Panel - Rest in Peace, Prince

April 21, 2016 - Russell Simmons 04/21/2016 Views: 838

Russell Simmons, Robin Thede and Jordan Carlos reflect on Prince's game-changing contributions to pop music and share their favorite stories about the rock icon. (7:16)

Welcome back. I'm herewith my panel. First up,

Nightly Show ContributorRobin Thede.

(cheering and applause)

Nightly Show ContributorJordan Carlos.

(cheering and applause)

And he's The New York Times best-selling author.

His latest book, The Happy Vegan, is available now.

And, of course, the cofounderof Def Jam Records.

You can check out his latestventure, All Def Digital,

with its upcoming roastof Snoop Dogg.

Russell Simmons, everybody.

-(cheering and applause)-Yeah!

And for everyone at home,join our conversation right now

on Twitter, @NightlyShow,using the hashtag #Tonightly.

So, I had a subject all pickedout for, uh, tonight's show,

but then Prince passed away.So I'm like, "(bleep) it."

-Let's talk about Prince, man.-Right? Yes! -Yes.

I figured, plus,we got Russell Simmons,

-a media music mogulon our panel tonight. -(whoops)

And, uh, what better night totalk about somebody who, uh...

I mean, for me,Prince just meant so much.

The '80s was justan interesting time for music.

-Michael Jacksonand Prince just exploded. -Yeah.

-Just exploded.-They changed everything.

-Absolutely. That'swhat it seemed like. -Yeah.

And, uh... Did Prince meansomething to you at that time?

-I thought he was oneof the sweetest people -Uh-huh.

that I've ever met. I mean,every time I've ever met him,

he was really nice to me.And he's very...

He was very sweet to allthe fans that approached him.

But I didn't really havea-a tight relationship with him,

-so I can't give youany personal insight. -Right.

-Mm-hmm. -And in the '80s,we were kind of, like...

our whole job was to rebel,so Michael and Prince

-were not, like,our best heroes. -Right.

But I-I remember watching"When Doves Cry"

-and-and getting into him,like, more. -Yeah. -Yeah.

The-the melodies always got me.Like, at first, we-we thought

of them as not... 'Causethey didn't like us very much.

-Who? -You know...The whole music... Everybody.

-The '80s... -When you...when you came in with Def Jam,

-is that what you're saying?You weren't... -Yeah.

you weren't liked.So the sonic landscape

-was a lot different back then.Yeah. Yeah. -Yes.

-Yeah. -But I look back now,and, of course, you know,

-I have such great appreciationfor him, -Yeah,

-all he contributed.-Russell, I'm saying let it go.


-I think they love you now.You know what I mean? -I...

They-they do love you now.But at-at a time, I mean...

I mean, if you think about it,like, you...

our-our black artistswere, like... you had...

okay, so you had Run-D.M.C.and then also Prince.

I-I mean, I had postersof that in... both in my room,

-you know what I mean?So, uh, at a time, -Mm-hmm.

that-that'swhat I was listening to.

So I-I love Prince 'cause he,like, embraced his sensuality

as well. Like, black dudesweren't doing that back then,

you know? Like, I didn't...When I... when I saw the video,

I was like, "Mommy,what is that?" You know?

Like, he's, like...You know what I'm saying?

-Like, I-I didn't know what...-Prince was the guy

that the women lovedand the men loved, too.

I mean, how many dudes are like,"I'm not gay,

but Prince though?"Like, be real.

It... You know,but it's like this dude, like,

he-he merged everything feminineand masculine,

-and he just did somethingthat no one else... -Yeah.

Especially a black artist.I mean, people like, you know,

Bowie and stuff definitelygender-bend and stuff like that.

But, like, in the blackcommunity, Prince just had

this place that no onewill ever be able to replace.

-Yeah.-I like that he introduced us

-to Morris Day and the Time.-(laughter)

-That's true. -It's true.But after Purple Rain,

like, people hated Morris Day.Like, that was really who...

-You know what I'm saying?-I liked Morris Day after, uh...

-I'm sorry. I-I liked him more.-You liked him more?

-And Vanity, too. I liked hera lot. -Oh, yeah. -Yeah.

-Like, I liked Vanity. -Yes.Yes. Well, that was the thing

-about Prince... -And what's theone who checked out as-as well?

Who was really also anothervery beautiful girl that he...

-Oh, Apollonia?-Apollonia. -Yeah. -Sheila E.

-He put so many women on.-Right. Sheila E. was great.

-Sheila E. hit the scene. -Yeah.No, he put so many women on

and got on so many women.It was just a good,

-good life!-(laughter)

-True. I...-It was a good balance.

I remember one of the first...Like, I...

"Soft and Wet" was probablythe first Prince song.

-THEDE: Oh, you nasty!You're so nasty! -No, but, no.

But I remember hearing that,and I'm going,

-"Who's singing this?!"I'm, like... -Yeah.

It did. I mean,even thinking that.

I'm like, "Can you...are you allowed

-to even singsomething like that?" -I know.

-But...-He was a... He made a lot...

-He broke a lot of barriers.-WILMORE: Yeah.

He did a lot of interestingand alternative and fun things,

and a lot of people in thecommunity loved him, and...

-and I came to love him.-WILMORE: Yeah. -THEDE: Yeah.

-So I'm... like...-CARLOS: He also, I mean..

He also gave us, like,if you think about it,

you came to love him. That'sgreat. You appreciated it. Yeah.

-(applause and cheering) -THEDE:Yeah. -SIMMONS: And also, Mayte

-was wonderful, right?-WILMORE: Yeah. -THEDE: Yeah.

-Mayte was...-THEDE: Oh, fabulous.

Right, and she's, like,one of the sweetest people

-still in the moment.-THEDE: Yup. -WILMORE: Right.

You know, I feel for allthe people that he left behind.

-Yeah. -That's true.-Or what... I mean, like...

When you lose somebody likethat, though, when you lose...

it's almost like you feel sorryfor yourself more,

because, you know,I never knew Prince.

WILMORE: Jordan,is this a therapy session?

This is a therapy session.

-It's celebration! -But I neverknew Prince... -Right.

...but it's like I know himfrom, like, memories

of, like, dancing to his songs,you know what I'm saying?

Like, I remember listeningto "Scandalous"

on the Batman soundtrack.

Anybody else know that songat all? Okay.

Great song, romantic song.I was, like, a kid,

and I was, like,"Oh, man, this is so sexy.

If I had a girl...if I had a girl..."

-(laughter) -If I knew whatto do with a girl, right.

Yeah. "If I knew what to dowith a girl and my body,

-this would be even better."-(laughter)

-You know what I mean?-SIMMONS: How old were you

-when you had this conversation?-THEDE: Right.

I was a...I was a young... I was a...

-THEDE: He was about 20... 28.-I was a very realized kid.

-You know, I was like...-WILMORE: Last year.

-...12 years old, man.-Oh, okay, all right.

Yeah. I was like, "Dear diary."

-WILMORE: Exactly.-"Captain's log."

WILMORE: Robin, now you gotto see Prince up close, right?

-Yeah. I... -Oh, what the(bleep)? What does that mean?

-No, I had...-Okay, come on!

No, I have a... a have a greatPrince story, actually.

Um, I had written a bigmusical opening for the host

of the Image Awardsabout five years ago.

WILMORE:Uh-huh. Right.

And I'm standing backstage, andPrince may or may not perform.

We don't know.

It's always like a guess if he'sgoing to perform on these shows.

And so, he's backstage, and he'sstanding next to Halle Berry,

and I'm already like, "My lifeis everything right now!"

-And-and...-WILMORE: You can't tell

if it's himbecause he's doing... -Right.

But he walks up... he walks up,and he's like,

-"Great opening."And that was it, right? -Yeah.

So, okay, flash forwardto the end of the show.

His assistant,or who, whatever, comes in,

just walks up this closeto my face, to me and my friend,

and goes, "Prince would liketo invite to you his house."

And I'm like, "Oh, my God!Oh, my God! Oh, my God!"

-So, wait. So I'm freaking out.-WILMORE: That's hilarious!

-WILMORE: He soundedjust like that? -Yes.

-He did that to my wife.-THEDE: What? But no.

-CARLOS: Whoa! That's whatI'm talking about.

-WILMORE: The same dude? That'shilarious. -SIMMONS: Uh, yeah.

But it was like a private party.Was that what

-she was invited to? Yes.-Yeah, it was a private party.

So they go, "Okay, you haveto go to this secret location

in Bel Air, and you park there,and you wait."

And so, we wait, right,and we park there.

-What is this? -And we wait, andthen a van comes up, and the guy

opens the door,and he goes, "Get in."

And we're like, "Okay!"And so...

-So we get in.-Right.

And we get takento this winding road in Bel Air,

and we come up to this housethat's lit up in purple.

-And we're like, "This must bethe place!" -WILMORE: Yup.

And then, we walk back pastthis palatial mansion,

we go into the guest housewhich is the size of a city.

-WILMORE: Mm-hmm. -And there'spurple. The symbol, right?

The symbol of Prince, like,on the floors and stuff.

-Right. -Right.-And then, you just hear, "Oh!"

-(laughter) -And then you look,and he gets on stage.

-He plays for four hours.-WILMORE: Wow.

We didn't get to the partytill 2:00 in the morning.

-WILMORE: Really? Okay.-He plays for four hours.

-And there's only maybe30 people there. -WOMAN: Wow.

-CARLOS: Wow.-And then at the end,

he comes off stage, you guys.

-He comes off stage.-(laughter)

He comes off stage, and he goes,"You made me laugh."


-WILMORE: Very good. -CARLOS:That's what I'm talking about.

-That's what I'm talking about.-WILMORE: All right.

-(applause and cheering)-Great story.

All right, Prince,we're gonna miss you.

At least most of us.We'll be right back.

(cheers and applause)

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