Prince at the 57th annual Grammy Awards at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Feb. 8, 2015
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

In honor of Prince’s life, we here at The Root believe that the best gift we can give the late Purple One for his birthday, June 7, is to make sure his legacy doesn’t get tarnished. We don’t want Prince to become black Elvis, so we sent out a crack forensic team of investigators (me) to research the top five Prince conspiracy theories.

1. Prince and chemtrails

In a 2009 interview with Tavis Smiley on PBS, Prince went deep, real deep, about the chemical trails left behind by planes. He talked about seeing Dick Gregory speak on the effects that chemtrails have on the community. He added that when he was a kid, he saw trails behind planes in the sky and thought they were cool—only to observe actual aggression by folks in his neighborhood shortly afterward. He wrote a song about it, “The Dreamer.”

What does any of this have to do with Prince’s death, you ask? Well, there are those who believe that Prince died from the “chemtrail flu”— Including the king of conspiracy theories, Alex Jones, who posted a video on his site shortly after Prince’s April 21 death asking whether the singer had, in fact, died from chemical congestion.

The short answer is no. Prince began having trouble on the plane; chemtrails are left behind the plane. Unless someone left a window open on the plane, it would have been pretty hard for the late singer to ingest the “toxic air.”

Gawker’s weather arm, The Vane, did some investigating of its own and noted that contrails, as they are commonly referred to, are simply clouds “left behind as a result of the warm, moist exhaust of the plane’s engines meeting the extremely cold temperatures of the upper atmosphere.” The site added that “toxic, weather-controlling, mind-altering, immune-system-killing chemicals” are not being dispersed into the atmosphere, at least not by planes.


2. Did Prince predict 9/11?

The answer is: maybe?

This one is really eerie. During a show in the Netherlands in 1998, Prince can clearly be heard saying, “I gotta go back to America. I gotta get ready for the bomb. Osama bin Laden gettin’ ready to bomb! Osama bin Laden gettin’ ready to bomb! America, you’d better watch out. 2001—hit me!"


Listen for yourself and tell me this isn’t creepy:

3. Did Prince predict his own death?

His last Instagram message was “Just when you thought you were safe … ” He told a crowd gathered at his Paisley Park compound in suburban Minneapolis shortly after his last hospital stay to “wait a few days before you waste any prayers.” Just saying …


4. Was Prince’s death an Illuminati sacrifice?

I tried to research this one; I really did. But once you start getting into the numerology connections between Prince’s music and the occult; the symbolism, which Prince was fond of; and 40 years of Prince lyrics, you can believe anything. Looking into the Illuminati is like having a social-consciousness argument with Hotep Twitter. It always starts off well-meaning; then the logic breaks and you find yourself typing things like, “‘Secular Egyptian musk oil’ is not an oxymoron!”

Look at the video below and tell me you wouldn’t have quit, too:


5. Was Prince Killed?

Watch this video from the beginning because it is great seeing a feisty Dick Gregory go apes—t. It involves a ton of cussing and awesomeness.

When the interviewer grills Gregory on why whoever killed Prince wanted him dead now, Gregory responds: “See, you ask me s—t that I don’t qualify to answer. The white folks that killed him are not like n—gers and ignorant white folk. … They do it 10 years later.”


Stephen A. Crockett Jr. is associate editor of news at The Root. Follow him on Twitter.