"Uptown" was the lead single in the U.S. to Prince's third album, Dirty Mind. Beginning with a lone drum intro, the track explodes into the keyboards of thechorus. The verses feature a more prominent funk guitar. The song breaks down to a more instrumental section toward the end that is mainly guitar, bass and drums with an occasional keyboard riff. The minimalist style of the song is representative of most of the Dirty Mind album. The song addresses the Uptownneighborhood of Minneapolis that was the city's hang-out spot for artists.
Prince uses the concept of Uptown to address racism and hatred in the song. Prince sings in the first person, and the song opens with him describing a chance meeting with an attractive woman who then asks him in an offensive way if he is gay. Prince then addresses the reasons for racism and sings about a place, Uptown, where racism and hatred do not exist. The song is one of Prince's earliest efforts to blend political statements into his art.
Uptown is described as an area where one can be free to express oneself, and Prince was very fond of the concept. The song opened the Controversy Tourand made a few live appearances after that, notably in Prince's 2001 Hit + Run Tour. The single was backed with "Crazy You", from his debut album, For You.
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