Friday, October 29, 2004

Subjects for further review, purple edition: "I Hate U" by Prince

Only Prince could get away with titling a love ballad "I Hate U" – and only he’d come up with it. And then, piling it on, he adds a spoken-word middle in which, as some sort of bizarro-world attorney, he instructs threatens "the defendant" with "the rod," "ties her up tight," and orders her to "pump your hips like u used to/and baby u better stay on the beat." Which, of course, he sums up by telling her that "right now I hate u so much I wanna make love/until u scream." But the damnedest thing of all is that he gets away with it, makes us fall for it, makes us beg. Underpinning it all with a come-to-church organ (and whipping out a few of his customarily awesome guitar licks here and there), this is a classic Prince love song, done in classic Prince fashion. Which means it’s never to be taken at surface value (with some exceptions, such as "Adore"), but by the end of it, you’re in bed with him nonetheless.

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