The call went out just a few hours after the news of Prince’s death: Spike Lee’s Instagram announced, “PRINCE We Love You Shockadelica Joint A celebration of his life. We will dance, sing and shout to his music.” The location? Director Spike Lee’s headquarters 40 Acres and a Mule in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. (The background on the invite is from his 1996 film Girl 6 for which Prince provided the soundtrack.) The dress code? Duh: purple.
And Brooklyn complied, showing up promptly and enthusiastically, clad in an array of shades of purple. (Some fans went the distance and brought purple flowers; another had a very much coveted Purple Rain umbrella.)
It was a crowd that was there because they loved the music. As a DJ spun classic hits such as “1999,” “Let’s Go Crazy,” “Little Red Corvette,” and “When Doves Cry,” everyone knew every word. But they were equally at ease with lesser known (but equally great) ditties and Prince-penned jams like Shelia E.’s “The Glamorous Life” and Chaka Khan’s “Feel for You.”
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Spike Lee came out on the stoop, adhering to the dress code, and danced along with everyone else. When it came time for the evening to come to a close, there was clearly only one song to be played: “Purple Rain.” Lee implored the crowd to put their hands up and shout loud enough for Prince to hear them. (See videos of the moment below). And when the song came to an end, Lee asked the NYPD (some of whom couldn’t help but bop their heads along) to let the crowd hear it one more time. They did.
This morning Lee took to Instagram to thank the crowd. “It Was All Brooklyn LOVE For PRINCE. Sh– Was Historic.”