Prince, who died too early at age 57 on Thursday, was nothing short of an icon. His music and his subversive approach to playing with everything from genres and sexuality to gender and race were far ahead of their time. Plus, dude could get down on just about any instrument and won seven Grammys over the years.

But there is this other part of his legacy that isn't quite as pioneering as the rest of the remarkable life Prince Rogers Nelson lived. He really didn't get the internet. In fact, in 2010 he declared in an interview that the internet was "completely over."

"Anyway, all these computers and digital gadgets are no good," he said. "They just fill your head with numbers, and that can't be good for you." 

The following year, he expounded a little bit on his nostalgia for the good old analog days, going so far as to claim that digital music affects a different place in your brain, which, strictly scientifically speaking, is nonsense.

Prince's distrust of digital music wasn't necessarily rooted in tinfoil-hat concepts about neurology, though. He was a famously strong advocate for artists' rights in the face of powerful record labels that ran the show in the last century. He saw new platforms like iTunes and streaming services such as Spotify and Rdio as potentially even more exploitive, eventually pulling his songs from the streaming services last year.

Over the years, Prince had his music taken down or muted on YouTube or Facebook, and he's gone after the Pirate Bay and eBay through legal channels. Ironically, this all came after Prince was one of the early, early adopters of selling or even giving away his music online. Some have suggested over the years that he was disappointed in the results of those early experiments. Perhaps as the internet transitioned from grassroots playground to become dominated by corporate platforms, his artist's heart was hardened against the online universe.

And it's really kind of a shame, because while it's true that few people are getting rich off Spotify royalties, the overall impact of the music industry going digital has also had the effect of opening up many new opportunities to new artists that simply weren't there when Prince was coming up.

Building a grassroots following using YouTube to launch a career as a musician has been a viable (albeit increasingly more difficult) path to success for years now. Same goes for SoundCloud and others. Spotify also walks unsigned artists through the process of getting their tracks on to the service.

These platforms themselves are likely not sources of obscene royalties and riches; Prince was correct about that. But they are a means of building a brand, distributing music to valuable ears, and supporting tours, which is an important source of revenue for many musicians. 

Online models may not be kind to musicians that have already made a name for themselves, but they can be a good deal for artists just starting out, which is something that it seems like Prince would have supported.

Perhaps this is why he never billed himself as a business development consultant. I'm sure that in his mind, he was continuing his career-long battle against a distribution system that does not always have the artists' best interests at heart--which is great.

But Prince would have known better than anyone else that artists are a creative and resilient bunch who can figure out new ways to play just about any instrument and make it sing for them, and that includes the system itself.