The website for Arsenio makes no qualms about the fact that Prince was able to “take control” of an entire episode of the rebooted talk show last night, where he performed with his group 3rdEyeGirl and chatted with audience members. One of the highlights was a new song, “FunkNRoll,” which ostensibly will appear on the Purple One’s forthcoming LP Plectrumelectrum.
The performance started off like vintage Arsenio, with 10 or so flygirls and flyguys hip-hop dancing until Prince came out and danced in front of his love-symbol mic stand as his band played funky, bass-heavy grooves. He also performed “She’s Always in My Hair” and closed the show with “Mutiny,” the latter with the New Power Generation.
Prince also sat down for a rare interview with Hall. He joked about trying to start up “Princetagram,” threw tissues in the air and opened up to the talk-show host. When Hall asked him what his favorite song to play right now is, Prince said, “There’s a song we’ve just written called, ‘The Breakdown.’ One of the things that we try to do, though, is wait until we have other songs that go together with our favorites. That’s why it takes a long time to come out with albums these days. You know, not being under contract, there’s no rush.”
He even fielded a particularly fanboy question from Hall about what he would be doing “if he weren’t Prince.” But of course the artist formerly known as The Artist gave an honest answer. “When I was 16, I was completely broke and needed to go get a job and I got the Yellow Pages out and I couldn’t find one thing that I wanted to do,” he said. “So I decided I was going to push as hard as I could to be a musician and went at it.” He later returned to the subject. “I think I’d want to teach in some capacity,” he said. “There’s a lot of fine musicians in the group right now, and I’m learning from them. So as much as I’d like to teach, I like to learn.”
But the best part of the show was when Prince fielded questions from the audience. Aside from complaining about people who want to touch his hair, the highlight was when he assisted a young man in breaking up with his girlfriend. Even though Steven made the gaffe of asking “Do I get to sit in your lap?”, Prince heard him out as he explained about how he was drifting away from his girlfriend Keegan after he moved to Los Angeles from Portland, Oregon. So Hall connected Prince with the girl in Portland and, even though the girlfriend seemed nice and positive about Steven, the Purple One helped him break up using some Princely verses. “In this relationship, things are much harder than in the single world,” he said. “In this life, you’re on your own. Keegan, this is what it sounds like when Steven breaks up with you.” So what does she do? She asks if Prince is available. “Go right back to your seat,” Prince says, shooing the fan away. Find out how he replies: