Dennis Rogers, Minneapolis
Prince did a lot for the community. He used to try to take the gangbangers off the street. He’d try to get them into the music studio. People don’t know that. He knew it was all about rap and everybody wanted to rap. So he’d try to bring them in and help them out. I don’t know if a lot of them became successful, but I always stuck behind him because he was the Man.
This is my second time up here today. I just can’t believe it. You don’t wanna see that good of a person leave when he contributed to the community. He helped people out. He did what he could do.
Bridget Hosek, Stillwater
My mom was a Prince fan, so I heard a lot of his music growing up. When I was 11 or 12, Musicology came out. Every time the video came on, I would be glued to the TV. It wasn’t until a couple years later that my mom told me he was from here, and I was like, “No way.”
Q: Do you have a favorite Prince memory?
The Super Bowl halftime show. I remember watching that and being transfixed by every little move. I’d never seen anyone perform like that before. Unfortunately, I never got to see him live in person, so the closest I ever came was watching a love broadcast. My mom and I were screaming and cheering as if we were there.
Q: What does Prince represent to you?
Individuality. Being who you are regardless of what people think or say. He was a symbol of gender fluidity. You can do what you want, you can say what you want. You can still be somebody being an individual. And that means a lot to me.
Kieran Knutson, Minneapolis
I grew up in the neighborhood that Prince is from. He grew up on the North Side, but he’s also from the Central neighborhood in South Minneapolis. He went to Central High School. He went to Park Avenue Methodist Church. And I grew up in that neighborhood.
So I’ve always felt like he came from us, and that he was a champion of us. He embodied all of our greatness. And even as a rock star, he was loyal to us.
I remember as a kid being conscious of where Minneapolis fell in the list of cities in the United States by population, or by sports team’s success. And there was this cable TV show called Night Flight. I remember they did this whole thing on the “Minneapolis Sound.” And so much of that was driven by him. He took it to that international level. The fact that there were people around the world who were thinking about Minneapolis as a music center was inspiring and gratifying.
He pushed boundaries around sex and race. I remember when I was a little kid and I first saw his Dirty Mind poster where he’s got his bikini briefs on. I was kind of scared, but also intrigued.
I don’t know if there’s another fan base like it that crosses those lines like it did, and was so important to so many people. Gay cats love Prince, black folks love Prince, and so many white people love Prince. It’s like the best of Minneapolis.