It’s been a rough week for Prince tributes. After Madonna delivered a perfunctory version of “Nothing Compare 2 U,” fans were all up in their feelings, and not just Black Twitter. While Madge used the defense of all non-singing ass singers in church that anyone can do a tribute to someone if they want to, we still weren't here for it. That’s why when we saw Mila J.’s cover of “Erotic City” come across our timeline, we feared the worst. Mila surprised us a few months ago with her COVER GIRL EP, where the Los Angeles-native attempted to rework the music of every one from Faith Evans to SWV, with “mixed” results. Thankfully, Mila has picked the perfect Prince song for her sound and her swag.
The original “Erotic City” was a sparse drum and keyboard track where Prince experimented with speeding up his voice to create different sounds, moving a high pitch cartoon voice to deeper distorted one. Mila J. keeps it simple this go round, incorporating only a few of the vocal gymnastics Prince attempted original. It’s a pretty straightforward cover that doesn’t try to hard too make the funky track something it’s not. While still a little karaoke-ish, Mila does an admirable job of bringing the song to life, and it could definitely get some burn in a Prince tribute mix.
Mila J.’s inspiration for covering the Prince song goes beyond mere admiration. The first concert she ever attended was a Prince concert, she was a dancer in the “Diamonds and Pearls” video as a child, and, in 2014, The Artist even sampled her song “Blinded” for his track “U Know.” She does the late legend’s work justice by delivering a solid take on the classic B-side.