117: What’s My Name

Crystal Ball (1998)
Very little happens during the verses to What’s My Name. A softly spoken Prince. A maraca. A low boiler-room hum. In the background Sonny T paces back and forth like a caged panther, occasionally emitting bass snarls. Michael B sits at his kit like it’s a purring Harley, his fingers primed above the throttle. At Prince’s signal both fly at each other, A tussle between machine and beast. Sparks. Blood. Mayhem. Then calm. A lull before the next attack. If I’m not imagining a feline/motorcycle deathmatch then I picture the fight scene in The Phantom Menace – the bass player as Darth Maul, restlessly prowling the boundary like a trapped beast; the drummer as Qui-Gon Jinn, meditative, conserving his energy. The gates open and it’s a flurry of violent, virtuosic combat. Keyboardist Mr Hayes is Obi-Wan, locked out of the battle and desperate to get stuck in. He contributes from afar but today this isn’t about him. And who is Prince in this scene? What’s his name? He is the force. The energy field that binds and destroys. He’s beyond good and evil. Jedi and Sith. Fire and dove. Call him Shiva. Call him Samsara. Call him The Endless Karmic Cycle of Death And Rebirth Formerly Known As Prince.