In line with that message, songs from the album include titles such as “Running Game (Son of a Slave Master),” “Born 2 Die” and “One Day We Will All B Free.” On the title track, Prince sings, “Distracted by the features of the iPhone / Got an application, 2 fix Ur situation.”
From 2010 to 2012, Prince played more than 80 concerts on a tour of the same name, but he never explained why he shelved the related “Welcome 2 America” album.
It has been a fraught road for the estate since the singer died from an accidental overdose of an opioid painkiller five years ago this month. While Prince was known for fastidious control over his career, including retaining ownership of much of his music, he left no will. Prince was determined to have six family members who qualified as heirs, although one — a half-brother — has since died.
The release of “Welcome 2 America” will come via Legacy Recordings, a division of Sony Music Entertainment, which began releasing Prince music after an earlier $31 million deal between the estate and Universal Music was rescinded by a judge.
The estate has since faced tax problems with the IRS, which said the estate is worth $163.2 million — nearly double the $82.3 million claimed by the estate’s administrator, Comerica Bank & Trust. (A judge overseeing the estate has referred to a state of “personal and corporate mayhem.”)
Prince’s vault at Paisley Park, his studio complex outside of Minneapolis, is thought to contain hundreds — or potentially thousands — of unreleased songs.