In 1992 Prince released a single called ‘My Name Is Prince’. On first hearing it seemed appropriately regal. Cocky, even. Only in hindsight did it appear somewhat needy, a litany not of what Prince was going to do, but of the things he had already done. On it, he pulled rank on his status — ‘I’ve seen the top and it’s just a dream / Big cars and women and fancy clothes’ — called out young rappers for their potty mouths, and declared himself ‘fresh and funky for the 90s’.
Context is everything. By 1992, Prince was still funky – but fresh? He had been, indisputably, pop’s premier agitator throughout the previous decade; as David Bowie was to the 1970s, so Prince was to the 1980s. Creatively restless, staggeringly prolific, sexually provocative, he juggled commercial viability with the artily off-beam.