The Prince Estate shares previously unreleased track ‘Born 2 Die’

Written in response to a critique of his music, Born 2 Die is a funk-fuelled jam that doubles as a love letter to Curtis Mayfield.

Ahead of the release of his album Welcome 2 America, the Prince Estate has shared Born 2 Die, a Curtis Mayfield inspired soul-funk track. This is the second song released as part of Welcome 2 America after the album’s title track was released back in April.

The song was penned as a rebuttal to a comment made by scholar Cornel West, who according to Prince’s producer and musical director Morris Hayes, said “I love my brother Prince, but he’s no Curtis Mayfield”. In a quest to prove his writing style and prowess, Prince said “Oh really? We will see.” Born 2 Die is the result.

Prince with 3 eyes
Prince was the best selling album artist of 2016, the same year as his untimely death.
Photo: Kevin Winters/Getty Images

Born 2 Die was initially recorded as a trio, with Australian bassist Tal Wilkenfield on bass and Chris Coleman on drums, with harmonies and backing vocals later added by Shelby J, Liv Warfield and Elisa Fiorillo. The track itself absolutely achieves its mission of matching that Curtis Mayfield sound, feeling like an absolute funk phenomenon from the very start.

The contrast between the washing percussion, synth and strings and the hard-hitting minimalist guitar parts when the beat comes in alongside the repetition of the song’s title makes it virtually impossible not to groove along.

The full Welcome 2 America album is currently available for pre-order and will be fully released on the 30th of July this year. If that wasn’t enough for his millions of fans around the world, Prince’s eponymous debut, The Truth is to be reissued as a standalone album as part of Record Store Day on June 12.