Prince is not a baby boomer
The concept of Generation X is real. It’s not a false grouping imposed from the top. We can argue about the name. Many in my generation hate the name and that’s fair; it’s not a great name, but we’re stuck with it. However, some of that hate is wrapped up in hating the presence of a name and the attempt to explain who we are in a pithy way, so no matter what name we had, it would be hated. Even if we had a different name, the touchstones would still be there, and that’s what shapes us. It’s indisputable that there’s a large group of Americans who are molded by the cultural, political, economic and sociological things that happened in the 1970s and 1980s and as the result of being the small, apathetic generation that followed a large, optimistic generation that attempted to revolutionize America. Denying that is futile. And Gen X Americans have lived within a negative political climate our whole lives, causing widespread alienation, disaffection and apathy. This, against a backdrop of events like the rise of a mysterious sexual plague and a powerful drug ruining society and harbingers of the end of American global dominance: All of that had the feel of the beginning of the end of days. So, it makes sense that the first Prince song to capture a giant audience and become his first monster hit was a song about apathy and apocalypse.