Prince's 15 Best Post-Eighties Deep Cuts

Cherry-picking the most underappreciated Prince songs of the Nineties and Oughts

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"Black Sweat"

3121, 2006

The numerology behind 3121's album title might refer to it being Prince's 31st studio album (which was released on the 21st of March) or, as he told a BET audience, to Psalms 31:21. Regardless of any arcane provenance, the album's "Black Sweat" was a clear highlight. The song's use of sonic negative space and its deep sensuality called to mind Prince's classic single "Kiss." Over his nastiest groove of the decade, he deploys a high, squealing frequency usually reserved for G-funk and Neptunes productions and promises to have his lover "screamin' like a white lady." On the strength of that single, 3121 debuted atop the Billboard Top 200 album chart. Astonishingly, it was the first of Prince's albums to do so.

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