| Black Is The New Black is an unreleased studio album that was to be released by MonoNeon. It is a mostly-instrumental album recorded by Prince with MonoNeon on bass, Kirk Johnson on drums and Adrian Crutchfield on saxophone and talkbox, between October 2015 and early 2016. Michael B. also took part in the recording session but Prince chose to remake his parts through Kirk Johnson. It is the last known studio album Prince worked on before he embarked on the Piano & A Microphone Tour in February 2016. Between seven and nine songs are said to have been worked on for Black Is The New Black.
Ruff Enuff was the first song recorded for the album. It was played live by Prince during shows at Paisley Park Studios in October 2015 with his new band comprising Kirk Johnson, MonoNeon, Adrian Crutchfield and Donna Grantis. Soul Patch was also intended for Black Is The New Black and a snippet was posted on Prince’s Instagram.
When asked about Ruff Enuff on Twitter, @Prince3EG replied:
"YES, IT'S ALREADY GOT A SISTER: ON THE SAME ALBUM AS " FREE URSELF"...THEY SOUND GREAT 2GETHER!"
This information caused a bit of confusion as Ruff Enuff was released using the artist credit Mono Neon, while Free Urself was credited to Prince. It has been speculated that Free Urself was possibly the title of an album Prince was working on, but this has not been confirmed.
Black Is The New Black was the last track recorded for the album in early February 2016.
A version of Ruff Enuff was released as a download and the Tidal Purple Pick of the Week on 11 January 2016 and another session was planned for guitar overdubs by Donna Grantis.
Nothing is known about the other tracks intended for the album. The title of the album comes from a discussion Prince had with his band members about the situation of the Black community in the United States at that time and the Black Lives Matter movement