Prince Declares Himself ‘The Purple Yoda’ With ‘Laydown’
Considering as how it was the 77th track on what was officially a nine-song album that has yet to be released in the United States, Prince's "Laydown" has generated far more than its fair share of attention.
While the boastful funk-rock track features one of Prince's most successful latter-day attempts at incorporating the spirit of hip-hop into his music, most of the excitement generated by "Laydown" can be traced to a single line in the song's introductory verse:
"From the heart of Minnesota / Here come the purple Yoda / Guaranteed to bring the dirty new sound."
In addition to temporarily changing his name to an unpronounceable symbol back in 1993, Prince used or was referred to by many pseudonyms and nicknames over the years: the Kid, the Minneapolis Genius, Christopher Tracy, Tora Tora, and so on. But the "Purple Yoda" might be the best fitting moniker of all.
While the cold, snowy winters of Prince's hometown and the humid, swampy terrain of Yoda's chosen retirement planet Dagobah couldn't be more different in terms of climate, there are many similarities between the two Jedi masters themselves.
Of course, the phrase "judge me by my size, do you?" springs to mind immediately, but the pair also shared a knack for inspirational, sometimes cryptic spiritual statements that frequently took liberties with the standard rules of grammar and/or spelling.
The 20Ten album - on which "Laydown" was hidden after 67 tracks of brief silence - was released in July of 2010, but only as a free covermount in various newspapers and magazines in England, Ireland, France, Belgium and Germany.
Hear Prince Perform "Laydown"
There is some logic to the song being separated from its nine siblings on this otherwise rather low-key and breezy album, as it features a harder sound and more attitude than the rest of them put together. But of course, in typically perverse Prince fashion, it was "Laydown" he chose to perform during his 2011 appearance on the George Lopez Show, and which was featured in commercials for the NBA playoffs that same year.
In October of 2010, a French radio station stated that an expanded version of the album would be released, even sharing a clip of a new song entitled "Rich Friends." However, there was never any further confirmation of this report, and 20Ten Deluxe instead joined the massive list of rumored and unreleased Prince records.
In 2013 a six-minute extended mix of "Laydown" - twice the length of the original version - was released via his band 3rdEyeGirl's official YouTube page, although it has since been removed.