I got into Prince too late in life, both mine and his own. By the time I discovered exactly how awesome Prince was, I was in my mid-twenties and would only have less than five years left with the Artist. Beyond being influenced by the treasure trove of musical splendor he produced, Prince's impact on my life was personally significant because of his persona. Prince was Black and weird.
In the Black community, artistry is celebrated as it usually signifies a potential ladder of escape from the economic horror show that is Black America for the person afflicted with said creativity. At the same time, being too artistic is a cultural sin. You're allowed to sing at the family function, but if you do so in vibrant colors and with a hint of feminine charisma in your movements, the same praise morphs into whispers and jeers.
Since discovering Prince and conversing with other Black fans, I've come to realize that the Artist often acted as a beacon for every peculiar Black kid that needed an icon. Something that, outside of Andre 3000, I was sorely lacking as an insecure Black youth from Atlanta. Learning how to stay true to my bizarrely quirky self while navigating a burgeoning attraction to the fairer sex was a solitary and confusing endeavor. If I had Prince as a role model, I would've been aces with the ladies in high school.
In the video linked above, Prince invites Mel "Scary Spice" B into his palatial Paisley Park estate for an interview. Aside from the copious gems and insights that are smattered through the conversation, we get to watch the Artist enrapture Mel B with a rakish charm. The entire interaction shows just how smooth the Artist was at everything he attempted. Stumbling on to game like this before my prom night in 2007 would've been legendary.