogmatic stance from Prince, embracing the commonality between what the Qur’an calls People of the Book. Shelby J delivers a third-verse rap, drawing snipes and sneers from grumbling sections of his fanbase who like their Prince unadulterated, but it works well and is a switch-up that gives the track another dimension. Not that it needs it, as the arrangement may be sparse but never monotonous. Prince expertly entwines his voice with the bass like a double helix of funk making up the DNA of “hell yeah!”