Prince Will Be Missed — And So Will His Masterful Shade

Prince Will Be Missed — And So Will His Masterful Shade
Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Prince, who died Thursday at the age of 57, was a legendary artist. And while he was known mainly for his enormous musical talent, there is another, more subtle art that Prince will be remembered for — his shade. 

As Dorien Corey defines it in the classic 1980s documentary Paris Is Burning: "Shade is 'I don't tell you you're ugly, but I don't have to tell you, because you know you're ugly.' And that's shade." 

Prince's shade often came without words. With a mere look, he could convey immense disapproval, like when Alicia Keys hopped up onto a piano during a Prince tribute at the 2010 BET Awards

Or Prince's wordless review of Trey Songz's segment of that same musical tribute:

Source: Prince.org

Like the infamous side eye at the Grammys in 2015 before he announced that albums "like books and black lives" matter. 

Source: Tumblr

Or when he famously stayed silent at the 1995 American Music Awards when handed a mic during a performance of the multi-artist collaboration "We Are the World," a charity single that Prince famously declined to join. Instead, he offered Quincy Jones some of his lollipop. 

Source: Twitter

And sometimes, Prince did speak that shade. Like when he made this comment on The Tavis Smiley Show about people who lip sync:

Prince also may have been the only person in the world cool enough to throw Kim Kardashian off a stage. Because she wasn't dancing to his song, she had. to. go. 

Prince taught the world that you don't need a lot of words to throw shade. When Lil' Mo wrote a lengthy Instagram post slamming Prince for blocking a bathroom, Prince responded with only nine words: "I hope she know none of her clothes match."

So, Prince, what's the tea? 

Source: Pinterest

Be quick, be cutting, be real, be shady. 

Thank you, Prince. 

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Mathew Rodriguez

Mathew Rodriguez is a Staff Writer at Mic. He is a queer Latino New Yorker who enjoys female rappers, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Flannery O'Connor. He is a former editor at TheBody.com and he is working on a memoir.

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