It was exhilarating, peaceful, spiritual, and there was not a soul that didn’t sing or dance. Yesterday, in his hometown of Brooklyn, Spike Lee held his second annual “Born Day Celebration” for his good friend Prince.
“It’s a beautiful day celebrating Prince,” La La Anthony said. “We’re out here. Spike called me and asked me to help him host this. I’ve been having the best time. Brooklyn has come out and represented.”
“It was amazing,” Lee, standing on stage with his son Jackson, said after the event. “You know, people, this is a true testament to how much love people have for our brother who’s not here in his physical sense. But he’s here with us spiritually. And the second year we’ve done this at Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration in ‘Bed Stuy Do or Die’ heart of Brooklyn.”
“1999,” “When Doves Cry,” “Let’s Go Crazy,” “Girls and Boys,” “Erotic City,” “Sign O’ The Times,” “Get Off,” “Raspberry Beret,” “I Would Die 4 U,” “Kiss,” “Diamonds and Pearls.” For six hours, it was an beguiling, endless array of Prince classic records and some from associate acts such as Sheila E (“Love Bizarre”), Chaka Khan (“I Feel For You”) and Morris Day and The Time (“Jungle Love”). Most fans wore purple t-shirts that were given out by Lee and his 40 Acres and a Mule staff. They read “Prince Born Day” on the front and underneath “Purple People Party.” Lee and company also handed out bedazzled purple top hats, whistles, and Prince posters provided by the event’s sponsor Spotify. The posters featured iconic Prince pictures and some of his greatest hits written on them like “Sexy MF.” In addition to playing music, the day also featured local children's dance troupes paying homage to the royal game-changing trailblazer.
“Every single year we do this and the Michael Jackson party,” Lee’s son Jackson reflected. “It’s great. It was like a sea of purple.”
“We’ve been doing the Michael Jackson [birthday celebration party] for seven or eight years. That’s in August,” Spike said. “This is the second annual Prince party. Here’s the thing though, it’s not just me. We have to give our giants love while they’re here with us. We can’t wait. Sometimes we wait too long. Let’s let them know we love them while they’re in their physical sense.”
The afternoon ended with the DJ playing “Purple Rain” and confetti being shot into the air.
“Last year we did this,” Spike began to tell. “It was a beautiful day, not a cloud in the sky. ‘We gotta go,’ NYPD said. ‘Spike, your permit ends at 7.’ So we always gotta save ‘Purple Rain’ for the end. Believe me, there was not a cloud in the sky. On my mother’s grave, when the DJ put the needle on the vinyl for the song ‘Purple Rain,’ it started to rain.”
“It was just like today, not a cloud in the sky,” Jackson began to co-sign of his pop’s reflection of the 2016 Prince party. “Out of nowhere, as soon as the song came on, ‘Purple Rain,’ clouds started coming out of nowhere and it starts raining.”
“Then when he had to take the record off, it stopped raining,” Spike finished telling. “Word is bond! That was brother Prince, blessing us.”
Well, fans across the world will undoubtedly be celebrating Prince this week and continuing the festivities that Spike and his family and company started early. The iconic singer’s birthday is June 7. Get your greatest hits playlists ready.