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Prince, the artist formerly known as an internet hater, might have just made the definitive move of bona-fide Internet royalty: not only is he the unlikely star of a popular meme, but now he has written a song about it.
Minnesota fans were treated to a bunch of new songs at a concert this week, including an “aggressive and menacing” rap song that the band made recently with Rita Ora. More notable, however, was “This Could Be Us”, a song inspired by the #ThisCouldBeUsButYouPlayin meme that’s been doing the Internet rounds since January of this year. As Prince explained to the Minnesota Star Tribune yesterday, the new number is inspired by the meme featuring him and Apollonia Kotero riding on a motorcycle in 1984’s Purple Rain. Said to be a ‘joyful ballad with some ecstatic Prince vocalising’, it sounds like “This Could Be Us” is an out-and-out celebration of all things memedom.
The song forms the latest development in Prince’s somewhat confusing relationship with all things WWW. In July 2010, he claimed the Internet was completely over; in August 2012, he joined Twitter in typical My-First-Tweet fashion (a photo of his dinner). And just this year, he sued some of his own biggest fans for $22 million – over their distribution of his records through websites and Facebook pages. The lesson to be learnt from all of this? Prince Would Meme 4 U, but he is really, really averse to letting you disseminate unauthorised copies of his musical output.
Follow Claire Healy on Twitter here @clairehly