Purple Reign: 25 Times Hip-Hop Lyrically Praised Prince

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Music lovers around the world are feeling the collective pain after Prince Rogers Nelson died suddenly in his home in Minnesota on Thursday (Apr21).

For the last three decades, Prince made a global impact as an eclectic, musical genius and a groundbreaking fashion icon. Since he was on Apollonia, the artist formerly known as Prince built his long-standing legacy as an influential rock star — and evolved into a purple staple in pop culture.

Over the years, the hip-hop community has reveled in Prince’s pivotal contributions to music and his unforgettable moments on stage. A Tribe Called Quest fans will never forget the time the “When Doves Cry” singer crashed Q-Tip’s performance in Las Vegas at the House Of Blues back in 2008. Most recently, millennial music fans recognize Prince for his joint venture with Jay Z, Beyonce, Madonna, J. Cole and more to make Tidal the premier music streaming service for artists.

READ: That Time Prince, Michael Jackson & James Brown Shared The Stage

The Purple One has inspired veteran artists like Tupac Shakur, Cam’ron, and 8 Ball as well as today’s MCs like Chance The Rapper and Future, who recently honored Prince with the cover art for his Purple Reign mixtape.

Prince’s influence on hip-hop has spawned countless bars based on nearly every unforgettable moment of Prince’s career. In honor of Prince’s legacy, VIBE put together a list of our favorite 25 Prince references from rappers like Kanye West, Eminem, Talib Kweli, Machine Gun Kelly, LL Cool J, and plenty more.

Rest in power, Prince.