You may know Prince as the wildly influential singer, songwriter, instrumentalist, actor, and genre-bending virtuoso who tragically passed away yesterday morning. The many websites that write about subjects other than, say, music, know him as a man who occasionally did other stuff, and they’re taking the opportunity to tell us all about it.
As has become tradition, the death of any beloved celebrity is immediately followed by an onslaught of Content about that celebrity’s legacy, his death, the aftermath, and everything in between. The niche news outlets of the internet, however, are often forced to contort themselves into unnatural positions to incorporate the latest mega-star’s death.
Prince’s death, for instance, saw tech outlets posting story after story after story (after story) reminding us of Prince’s fraught relationship with the internet, all under some variation of the search-engine optimized headline “Why Can’t I Listen to Prince’s Music Online?” As the day went on, things only got worse. Much worse.
Audience: Conspiracy theorists, Billy Corgan, people who are “just saying”
Angle: Chemtrails killed Prince
Infowars, Alex Jones’s virtual mecca for conspiracy theorists and raving truthers alike, has made a name for itself exploiting people’s most irrational fears and emotions. And since Prince actually was a chemtrail truther, why not assume based on nothing whatsoever that Prince fell captive to the dreaded “chemtrail flu.”
After all, as Infowars explains, “A mysterious illness has been spreading across the U.S., coinciding with massive chemtrail spraying – and it’s possible the two are linked.” Wake up sheeple—it’s what Prince would have wanted.
Audience: Foodies, assholes
Angle: Prince ate food in the morning
Did you know that prince ate breakfast? He even wrote the word breakfast in a song once. And he used a picture of Dave Chappelle holding pancakes while dressed as Prince on a single. Some might even say he needed food to survive.
Audience: People interested in politics, also Prince, apparently
Angle: Prince, political junkie
“Prince didn’t shy away from politics,” opens the article about how much Prince loved politics, before immediately refuting its main point: “He was not a protest song singer..., did not hit the campaign trail like Bruce Springsteen, and was never associated with global activism like U2’s Bono. And he came under criticism for not taking part in the all-star musical effort for Africa, ‘We are the World.’”
He did, however, donate to a Republican once. Because Prince loved politics.
Audience: Techies, coders, people who love money
Angle: Prince wanted u 2 learn 2 code.
CNN Money, which essentially acts as CNN’s web vertical, explains how Prince helped found YesWeCode, a nonprofit that attempts to integrate low-income youth into the world of tech. Prince also once said, “Let’s teach the black kids how to to be like Mark Zuckerberg.” Prince loved code.
Angle: Prince had to hire lawyers sometimes.
The article includes many good lawyerly memories, including:
“I get a call from someone who said, ‘Hello, this is The Artist,’” Elkin recalled. “And so I respond with, ‘Go fuck yourself.’ This went on for a minute or two before I realized it was actually Prince on the phone. I apologized profusely—I was so humiliated and embarrassed—but Prince just went on talking. And then he just hung up. He never said goodbye, he’d just hang up.”
Prince loved lawyers.
Audience: “Gearheads,” the characters from the movie Cars
Angle: Prince put a car in a song once, and here are some more cars.
The entirety of the article consists of 12 different photographs of red corvettes. Prince loved cars.
Audience: The Jews
Angle: Prince hired a Jew once.
Did you know that, like Prince, biblical Abram and Jacob also once changed their names? And that Prince once tried to convert a Jew when he became a Jehovah’s witness? He also one hired a Jewish man to play drums. Happy Passover to Prince.
Audience: The staff of Deadspin.com
Angle: Prince occasionally attended sports games
As it just so happens, Prince was born in a city—a city with teams that play sports. He also played a (phenomenal) halftime show once. On either side of that halftime show, there were sports. Prince loved sports.