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Questlove on Prince’s feelings regarding cursing

We’re at Paisley Park [Prince’s studio and home in Minnesota], and I don’t know, maybe I let the s-word slip … and [Prince] was like, “Yeah, that’ll be a dollar.” He grabbed a water bottle and he said, “Actually, you’re rich. That’s $20.”

I said, “Huh?” and he said, “No cursing.” And I said, “Cursing! Wait, you’re the one that taught me how to curse.”

But the thing was, when I said that, I was really saying it to get out of paying 20 bucks, but I saw the look on his face. And when I walked away that night and went back to the hotel, I wondered if he really felt bad about that; if he thinks in his head, “Man, I’ve ruined a generation.” But he really felt that.

And I felt that with a lot of his secret philanthropy, and a lot of the Robin Hood stuff he was doing, I mean real deep political — saving schools, people to this day not knowing where this $3 million check came from, that was all him. I felt like maybe in the last 20 years of his life, he felt the need to overcompensate or pay forward what he feels that maybe he damaged some of us who grew up listening to his music.

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