Prince Legacy Project Vol. II: I Self Devine

The Twin Cities Daily Planet’s Prince Legacy Project features local black artists inspired by the life and music of Minneapolis’ own Prince Rogers Nelson.

In Vol. II, artist organizer Chaka Mkali, AKA I Self Devine, shares a painting rooted–as Prince was–in Minneapolis.

“There’s often a conversation of Prince transcending race… but when you say it in that fashion it’s as if we don’t have to have that conversation around gender, race or class–what defined him, especially coming from a place like Minneapolis, that is typically eurocentric. To be who he was is like salmon swimming upstream, and is the result is the environment he created. His own universe,” Mkali said. Continue Reading

Prince Legacy Project Vol. I: Mike Queenz

“Prince was a very clear statement for a lot of queer folks. He was able to be that thing and embody this, I don’t know this energy that so many people have pent up inside or can’t express… Whatever it is, society doesn’t want to accept queerness, especially when it’s coming from black people, or masculine folks. I think Prince was just that thing, that epitome of what it means to be a carefree, queer, black, genderbending person.” –Mike Queenz Continue Reading

The many lives of filmmaker Craig Laurence Rice, Part I

Here’s an imaginary conversation you might overhear while waiting in line for tickets at the upcoming Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival.“Do you know Craig Laurence Rice? It says here that he picked the films for the ‘Minnesota-Made’ section of the festival.”“Well, I know a Craig Rice, but the one I know is a bass player.”“That’s funny, because the Craig Rice I know used to work with Joseph Papp at The Public Theater in New York.”“I knew a Craig Rice who ran Prince’s whole operation out at Paisley Park.”“There must be a lot of people with that name, because I went to Pilgrim Lutheran elementary school with a Craig Rice, and I’ll tell you what: that kid wasn’t going to amount to much.”“Really? Because the Craig Rice I know teaches at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.”“And the one I know was nominated for three primetime Emmys for his documentary Half Past Autumn, about the life of Gordon Parks.”“Gotta be a lot of Craig Laurence Rices, then.”But no! They’re all talking about the same guy!When I recently sat down with Craig to ask him about the Minnesota-made films he picked for MSPIFF, we also chatted a bit about his career. Continue Reading

Esperanza Spalding at the State Theatre: Prince showed up for a reason

“Hey, are you gonna go see Esperanza Spalding?”, Bobbi Miller asked me with considerably more than idle curiosity. All I knew about anyone or anything named Spalding was the company that made baseball gloves. So, no, I hadn’t any such intention. Miller, though, herself a marvelous vocalist, was brightly animated in anticipation of catching the concert, attesting that this Spalding woman can sing her hind parts off. Well, if said so by Bobbi Miller it was good enough for me. Accordingly, I made plans to see Spalding on September 30 at the State Theatre in downtown Minneapolis.

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