Videos by American Songwriter
The posthumous track is the second single made available from Welcome 2 America—an album that Prince recorded in 2010 that will be released in standard and Deluxe editions on July 30.
Following the title track, “Welcome 2 America” released in April, “Born to Die” was recorded during a flurry of studio activity in the spring of 2010. President Obama was just a year into his first term and the popstar was reflecting deeply on the issues still affecting the Black community and the role he hoped to play in the social justice movement.
With plans to be released over a decade later, Welcome 2 America, lands amidst a racial reckoning and historic protests bred from exhaustion and outrage over social injustices the nation continues to face.
Also recently announced, SiriusXM kicked off Black Music Month on June 1 with a relaunch of The Prince Channel, which features music from Prince’s vast catalog and favorites from those who knew Prince best. The limited-run channel is available now on SiriusXM ch. 333 or listen on the SiriusXM app for free through June 8, here.
The slow-burning song was first recorded by Prince, the bassist Tal Wilkenfeld, and the drummer Chris Coleman, and then accentuated by the vocal harmonies of Shelby J., Liv Warfield, and Elisa Fiorillo, and topped off by a melody sung by Prince himself. He then tapped Morris Hayes to add final production to the track.
“We got to ‘Born 2 Die,’ and Prince said, ‘I’ll tell you how that came about,’” Morris Hayes shared. “He had been watching videos of his friend Dr. Cornel West on YouTube, and during one speech Dr. West said, ‘I love my brother Prince, but he’s no Curtis Mayfield.’ So Prince said, ‘Oh really? We will see.’”