Prince’s Cover Of An 1800’s Spiritual Shows All Aspects Of His Greatness (Video)

Hip-Hop Fans, please subscribe to AFH TV, a streaming video service focused on real Hip-Hop culture. We already have exclusive interviews, documentaries, and rare freestyles featuring some of Rap’s most iconic artists and personalities, and much more is coming--movies, TV series, talk shows. We need your support. It is only $1.99/month or $12/year, and is available on iOS, Android, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire and Google TV, for all subscribers. Start your 30-day free trial now. Thank you.

Part of what made Prince so great was his supreme talent on so many levels. He could dance, sing, play 27 instruments and, despite his prodigious gifts, his work ethic was legendary. To play with Prince was often a 24-hour a day job and required incredible precision.

A video has surfaced, in the wake of his death, that shows all of his abilities on display at once. In a performance that likely took place in the early 2000s, based on Prince’s appearance and the members of his band, Prince covers the late 1800s spiritual “Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child” (aka “Motherless Child).” Prince begins with the song’s familiar refrain but quickly starts to improvise, singing what comes from his heart, making the song about abandonment.

Three minutes in, he turns to the guitar, often his weapon of choice, and begins to shred. Seconds later, he shows his command of both his band and the crowd, improvising on the spot and incorporating the audience into the performance. With one word or simply a gesture, he changes the arrangement, pulling different band members in and out. His call and response with the audience adds an extra dimension of soulfulness. After the song evolves into a full on jam session, Prince let’s the music move him, putting down the guitar and literally dancing to the beat of his own drum. It is one of the countless examples of him doing what he did best: being a vessel for creating music that moved the masses.

Related: Ever See The Time Prince Surprised Q-Tip On Stage & Started Jamming? (Video)