Chicagoans, like everybody else, have been rolling out tributes to Prince since his unexpected death at the age of 57 on Thursday morning. Last night the Chicago skyline went purple, and local bars and restaurants introduced impromptu drink specials and played nothing but the Purple One’s music. And early this morning, west-side rap veteran Twista uploaded a track to Soundcloud called “I Can Make You Say,” which samples Prince’s supple, gauzy ballad “Do Me, Baby,” off 1981’s Controversy.
Twista wasn’t the first to borrow a little sensual energy from Prince by sampling “Do Me, Baby.” Tupac wove the song’s gossamer guitars and rounded bass into his 1996 Makaveli single “To Live & Die in L.A.,” which dropped 13 days after he was murdered in Las Vegas. Twista wouldn’t release his song sampling “Do Me, Baby” until 13 years later: “I Can Make You Say” appeared on a mixtape called The Calm Before the Storm, which came out on April 15, 2009. Hosted by WGCI on-air personality DJ MoonDawg, The Calm Before the Storm was a stopgap release meant to preview Twista’s seventh album, Category F5, which dropped in July of that year. “I Can Make You Say” pops up near the end of the mixtape, though its credits are sure to tempt listeners to skip ahead—the track list says it features Prince and was produced by Kanye West.
“I Can Make You Say” floats gracefully on Prince’s incandescent original melody, and it’s got flourishes of Kanye’s chipmunk-soul sound. Twista keeps the tune moving at a leisurely pace, and his rapid-fire syllables give its slow groove extra weight. It’s a terrific track, and one of countless examples of Prince’s unparalleled influence on pop.