“Born 2 Die,” the second single off Prince’s upcoming posthumous album Welcome 2 America, premiered today. It follows the album’s title track, released earlier this year.
On the sultry tune, Prince is joined by bassist Tal Wilkenfeld, drummer Chris Coleman and vocalists Shelby J., Liv Warfield and Elisa Fiorillo. The singer’s longtime music director Morris Hayes added the final production to the song.
“Born 2 Die” was originally recorded “during a flurry of studio activity” in the spring of 2010 during President Obama’s first term. Prince was reflecting on the issues affecting the Black community and the role he hoped to play, according to a press release. The song was shelved until now.
“We got to ‘Born 2 Die,’ and Prince said, ‘I’ll tell you how that came about,’” Hayes said in a statement. “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.’ So Prince said, ‘Oh really? We will see.’”
“Born 2 Die” will appear on Welcome 2 America, Prince’s previously unreleased studio album, out July 30th. Welcome 2 America’s 12 tracks — 11 Prince originals and a cover of Soul Asylum’s “Stand Up and B Strong” — have never been released, although a handful were either performed live by Prince or appeared via webcasts or one-off radio premieres.
The album is available to preorder now. It will be released digitally, on CD, as a two-LP vinyl set (with Side D etching) and a deluxe edition complete with the Blu-ray housed in a luxe gold-foil package with a 32-page companion book and embossed vellum envelope containing exclusive Welcome 2 America-era ephemera.