Prince's estate has released a never-before-heard track that appears on "Welcome 2 America," an album the singer recorded in 2010 that will finally debut in July.
The song, "Born 2 Die," is a slow-burning R&B throwback that runs just over five minutes. The song was recorded during a "flurry of studio activity" in the spring of 2010 as Prince reflected on issues facing Black Americans during President Barack Obama's first term, the artist's estate said.
If the single reminds listeners of a Curtis Mayfield jam, that's no coincidence. Morris Hayes, the New Power Generation member who produced the song, suggested the soul icon was on Prince's mind 11 years ago.
"He had been watching videos of his friend Dr. Cornel West on YouTube, and during one speech Dr. West said, 'I love my brother Prince, but he's no Curtis Mayfield,'" Morris told BBC 6's Gemma Cairney on Thursday. "Prince said, 'Oh, really? We will see.'"
"Welcome 2 America" will arrive on streaming platforms July 30, Prince's estate announced in April. The "lost" 12-track record will be released through Legacy Recordings, a division of Sony Music Entertainment.
In its original announcement, the estate called the album a "powerful creative statement that documents Prince's concerns, hopes and visions for a shifting society, presciently foreshadowing an era of political division, disinformation, and a renewed fight for racial justice."
The title track, released on streaming platforms April 8, features spoken-word soliloquy and revolves around themes such as "golden parachutes, the superficial nature of social media, reality TV-fueled celebrity culture, and corporate monopolies in the music industry," according to the estate.
Prince died of an accidental fentanyl overdose at his Paisley Park estate in suburban Minneapolis in April 2016 at the age of 57. The singer's personal vault at his sprawling studio complex is believed to contain a wide array of unreleased music.
"Welcome 2 America" follows the previous posthumous releases "Piano and a Microphone 1983" and "Originals."