He Will Tweet 4 U: How Prince Proved He Has a Sense of Humor


For a while, tweeters and Purple Rain fans had nothing more than the the hilarious and surprisingly accurate parody account of the artist formerly known as the artist formerly known as Prince that locked in the appropriate handle PrinceTweets2U. But on August 13, the account for Prince’s band 3rd Eye Girl was blessed with the presence of the legend. Every day since has been a dream. Prince’s Twitter account is so good, so self-aware, it’s almost hard to believe it’s real.

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Prince has always been ripe for parody–he’s an eccentric rock ‘n’ roll artist who wears ruffled shirts, has changed his name to nothing more than an unpronounceable symbol, used this as an album cover. He’s larger than life and has a personality as bold and brazen as his music. From Dave Chappelle on The Chappelle Show to Fred Armisen on SNL, the Prince the Character has provided material for some of the best comedic moments on television.

With such a force of personality, it’s exciting to see the performer be as self-aware as he has proven to be in his first few days of Twitter. After two introductory “test tweets” that merely announced his presence on the site, followers became pretty skeptical after a third tweet included a pretty ridiculous picture of his peppered-up dinner.

Adding on to the wariness, his fourth tweet and second TwitPic proved to be even more unreal.

It almost seemed as if the genius behind PrinceTweets2U had gained control of the 3rdeyegirl account and decided to have some fun, especially since the graphic seems ripped right from some of the parody accounts best and most minimal tweets.

Soon after his debut Prince was verified and started to have some real fun after dipping into his probably exploding @replies, retweeting fans, and even responding to some. Even hip-hop’s most mutually supportive queen Missy Elliot was shown some retweet love after giving him a shout out.

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Prince even got around to interacting with other artists and posed an important question to Jay Z about the availability of Barclays.

With that, a million fans melted into a puddle of performance possibilities from the mere thought of a week long residence for the artist at the new arena.

The most important, beautifully composed, and culturally relevant tweet on his feed since his pretty hilarious #tbt picture, however, is when Prince not only mentioned one of the funniest impressions of him, but used it as the cover for a single titled “Breakfast Can Wait.” With nothing more than the caption “Game: Blouses,” Prince included a pic of a cover that dons Dave Chappelle dressed as Prince holding a plate of pancakes and a link to a snippet of the song.

And if you’re not familiar with the sketch, dig your head out of your ass a second and watch the clip that Prince so slyly references:

All of this is to say … all of this is very surprising. This is Prince we’re talking about, after all, a very serious artist who never met a woman’s XS purple blouse he didn’t wear the ever loving hell out of. Part of the reason the Armisens, Chappelles, and Tweets2Us of the world even work at putting one over on him is because you can’t imagine the Artist hosting a talk show, making pancakes after an inspired game of basketball or tweeting on Twitter. But now he’s doing the latter, and, as though that on its own weren’t confounding or surreal enough, he’s using the platform to expose that he gets it. He’s been listening. He’s taken in what the world has said about him and he’s able to laugh at some of it. He’s not a hermit, hermetically sealing himself inside Paisley Park with his funny shaped guitars and thousands of pairs of heels. Or, more accurately, he is that very thing, but knows it about himself.

Of course, over the years Prince has been quite sensitive and rightfully protective of his music (annoyance with his record label led to a name change and he recently took up a beef with video app Vine), it’s incredibly nice to see the legend as comfortable with translating his character and perception about himself to the digital environment. Though he’s found a home on the @3rdeyegirl account, it seems like he’s encouraging the loving imitations from people like Chappelle and Twitter handles like @PrinceTweets2U to remind us of all the quirks that made him such a recognizable figure in the first place.

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