MILLION $ SHOW:30
SHUT THIS DOWN:30
AIN'T ABOUT 2 STOP:30
LIKE A MACK:30
THIS COULD B US:30
1000 X'S & O'S:30
Prince first used the term Hit n Run to describe pop-up shows that he would perform throughout his career, beginning in the 1980s and continuing in 2014 when he used the phrase to describe a tour with his new band, 3RDEYEGIRL. In the summer of 2015, Prince announced that he would also soon release an album by the same name — and that things were about to get experimental, weird, and super funky.
HITnRUN sounds like today. ”
Prince, Ebony, 2015
HITnRUN Phase One was primarily written and recorded in the two years leading up to its release, though at least one song, “1000 X’s and O’s,” dates back to the early 1990s and was originally recorded with the NPG vocalist Rosie Gaines singing lead. Although Prince’s bandmates in 3RDEYEGIRL (Hannah Ford-Welton, Donna Grantis, and Ida Nielsen) do make an appearance on the track “Ain’t About to Stop” (along with pop artist Rita Ora), the album was primarily a collaboration between Prince and Joshua Welton, with only sporadic contributions from other players.
For the first time in his career, Prince worked with Joshua Welton as a co-producer on the album, and Prince spoke at length in interviews about the significant role he played in the creation of HITnRUN Phase One. “He’s like me, younger,” he told Ebony. “You know how you can just feel that something’s gonna work and it feels right, it’s a good fit? I knew the relationship with him was gonna work.”
Prince and Welton have achieved a balance between dance and funk in which each genre brings out the best in the other.”
Abigail Covington, AV Club, 2015
HITnRUN Phase One was first released exclusively through TIDAL, the streaming music service founded by hip-hop mogul Jay-Z, on September 7, 2015, and was followed a week later by a CD release from Prince’s own NPG Records. The album peaked at number 7 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and at 70 on the Billboard 200.
I would say it’s an experimental Prince record for fans who just don’t care about him sounding like a certain thing… And because he’s such a creative, it gives him that freedom to say, ‘I just want to make music like this today.'”
Joshua Welton, Entertainment Weekly, 2015
HITnRUN Phase One Album Credits
Prince all vocals, various instruments Joshua Welton keyboards, drum programming, vocals Donna Grantis guitar, vocals Hannah Ford-Welton vocals Ida Nielsen vocals Rita Ora vocals Judith Hill vocals Curly Fryz (Charli Curiel, Danielle Curiel) vocals Lianne La Havas sampled vocals Stringenius strings The Hornheads (Michael B. Nelson, Steve Strand, Dave Jensen, Kenni Holmen, Kathy Jensen) horns NPG Hornz (Keith Anderson, Marcus Anderson, Lynn Grissett, Joey Rayfield) horns