Video: The One

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1995: The Good Life Music Videos
Music Videos
(Related Artists)
1998: Come On
The One

The One music video selected snapshots

Music Video details

First aired: 30 June 1998
Producer(s): Information needed
Director: Mayte
Related home video/DVD:
First (Commercially) Released:


Date Institution, Country Award
This music video has not received any awards in the USA

The One is a video by The NPG released for broadcast to promote the Newpower Soul album. The single only received a promotional release two and a half months before the premiere of the video on BET.

The video, directed by Mayte, was filmed in Los Angeles, California on 7 June 1998, with filming most likely spanning over two days, and featuring a cameo by actress Rita Moreno. It is the first video of The NPG in which Prince does not appear masked, plays his own role, and does not include any musician from The NPG. This made it difficult for the audience to tell the difference between a Prince/ track and a song released under The NPG moniker, so much so that the video was sometimes credited to Prince or The Artist when it was aired by some channels.

The One video is made of two parts and begins with a short black and white Charlie Chaplin-like silent film set in 1921 starring Prince, Mayte and Rita Moreno with dialogue intertitles. Prince plays a hobo, reminiscent of the 1921 film The Kid, who stops outside a shack and, running out of water, looks out through the window and sees Mayte in an argument with her mother, who is portrayed by Moreno, about the cleanliness of their house. Mayte is also told that "real love only happens in storybooks". When Mayte is alone in her room, she opens a book that her mother left purposely for her to read from the start. When one of her tears drops on the first page titled 'The Beginning', she is transported into the colorful story of the book and starts the second part of the storyline which is a performance of the song by Prince with Mayte and ten dancers. The performance follows the narrative of the song with Prince rejecting 10 dancers who try to seduce him before ending up in Mayte’s arms. This dance performance takes place in an Arab-style setting with belly dancers, which is not too different from the imagery of the album era, which was also inspired by Mayte. Towards the end, the 'hobo', Prince, knocks on Mayte’s door to meet her and it is made clear that Prince is 'the one' for her. Mayte’s mother acknowledges that and the video ends with an intertitle, with 'The Beginning' being written on it instead of 'The End'.

The (rearranged) NPG Orchestra, part lifted from The One, is played throughout the short film. Interestingly, the dialogue intertitles are framed by subliminal or hidden messages, sometimes barely readable:

These messages are a mixture of the themes that Prince addressed in his songs, his works and interviews, and also indicated his spiritual direction:

  • the etymology (and the difference between "con" and "pro" to which he often referred in interviews, saying in particular that he rejected 'contracts'),
  • the law of men which should be inferior to divine law (set to music that year with Chaka Khan’s Democrazy),
  • his belief in reincarnation (he stated on several occasions that he wa convinced that he and Mayte had met during a previous life in Egypt in the era of the pharaohs),
  • a probable reference to his son Aamir and the song Comeback which is dedicated to him,
  • a belief of Jehovah’s Witnesses in which he was increasingly interested in this period,
  • a reconnect with his former musical colleagues to form a long-wished group made up entirely of girls (mentioned in the 1994 Vibe interview).

After a string of videos evolving around her, The One is the last in which Mayte appears, her relationship with Prince having entered a phase that would lead them to divorce.

Shooting Information
Shooting Sessions
Date Location Additional info
7 June 1998 (and most likely 8 June 1998) Unknown studio, Los Angeles, CA, USA
  • Mayte - director and editor
  • More Information needed

Broadcasts/streaming (only)
Title Length Released Version Additional info
The One 5:30 Edited version
The One 7:14 Full version

Additional Information

See Also Quotation & triva

  • The choice of 1921 for the frame of the mini-film is perhaps a reference to the 1921 film The Kid. It can also be the fact that it takes place 77 years before 1998, the "7" being a recurrence in Prince’s work.
  • The video was first shown during a Paisley Park party on 20 June 1998.
  • The short film appears to allegorically depict how Mayte’s mother initiated and encouraged the meeting between her daughter and Prince.

The Good Life
Music Videos (Prince) Music Videos (Related Artists) 1998
Come On