260: Billy Jack Bitch

The Gold Experience (1995)
The “treat ’em mean, keep ’em keen” school of thought may have been vandalised by pickup artist shitbags, but it seems to work if you want Prince to write a song about you. Billy Jack Bitch is Prince’s diss track aimed at gossip columnist, Cheryl Johnson, who wrote years worth of disparaging remarks about him in a Minneapolis newspaper and nicknamed him Symbolina. After she gets asked “what if I called U silly names, just like the ones that U call me?” she gets treated to a barrage of “bitch”s, courtesy of a Fishbone sample and a Lenny Kravitz-backed chorus. Of course due to the ingenious way he structures the lyrics Prince could always claim the “CJ” mentioned is only an instruction to “see J” in the dictionary. But you’re fooling no-one Mr Plausible Deniability. The music behind the malice is a George Clinton-esque funk monster – a Knee Deep written to wound – and features horns from the HornHeadz’ New Dell Inn (and their version of Thelonius Monk’s Well You Needn’t on the full-length mix). It funks hard for a columnist pile-on but the real CJ admitted it helped her notoriety and later in the song she gets offered to be flown to the moon to “see how love will bloom” so if she was negging him it looks like it worked.