So, the latest news from Minneapolis is that Prince is releasing three new albums in 2009. Aside from “MPLSOUND”, which is supposed to be an experimental electro-pop album and “Lotus Flower”, which is a more guitar-based album, he is also releasing an album from his latest protege, Bria Valente. Used to be a time when being a Prince protege meant something. Remember The Time and Vanity 6? They released great albums in the early Eighties. Even if Prince played most of the instruments and wrote most of the songs, it’s obvious that The Time were a kick ass band. Not only were they awesome live, but they spawned Morris Day, Jesse Johnson, and the Jam/Lewis production team. However, The Time and Vanity 6 soon morphed into Carmen Electra, a past-their-prime George Clinton and Mavis Staples, and Prince’s then-wife Mayte. During the latter part of his Warner Bros. career, it seemed that Prince was mentoring artists just for the sake of having hot women in his stable as opposed to having any artistic belief in them. I couldn’t tell you if that’s changed over the years or not, since Tamar, his last protege, didn’t even get a U.S. release. So, while I’m sort of optimistic about new music from the Purple One, I’m not so optimistic about music from any artist to fall under his umbrella. At least not anymore. I’m not even gonna post any Prince videos here, lest I get the drawers sued off me, but here are a couple of Prince protege videos from years past.