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tv   All In With Chris Hayes  MSNBC  April 22, 2016 12:00am-1:01am PDT

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documentary on hillary clinton, "it takes a country." "all in with chris hayes" starts right now. tonight on "all in." >> people go, they use the bathroom that they feel is appropriate. >> a culture war erupts on the right. >> have we gone stark raving nuts? >> tonight donald trump and ted cruz come out on opposite ends of legalized discrimination. as the nba reveals plans to move the all-star game from north carolina. today's change in tone for bernie sanders. >> look, if we do not have a majority, i think it's going to be very hard for us to win. >> the death of a music icon. i want to be your lover i want to be the only one >> the world responds to the death of prince. >> i believe in the afterworld. hopefully we'll all see it.
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>> a look at his musical legacy, his activism, and his epic fight against the music industry. >> even at 17 when i got into the business i never thought that i worked for warner brothers. >> "all in" starts right now. god evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. a huge news day with the loss of a music and cultural icon, very sad day in that respect. we'll be remembering him. and a busy day in politics as donald trump and bernie sanders hold dueling rallies in pennsylvania in advance of next week's big primaries, with that state being the biggest haul. a culture war in the republican presidential race early today to start the day off. in a town hall on the "today" show this morning donald trump was asked his opinion of north carolina's controversial law forcing trans people to use bathrooms corresponding to the gender of their birth certificates. and his response was, for trump, surprisingly sensible and tolerant. >> one of the best answers i
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heard was from a commentator yesterday saying, leave it the way it is right now. there have been very few problems, leave it the way it is. people go, they use bathroom that they feel is appropriate. there has been so little trouble. and the problem with what happened in north carolina is the strife and the economic -- i mean, the economic punishment that they're taking. >> as of today north carolina could take an even bigger punishment for that law. nba commissioner adam silver said this afternoon the 2017 all-star game would have to move from charlotte if the law doesn't change. ted cruz immediately pounced on trump's comments, seizing the opportunity to paint him as out of step with the republican voters. >> let me ask you, have we gone stark raving nuts? i'm the father of two little girls. here is basic common sense. grown adult men, strangers, should not be alone in a bathroom with little girls.
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>> it's a genuine policy dispute, if you can call it that, between the two leading republican candidates. one of few we've seen in a race driven almost spiral recently over fights over process and style. it comes as donald trump is making himself over for the general election, attempting to calm republican elites, worried about the party's chances under an ever likelier trump ticket. listen to how commentator chris collins, one of trump's few supporters on capitol hill, supped up the changes. >> you're going to see a growing trump organization as we pivot to a general election and start bringing out policies. you're going to start seeing a presidential mr. trump. he's talked about it. shifting into a more presidential speech-giving, policy decisions and demeanor. >> less than 24 hours after trump mocked hillary clinton on the campaign trail for using a teleprompter the trump campaign confirmed he's hiring a speechwriter and practicing using a teleprompter. even as trump continues to rail against party official forth
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their "rigged system" he's sending top aides to court the elite in gop washington and rnc. paul mannafort described his pitch to party lead neshs an interview with nbc's casey hunt. >> we're here to let them know that we're going to run a traditional campaign. we're the nominee of the republican party. it's going to be a trump brand of the party. but we are republicans, we're running as a team. >> running as team, traditional campaign, that's a real about-face for a campaign that has been anything but. at the same time, ted cruz is trying to portray himself at the trump alternative, the most electable candidate and the biggest threat to hillary clinton, releasing a new two and a half minute web video with actors playing clinton and her closest aides. >> the plan is coming together. donald trump is paving the way for you to went white house. >> what's our next move? >> our op file on trump is ready to go. when our friends in the media release this stuff he's toast.
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>> silenting dissenters with lawsuits, taking people's property, a long list of failing businesses. >> he plays fast and loose with the facts. >> he isn't trusted and has the second-highest disapproval ratings of anybody running for president. >> who has the high nest. >> latest polling indicates americans want a president they can trust. someone who isn't -- >> a liar? >> someone who respects the constitution and the rights it protects. >> someone who has a proven track record taking on the washington establishment. >> how do we stop ted cruz? how do we stop ted cruz? >> i don't think we can. >> first of all, the so-called disapproval ratings they cite are totally being does. in the most recent polling it is donald trump who has the highest
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unfavorables, 69%. followed by none other than ted cruz himself. hillary clinton comes in third. secondly, the idea that running against cruz would make the clinton team quake in its boots is preposterous. his stance on the north carolina law for one example is a reminder ted cruz lies way outside the mainstream on social issues. it's not just lib rat activists fighting that controversial law, it's fortune 500 companies, musicians, the nba. cruz isn't just out of step with trans rights, but on issues like mosquitoes marriage, public opinion has moved in a clear direction. as of a year ago, 60% of americans said the law should recognize same-sex marriages as valid. a number that only continues to rise. ted cruz, on the other hand, believes states can choose to nullify the supreme court's same-sex ruling calling it "fundamentally illegitimate." 56% of americans say abortion should be legal, 78% support legal abortion in cases of rape or incest. ted cruz, well, he favors no
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abortions. no exceptions. not ever. joining me now, former cruz campaign spokesman rick tyler, msnbc political commentator. let me start with you. you know, let's separate out first something whether you like a candidate substantively, whether you think they're the most electable. those are two distinct things. there are people i think are great poll tilgss that are never going to be elected president. i want to focus on electability. disapproval ratings in new hampshire, which is not a deep blue state, 72%. the notion that ted cruz has some favorability, popularity card up his sleeve, seems wholly ungrounded in the data. >> well, i remember early in the campaign ted cruz was the most likeable, that was a gallup poll, and everybody was surprised at that. the data numbers are high because this campaign has been very contentious and people are on the attack. hillary clinton's numbers are obviously very bad and her
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numbers are bad because people don't trust her. but those things have to be fixed. donald trump, one of his big problems is he has a disapproval rating among women about 74%, among hispanics about 80%, young people, 85%. he's got to fix that. i think that's what mannafort is brought in for. what he's doing now is essentially becoming that which he ran against. i mean, he's bringing in establishment lobbyists into his campaign, being controlled by them, he's going to use a teleprompter as you pointed out. within 24 hours he seems to have shifted positions. he's proposed raising taxes, he's proposed raising -- changing the platform on abortion in the republican party. and his utterance on the transgender bathroom bill, which he never mentioned in north carolina or anywhere in the south when he was running, but now all of a sudden he's always for it. >> a.j. i want you to respond on the north carolina bill issue which my sense that is you
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support trump's position. and whether you think -- what do you think that says about his sort of electability? >> i think i'm very proud of him, actually. i think it shows a sensible, pragmatic, practical conservative. we saw that side of him today. and the social conservatives even in the base that might not agree with him on it, no one is going to say, well, i'm concerned about jobs and the economy and isis, but i don't agree with trump on this so that means i'm not going to vote for him. that's silly. he won't lose base voters. it will only bring in independents who might listen to him and say, that's a sensible position, while ted cruz sounds insane. >> a.j., on this -- on the numbers, it is the case,the two people who are the least popular national politicians are one and two in the republican side. hillary's unfavorable ratings are hide, these two are the highest. donald trump has set records. how can anyone credibly go to the republicans and say, this person who right now, 69% of americans disapprove of, is your best shot to win this. >> i don't think you should take
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those polls into account until each party has their nominee. those favorability ratings don't mean anything right now until people have two to decide -- >> hasn't he said -- there are so many bells that he can't unring, right? whether it's -- >> like what? >> whether it's the opening mexicans are reignists -- >> he didn't say that. >> he said, they're not sending their bests thoorks sending rapes -- >> that's actually correct, some are rapists. >> of any broad group, some are rapists, i agree. the perception, if you poll latinos, is that was offensive whether you substantively agree or not. my point is there are things he's said that have driven these unfavorables. whether that's going to come
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down against another candidate is seems unlikely to me. >> he's garnered millions of votes. the unfavorable doesn't matter. who's the one who's gathered the most votes? it's donald trump. ted cruz needs to drop out. ted cruz said somebody who doesn't have a path to the nomination has no business staying in the race. why is he still in the race after new york when he has no mathematical path to the nomination? how is the person that couldn't even secure their own party's nomination going to win in the general? donald trump is the only person who should be in this race right now. >> rick, that question about mathematical possibility seems to me, particularly right now, 98% he's going to win probably after tuesday he will be mathematically eliminated from getting to 1237 -- >> no, no, no. he's not mathematically eliminated. the reason is, chris, is because you need, according to rule 40-b, you need eight states with a majority of the delegates who will put your name in nomination. he has that, so does trump. nobody else does. he's not mathematically eliminated.
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>> he's mathematically eliminated from achieving 1237 before the convention. >> yes, and donald trump may soon be mathematically eliminated also. he has not gotten 1237. >> donald trump has the path to 1237 -- >> this is the seventh inning and we won't to call the game. we have nine innings in this game. >> here's my point. a.j.'s point seems a strong one as well. ted cruz is unquestionably the most popular person with the social conservative base. you saw his comments went over well when he talked about the north carolina bill. do you genuinely believe his positions on those issues are shared by the majority of americans in contravention of what the polling says? >> i think there's a commonsense idea that people should use the bathroom of their gender, so there are a lot people who agree with that. i don't think that the entire campaign is going to hinge on whether transgender people can use the bathroom of their choosing. i think it will probably focus more on things like the economy, which has been stagnant for eight years. focus on isis, who is going to defeat them. et cetera. by the way -- >> let me just say, and i liked your phrasing there.
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let me applaud the phrasing which was precise and accurate. that gave away the game, yes. it won be decided by that issue. if it were i think the republicans might get the smaller slice of the pie in the words of patrick buchanan, his favorite culture war memo. >> we talk about practicality of donald trump. earlier this week he also said that, i will deport people who are here illegally, but then i will bring them right back. i mean, that is the most impractical idea ever. we're going to take 11 million people, round them up, touch them back in mexico, then bring them back in. >> let me say there's a lot of impracticalities floating around and we'll see if that continues. thank you both, appreciate it. joined by the spokesperson for emily's list, a pac working to elect pro-choice female candidates. do you think there's a preference in brooke in hillary clinton headquarters about should they win the nom nation who they run between these two? >> no. i mean, yes, but it's a -- >> you don't think there is? >> i think half of brooklyn
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wants to run against ted cruz and half of brooklyn wants to run against trump and it's for different reasons. one, trump's unfavorability is sky high. and especially among women. women will be the key to trump's undoing in the general election. even republican women find his statements and past rhetoric completely repugnant. >> he hasn't been hammered that much on that. one ad, the stop trump pac i think -- >> yes. it should be known that the people who have hammered him hard ost that issue, at least on the air and on digital space, are republicans at this point. they know how strong that is against him and if they want to stop him that's wait to do it now. i think the people who want to run against ted cruz want to run against ted cruz because he's a much more by the book conservative guy. he has views that are wildly out of touch with the majority of america. and frankly, i might prefer to run against cruz because it would be a little bit of a relief to not have such a wild
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card out there. even though i think he's a bit of a wild card. >> exactly right, i think the ted cruz two and a half web ad making hillary clinton terrified, if anything the fear that is donald trump is able to, in the words of mitt romney, etch a sketch his views, completely throw overboard people haven't liked and say, this is what i am, and people go for it. ted cruz cannot do that. ted cruz is who he is. he's had those views, he's on the record. he can't run away from them. they are not the whole i think shared by the majority of the electorate. >> the only reason we're not talking about how amazing it is that republicans dprg to nominate someone so extreme as ted cruz is that donald trump outdoes him. >> the senate caucus, the most conservative in republican history. >> i think in brooklyn they are legitimately torn and that's a decent place to be. the extraordinary legacy that prince leaves behind. how one man changed the industry. first a new message from bernie sanders whether to push to win the nomination even if he
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presidential candidate bernie sanders is pledging to fight for the democratic nomination, saying he is in it until the last vote. the problem is the campaign continues to suggest it might try to win with superdelegates, those folks who are democratic national committee electeds and other folks even if hillary clinton still has more pledged delegate busy the convention. >> if after june 7th, after california, if you don't have a majority, if she has a majority and more of the popular vote, would you then concede, endorse her, the way she did the barack obama? >> if we do not have a majority, i think it's going to be very hard for us to win. the only fact that i think remains uncertain is if we continue to be running
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significantly stronger than she is against donald trump, or whoever the republican nominee will be, i think that's a factor. >> speaking with my colleague rachel maddow, sansers' campaign senior adviser ted devine said this -- >> hopefully we'll get all the way there. if we come four, five delegates short and we go from being 326 delegates behind on the 15th of march to 2, well, technically she has more delegates but i think if we get very, very close or a few ahead, you know, i think that will be very impressive. >> sanders' campaign manager jeff weaver made comments neither candidate would win the nomination with pledged delegates alone bit connection so election would be determined by super angle gates. this kind of talk is creating a bit of a backlash, not only among hillary clinton supporters. the washington supporter of move on told "the washington post" move on members endorse sanders for president, we want him to win, become the no nominee, and become president. but superdelegates shouldn't overcome come the will of the democratic grass roots.
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it's hard for groups arguing superdelegates are fundamentally undemocratic, to support a strategy by which sanders would win with superdelegates. it's unclear if the sanders campaign would try to win that way. katrina, i want to start with a really important distinction which is who you think is the best person in this race between hillary clinton and bernie sanders, and whether you think one or the other would be the better president, and the objective conditions of the race right now. i feel like there's this weird confluence happening amoney sanders supporters where it's like, even if you think sanders would be better, he is behind right now. >> but step aside from that nor a moment. i think that bernie sanders should continue to run for president. >> i don't disagree. >> i think you should go to the convention and i think he should go and he should -- listen, as an insurgent candidate he's amassed more votes than any other insurgent candidate in contemporary american history.
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he should go with that strength in order to drive procedural reforms and to drive a progressive platform. >> so this is -- i've heard -- i thought of this idea. so let's say -- >> think of the campaign he's run, chris. i think we lose sight of that with new math, delegate math, superdelegate math. i think we have to step back. he was 3% in the polls about a year ago, he has driven issues into this election that would not have been on the radar. and for that i think we step back, it takes two to tango, both candidates, both campaigns, have taken a low road. nothing compared to the guttural politics of the republicans. but it's time to take a high road and for bernie sanders especially to remind that i believe he is the future of the democratic party, but to lift those issues up that made him the insurgent candidate which has electrified the young and electrified millions. >> so here's my question. i sort of -- my general feeling on all this is i'm a small league democrat. i think we should get rid of caucuses. >> absolutely.
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>> get rid of superdelegates. people should change. >> don't change the rules in the middle of the road. >> i agree. from a first principles democratic perspective, small "d," democratic, it's hard to make the argument the person with the most pledged delegates shouldn't be the nominee. >> i agree. i do think we're going to be in a place where you're going to have to win the enthusiasm of a lot of people who have endorsed and supported bernie sanders. and that's going to take in the convention things we haven't seen in a long time. >> but wait, you say in the convention. when we're talking about june ev 7th -- sorry, the 14th is d.c., don't write out d.c., you guys matter. the 14th to late july. that period. how do you envision that period? should it be the case that he has not caught pledged delegates and go to the convention? that could be a nasty war of attrition. what does that look like? >> i'm not tied into the bernie sanders campaign but i suspect
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bernie sanders will speak to his supporters and say, we've got to fight in the convention for the future of this party. because chris, what's happening in this campaign is not just a fight for the delegates. in my mind it's a fight for the future of the democratic party. bernie sanders is par of it even though people try to write him out and they shouldn't. the warren/sanders wing of the democratic party i believe is ascendant. the democratic leadership council, look it up, it seems like ancient history, is dead. the future of the party could be bernie sanders' future but he needs to fight for it in a way that is not going into the trenches. and i think there are divisions inside the sanders campaign. i think you have an old guard like devine and weaver and a new guard which wants to continue an insurgent campaign that will fight for the future of a party that needs to be fought for. >> i think the question on a lot of people's mind what that fight looks like. we'll find out as this goes forward. a pleasure to have you here. as we look at the crowd outside@poll low theater in harlem tonight, how one man change the entire music
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industry. the look back at the life of a cultural phenomenon. the life and legacy of prince.
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when i was 16, i was completely broke and needed to go get a job so i got the yellow pages out and i couldn't find one thing that i wanted to do. so i decided i was going to push as hard as i could to be a musician. and win at it. >> the man simply known as prince died today at his home in suburban minneapolis.
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he was found unresponsive in an elevate where sheriff's deputies and medical personnel arrived. he was 57 years old. authorities are investigating the circumstances surrounding his death. last week prince's plane made an unscheduled landing in illinois. the music icon was reportedly brought to a local hospital. at the time his publicist said he was fighting a flu. hours before that flight, prince played what would turn out to be his final show. an intimate concert in atlanta as part of his piano and a microphone tour on april 14th. news of prince's sudden death was immediately greeted with an outpouring of mourning, grief and celebration of his astounding career. president obama, who hosted a top-secret performance by prince at the white house last year, said in a statement, few artists have influenced the sound and trajectory of popular music more distinctly or touched quite so many people with their talent. instagram, madonna wrote, he changed the world. i'm devastating. mick jagger said, his talent was limitless, he was one of the most unique and exciting artists in the last 30 years.
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born prince rogers nelson, the son of two musicians, prince was a gifted instrumentalist, a malgser of guitar, bass, drums, piano, among other instruments. his first album released in 1970. he rose to superstardom in 1984 in his mid-20s with the release of "purple rain" which coincided with a film of the same name, woulder him a pair of gramnies and an academy award. prince will go down as one of the most meticulous and prolific musicians ever. in 35 years he released 39 albums. his dispute with warner brothers proved how relentless he could be over the control of his artistry. while much of that music was about love and sex, prince didn't shy away from being political. >> albums. still matter. like books and black lives, albums still matter. tonight and always. >> in baltimore last year he gave a rally for peace concert
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after the unrest following the death of freddie gray and released a tribute song that aimed to inspire activism. nobody got in nobody's way so i guess you could say it was a good day least a little better than the day in baltimore >> prince was everything at once. he transcended styles and genres as well as identities and niches. he was profane and holy and transgressive and conservative all at the same time. most of all he was a performer, a sublime performer. as evidenced by his thrilling 2007 super bowl halftime show, perhaps the best we'll ever see. everybody let me hear you still
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still my guitar gently weeps joining me now is msnbc national reporter lee and joy reid talking about the news today, really hit poem so hard. really hit people hard. >> me too. it took me awhile to recover from it. i grew up with prince. his first -- the first song that i remember, 80 want to be your lover," came out when i was if fifth grade. this is the illicit music we listened to alongside michael jackson. mom knew we were into michael jackson, we could watch that as a family. then sneaking off to listening to darling nicky, the other side of the pop phenomenon we weren't supposed to access. >> you talk about the illicitness of it, mine is "purple rain" and a child being like, what is going on here? there's some adult thing happening here that is very intriguing. >> i remember prince did a tour
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that came through denver at one point and my motor was like, you are not going to that tour. they came to our school, giving out purple cones and everything. i couldn't be a part of it but you wanted to access it so badly. my adult self, i look back, he was talking about female sexuality in a very empowering way that you didn't see. he was bending gender norms in a way no man, particularly no black man, ever did. >> tremaine, you started tweeting out today this story of when you hung out with prince, fairly recently. tell me about what that was like. >> i tell you what, chris, it was the kind of most prince-like experience i could have ever imagined. and it was wonderful and ethereal in so many ways. it was during the national association of black journalists convention in minneapolis. we were kind of part of this very small group of five or six journalists that was invited to meet the purple one. right?
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we go to paisley park and we're greeted by a set of beautiful twins and another kind of tall, search ewe we can woman. they lead us through this maze in his house. we end up at this small studio. and there is prince behind the mixing board at work. and as soon as he turns around, you know, it's this kind of small guy. but this energy where he greets us, he smiles and shakes our hands. but this moment is one i hold on to. i smile when i think about it. even in this tragedy. he tells one of his guys, it's a little crowded in this room, let's go upstairs to the bigger office. and he says, but then the lights for the doves. and i'm like, of course prince actually has real doves in his house. so the angels float up the stairwell. we follow them and it's all lit by candles. i hear cooing, i look over, there's this 6, 6'2" intricately designed white bird house filled
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with doves. at the top of the step you look out, he has gold records and his awards. we get into this big office room, this big space. and there are games of chess, five or six boards, all around the office, in mid-game. and it kind of speaks to this brilliant man who is this thinker. then when we started talking to him, his whole point was all about as we've seen throughout his entire life, the idea of liberation. not just liberating oneself from gender norms as joy talked about androgyny. freeing yourself from the other ties that bind, like business ties. we remember his fight with warner brothers for control when he wrote "slave" across his face. he talked about young artists coming up, saying it should be illegal for them to sign the contract saying, don't sign. that artists should own their masters. they should own the right to their work. but he also talked about the idea of social justice. he had gone to baltimore and wrote that song and held that
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concert in honor of freddie gray. he talked a lot about freeing ourselves from the systemic and institutional kind of shackles that we're still kind of hinged to. he said that, you know what, we lived a certain way, the next generation shouldn't. he was passionate and earnest about it. so in all of this magnificence and all of this dynamics that prince is, he still had that side of him that was very much a fighter. and that kind of stands out to me. this kind of beautiful man with this beautiful energy. but at a very serious side, this little guy with his deep voice. and it was kind of a moment that it was an honor and a privilege just to be a part of. >> the ferocious independence to me, i was spending all day watching prince interviews. someone who had a spine of steel to preserve what his vision was. >> that's right. james brown, little richard, prince. these are three people -- and david bowie i would have to say -- who struck out probably the most independent, singular, iconic images in music and defied everything the music
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industry says an artist is supposed to be. everything. >> tremaine lee and joy reid, thank you very much. ahead prince interviews you do not want to miss. plus the time prince made history in 1992. what he did just after this break.
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when rca records signed elvis in 1956 they paid $35,000. unheard of at the time. here's an unheard of figure for our times. $100 million. that's the deal prince cut with warner brothers records. a $at any million advance, $10 million each for six albums, the rest in royalties. more than michael jackson, more than madonna. prince gets a title -- corporate vice president. >> september of 1992, prince signed one of the largest recording and music publishing contracts in history. six albums, potentially $100 million.
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now the historic relationship between the rock icon and recording giant quickly soured. culminating in him change is his name to an unpronounceable symbol, how prince became the artist formerly known as prince, and the logic behind it in 60 seconds. stay with us.
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almost immediately after prince signed his unprecedented contract with warner brothers in 1992, a prolific artist and his recording studio started butting heads. prince reportedly began clashing with warner brothers over output. he was constantly creating and recording new music and warner brothers wanted him to put out less of it to avoid flooding the market according to a "rolling stone" report. the beginning of a long and tortured relationship. >> he said his recording label, warner brothersed. and are in publishing arm, warner chapel, exercised too much control over his music and his identity. >> prince couldn't get out of his six-album contract with warner brothers but there was something he could do, change
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his name or get rid of it altogether, and that's exactly what he did less than a year after signing with warner. opting to go by a symbol which he would copyright as love symbol number 2. and became popularly known as the artist formerly known as prince. going under that symbol he released albums including security rights with warner brothers' rival. it's fair to say the move flummoxed many people. >> it doesn't bother me but what would you say is the continuing point of having no pronounceable name? >> well -- my name is very spiritual to me. it has a great deal of spiritual meaning. and one day maybe i'll hear a sound that will best give me the feeling of what it's supposed to be. but for right now i just go by the look of it.
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>> does it bother you that it discomforts others, that it may make it difficult for them to interact with you? >> to some degree. but there again, it's just one of the many rules that we as humans have to get used to. and i'm just trying to get unused to it, i guess. >> not only did prince go by an unprudenceable symbol which forced warner brothers to e-mail to journalists on a floppy disk so they could write about the artist, a great thing to do, the people that are screwing you over and don't like, he performed with "slave" written on his cheek. after signing with warner brothers and his contract expired he went back to his original performance name. >> on december 31st, 1999, my publishing contract with warner chapel expired. thus emancipaing the name i was given before birth, prince.
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from all long-term restrictive documents. i will now go back to using my name instead of the symbol i adopted as a means to free myself from all undesirable relationships. >> endlessly fascinating guy and the man who wrote the book literally about prince is going to join me at this desk in just a bit right after this break.
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joining me, msnbc contributor toree who wrote the book on prince, so great to see you. >> thank you. >> i was watching an amazing interview of you talking about the time you played basketball with prince. i want to start with this dispute with warner brothers. i remember it was like a late-night comedy joke, like this crazy guy, how eccentric and nutty can you somebody. >> right. >> and it was only really when i dove into it realizing, this had this very profound political statement about self-ownership. >> yeah, the word "slave" was a
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bit much in that situation but it was about emancipation, about taking control of his career and his back catalog from the labels. he didn't care if you called him prince or i called him prince or he walked through the airport people would yell out "purple rain," he was fine with that. but he didn't want the labels to have that control with him. as you tweeted today, i played football basketball with him, i passed the ball to him, he didn't see it coming. i said, prince! then, oh, you can't call him prince, it's the symbol man! then he was laughing. he said, you didn't know what to call me, and he liked that. he didn't mind that i called him prince but he liked that i was on edge about the whole thing. but it was about the labels. when you think about it like that, this was a really important stand. that he wanted all artists to understand, you have to be in control of your career and we are not. and here's the way to get in control of your career. you know, you think about kanye's album talking about harriet tubman of the underground. that's what prince was doing.
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>> pay us us like you owe us for all those years that you hold us. >> indeed. >> there's something about his background that i think is so interesting. you look at this person like this, he's this icon, right, eccentric. but just the work ethic and the drive. and listening to stories, watch this tavis smiley interview, he had a dad who was kind of intense. >> he did. intense father who was very much part of him becoming who he became. not just throwing him out of his house but his father occasioned young prince, 13, 14 years old, to be playing in strip clubs. to be learning that side of life. but yeah, extremely childhood. his original nuclear family falls apart. he lives with his dad. it gets thrown out or leaves his dad, we don't know which. he ends up having to leave his mom. he talked about physical abuse from his stepfather. i haven't substantiated that but that's what he said. living in the basement of andre simone's mother's house for his
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teen years. a very difficult childhood that is just like, i'm going to become a rock star and all this will fade away. >> and already, i was reading someone said who went to seventh grade with him, a seventh grade prodigy, can play the actual pet, band arrangements, can pick up things -- >> absolutely. his mother talked about at the youngest age, going to a department store, she'd lose track of him, and he'd be with the instruments, playing. and yes, he learns all those instruments and he's extraordinary. didn't learn the horn but he could do anything else. was also thinking about performance and also thinking about the music business in his teenage years. so he was not just doing the exciting, i want to be a star stuff. he was also doing the, i need to have a business stuff. really, really smart approach. he was making a song a day. usually artists are doing a song a week. a song a day is an extraordinarily fast pace. he was doing 24, 48-hour sessions in the studio.
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everyone else is tapping out. he's like, let's do more! six hours of rehearsing, they leave, i'll do four more hours. extraordinary work ethic. >> thanks for being here, viewers will see you later on tonight during the special. it's great to see you. >> thank you, chris. great to be here. >> more coverage of prince's death ahead.
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richard cain, executive editor of "the nation" magazine. christopher farley of "wall street journal." christopher, a bunch of people outside the apollo, spike lee is having a block party in fort green, telling people to wear purple, a block party in minneapolis. what i'm struck by is the sort of ferocious courage it took for prince to be who he was from the time that he started entering the world as the person he was. >> yeah, he brought a lot things together. he brought together streams of black music and white music and added to them rock 'n' roll and soul music, put them together. not only was he a pioneer as a musician, i think it's important to note as you have that he was an important part of this
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country as an industry rebel. he told me once he made more money off the five-cd set "crystal ball" he released on his website than he did off of "purple rain." i'm not sure that's true but the fact that he made that statement says something about the way industries run and why he was raging so much against it, making more money off a release on the website off of something that's an iconic, huge cultural moment. >> it's funny -- not funny. it's striking we've lost david bowie and prince in the same year. two people who really performed masculinity in complete ways that were totally opposite the traditional way ask opened up vistas. you wrote about that today, as a young gay man what prince meant to you. >> it wasn't even masculinity or sexuality. the early '80s, reagan had won, gay men were dying, sex was to be feared. the dominant culture was reinforcing right side,
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responsibility, respect ability. prince comes along and he just nukes that whole culture. he just rebukes all of it. it's not overtly political but he creates this alternative universe and the colors are not red, white and blue. they are paisley, purple, rats berry. he's not a woman, he's not a man, he's something that you will never understand. and that, that creation i think was a real work of art. and then the magic is that he got millions and millions of americans in suburban shopping malls to buy into that work of art. >> i think you make a great point. what i loved about his music is in his world, sex and salvation were not incompatible. >> right. >> so often they're at war. oh, you can be sexy but you can't be religious. no you can be both in prince's world, and he invited everyone to join him. >> it was dangerous, excessive, but it was always about pleasure. >> i was rereading, "the new yorker" starts off with the jamie foxx routine which we can't even play for you.
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jamie foxx is basically, i met prince and the whole schtick is, i'm not gay but i was kind of feeling some things for prince. it's hilarious because it's sort of about the transgression that is -- that prince was able to carry off. >> i think you have to be a little dead inside to not look at him and be totally mesmerized in some way. >> a great skit where he goes, you know where you got that shirt? you didn't get from it the men's department. he wasn't afraid to do that, wasn't afraid to wear whatever he was feeling and people respected him and loved him for it. >> the older i get, the further i go in my life, the more i realize how the gravitational forces of conformity act on people and institutionally and the incentives to do that. the more that i stand in awe of people that resist that in the way that he has. that to me, just watching interview after interview today, the ability to do that is a truly distinct and amazing skill. richard kim, john farley, thank you.
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coming up at 10:00 p.m., brian williams hosts "prince: purple reign." first "the rachel maddow show." >> that was a super, super, super smart discussion, awesome. and you used the word "orthognal," didn't even pause for emphasis, you dropped it and rolled, amazing. i can't keep up. >> a little tribute. all right. thanks for joining us this hour. there's a lot of the news. we've got a big show ahead this hour. we've got john stanton here, my buddy from "buzz feed." congresswoman donna edwards is here. she is maybe on the cusp of pulling off what would be a huge upset in a big senate race in maryland next week. she's going to be joining us. a lot to get to over the course of this hour. we start with this. if you are ever going to testify before congress, or testify before the united states senate,


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