Five years after Prince’s death, the singer’s estate plans to release a never-before-heard album from a cache of unreleased music.
“Welcome 2 America,” a 12-track album recorded in 2010, will debut July 30, Prince’s estate said in a statement. The “lost” record will be released through Legacy Recordings, a division of Sony Music Entertainment, the estate said.
In its 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 Thursday, features “a searing, 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,” the estate said.
“Distracted by the features of the iPhone / Got an application, 2 fix Ur situation,” Prince sings on the title track, according to lyrics — written in his signature shorthand style — published online by his estate.
In a Twitter thread announcing the news, Prince’s estate highlighted a quote the artist gave to Ebony Magazine around the time the album was recorded: “The world is fraught with misin4mation. George Orwell’s vision of the future is here. We need 2 remain steadfast in faith in the trying times ahead.”
The album includes tracks with titles such as “Running Game (Son of a Slave Master),” “Stand Up and B Strong,” “Same Page, Different Book” and “One Day We Will All Be Free.”
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.