303: Joint 2 Joint

Emancipation (1996)
This is epic. It sounds like Prince played a game of exquisite corpse with his engineer, or gave him a transcribed dream which was then translated into Polish and back. However it was created, Joint 2 Joint is certainly the album’s most experimental track but you wouldn’t guess from the first two minutes as it starts off as standard Emancipation-by-numbers fare; a nightclub churning out pleasing but predictable RnB. Then, just as your eyes glaze over you’re invited up to the first floor where the live acts are. Poet99 gets upgraded from her usual two-word vocal sample to a full spoken word performance (albeit one used previously for The Dream Warriors) and she shares the bill with rockers and tapdancers in the true spirit of 90s eclecticism. A door in the back wall lures you further into the rabbit hole, and on the second floor the atmosphere takes on a darker tint. Walking past the whips, chains and moans of an S&M party you find Prince in the back room eating his cereal. A displeased kingpin caught off-guard. A hasty retreat follows and the last minute is given over to the early morning taxi ride home where you’re left wondering what the hell just happened.