The Year of Dreaming Dangerously

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When They Call You a Terrorist is more than just a reflection on the American criminal justice system.

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Hersh reminds readers that real journalism takes grit. The Pulitzer Prize winner reflects on his time spent across the world — from D. Aspiring journalists will definitely find inspiration in Reporter , but everyone can benefit from reading about why uncovering the truth can be both challenging and rewarding. Nell Painter was an accomplished historian and professor at Princeton University for many years. Suddenly, she realized she wanted to make a change — in her 60s. While exploring what it truly means to be an artist, this book asks honest and important questions about how our definition of identity influences our shared concept of art.

It would become a form of cultural currency. I said that I did. The book would allow him to seize the narrative of his own life.


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He noticed my phone still sitting on the conference-room table, and seemed to falter for a moment. As soon as I got back to my hotel room, I retraced as much of our conversation as possible. In , Prince had publicly broken with his longtime record label, Warner Bros. At the time, his contract had promised the label six more albums for a hundred million dollars, but it limited his prolific output to one new album a year and gave the label ownership of his master recordings.

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Every artist should own his masters, he told me, especially black artists. He saw this as a way to fight racism. The music industry had siloed black music from the start, he reminded me. After sputtering for a few seconds, I offered something like the dictionary definition. Prince only nodded slightly. He recalled some of his earliest memories of racism in Minneapolis. His best friend growing up was Jewish. One day, someone threw a stone at the boy.

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When one of them called him the N-word, Prince threw a punch. Luckily, the guy ran away, crying. But if there was a fight—where would it end? Where should it end? How do you know when to fight? Those questions became more complex as racism took on insidious guises, he said. Miles Davis, he told me, believed in only two categories of thinking: the truth and white bullshit. I wondered what his interest in publishing a book was, given that the music business had modelled itself on book publishing. Contracts, advances, royalties, revenue splits, copyrights: the approach to intellectual property that he abhorred in record labels had its origins in the publishing industry.

His face lit up. The singer Judith Hill was playing on the soundstage that evening. He disappeared for a moment to call his driver, hoping she would take me back to the hotel. Apparently, she was already engaged. I followed him out of the conference room and into an elevator. Bouncing on the balls of his feet, he punched the button for the bottom floor. The elevator opened into a dimly lit basement, and Prince led me out to the garage, walking briskly toward a black Lincoln MKT.

Climbing into the passenger seat, I noticed a fistful of twenty-dollar bills in the cup holder. Turning out of the complex, his posture straight, he picked up speed and resumed our discussion on chains of distribution: who controls a piece of intellectual property, and who makes money on it.


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In the portico of the Country Inn, he put the car in park. When it came time to sell and promote the book, Prince wanted to deal only with people who accepted that he had his own business practices. I watched him idle at a traffic light in front of a bank, beside a dirty snowdrift. For some reason, sighting him in the wild felt even stranger than riding with him.

What was he doing? Interviewing another writer? Running errands? She would pick me up. In a high-ceilinged room adjacent to the soundstage, Jakissa Taylor Semple, who goes by DJ Kiss, was spinning records on a plinth surrounded by couches and candles. After a while, Bekure left and returned holding a bundle of coats. Prince regularly arranged for private after-hours screenings at the nearby Chanhassen Cinema.

Prince arrived just after the movie began, slipping into the back row.

She went out to fetch some. We watched as the animated panda ate dumplings and relegated evildoers to the Spirit Realm. I heard Prince laugh a few times. As the credits rolled, he rose without a word, skipping down the stairs and out of the theatre, his sneakers shining laser red in the darkness. Many Prince associates have a similar story: they were never officially hired.


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Prince simply told them to show up again, and they did. I arrived on Tuesday, February 16th, the day of his first show, at the State Theatre.

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His bodyguard, Kirk Johnson, was staying in the room next to mine at the Crown Towers hotel. I liked how obviously, almost defiantly, fictitious the name sounded. Its comic-book gaudiness was in keeping with some of his past alter egos: Jamie Starr, Alexander Nevermind, Joey Coco. Around twelve-thirty, the phone on my bedside table lit up. Peter Bravestrong was calling.

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In the early eighties, Prince and Matthews had fallen in love, and Prince had tapped her to front the group Vanity 6. Long tiers of candles burned around the piano, light poured in a velvety haze from the ceiling, and fractals purled and oozed on a screen at the back of the stage. There was something wintry about the concert that reminded me of people huddling for warmth against the cold. The same force seemed to be moving him during this performance.

Johnson conferred in private with him and then pointed me toward a desk in the main room. A legal pad had been filled with about thirty pages of pencilled script, with many erasures and rewrites. It also verged on illegible. Sometimes she would squint them like she was about 2 tell U a secret. Eye found out later my mother had a lot of secrets.

He summoned up his first kiss, playing house with a girl in his neighborhood. He described the epilepsy he suffered as a child. He wrote about the sometimes physical fights between his parents, and about their separation, when he was seven. After his mother remarried, in or , Prince went to live with his father, a day he described as the happiest of his life.

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Eye remember already standing by the car waiting 4 him, crazy with anticipation. Calling back 2 mind the whole experience reminds me 2 do the best Eye possibly can every chance Eye get 2 b onstage because somebody out there is c-ing U 4 the 1st time. Artists have the ability 2 change lives with a single per4mance.