|MPLS is a projected album Prince worked on between 1992 and 1994 and was to be released by the band Minneapolis, a short lived band project, initially referred to as The Crayons. Lead by Sonny T., the band featured many vocalists including Jana Anderson, Kathleen Johnson, and The Steeles. A song with Nona Gaye was also recorded for the project but the album remained unfinished.
Four songs are known as being recorded at different times and set for inclusion on MPLS: The Ryde Dyvine, MPLS, Color, and A 1,000 Hugs And Kisses. MPLS was first recorded around 1989-1990 with Jana Anderson on lead vocals. The name of the band is mentioned in the lyrics ("Now I cut this groove with a group called Minneapolis"), indicating that the idea was already floating around before the song was revised with Sonny T. in 1992. The Ryde Dyvine was performed, credited to The Crayons, on The Ryde Dyvine TV special of Prince and related artists performing at Paisley Park Studios in Chanhassen, Minnesota.
Both songs were included on a single released in spring 1994 and credited to Minneapolis. MPLS was also included on the album 1-800 New Funk (a compilation of mostly-unreleased music largely written and produced by Prince/, recorded by other Paisley Park Records/ NPG Records artists), as was Color. This song is credited to The Steeles on the compilation, but was also intended for the MPLS album. A 1,000 Hugs And Kisses is the fourth known song to have been recorded for this project with Nona Gaye on vocals.
The version of Super Hero by The NPG featuring The Steeles may have been intended for the album, but this has not been verified. This version has been released on the Blankman movie soundtrack and as a single.
MPLS received a limited release as a single only sold in the NPG Store and featured in the first printed NPG Store catalogue, before being included on the compilation album 1-800 New Funk. A cartoon video was made but was reportedly prevented from release by Jana Anderson’s new producer (after she left Prince’s camp). A re-recorded version by Prince of A 1,000 Hugs And Kisses would be released in 2015 (as 1000 X’s & O’s) on Hitnrun Phase One.
Nothing is known about possible tracks intended for the album.