This was a statement I read in the Times of India newspaper about Purple Prince:

He rocked a braggadocio guitar and spandex and eyeliner and a feminine ache and a chest full of hair and, high heels and a proud blackness and basically magic.

I think there's a misuse of a comma.

He rocked: a guitar a spandex and an eyeliner

There may be a 'had' missing over there.He had: a feminine ache and a chest full of hair

Then 'high heels and a proud blackness and basically magic.'I could not get it right meaning.

Also are the articles missing with 'spandex' and 'eyeliner' , 'high heels' while they have been used repeatedly in 'a feminine' and 'a chest', 'a proud'.

1 Answer 1


Let us examine the definition of rock here.

11. b. to use, wear, or display in a showy, self-confident manner or to great effect:
Only you could rock that hat!

Here is a list of things that Prince did (according to the author):

  1. He rocked a braggadocio guitar.
  2. He rocked spandex.
  3. He rocked eyeliner.
  4. He rocked a feminine ache.
  5. He rocked a chest full of hair
  6. He rocked high heels.
  7. He rocked a proud blackness.

So Prince wore/displayed these these things in a showy manner. It sounds awkward to me, but Prince "rocked basically magic", could mean that he was (basically) able to wear/display magic. I would take this to imply that he was magical.

So, instead of listing a list as I listed above, the author squeezes it all together in one sentence. I would say that this is a deliberate, rhetorical decision made by the author. The effect is to give you the impact of how great/interesting/quirky Prince was. So I don't believe it is a "misuse" of commas. Instead, I would say it is an advanced way to omit commas.

So, you could break up the sentence and say

He had a feminine ache and a chest full of hair.

But that doesn't have the same feeling as the original sentence.

Number 7 means that he showed pride in being black (African-American). He wore/rocked his blackness with pride. This is figurative speech since one does not wear their skin color.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .