D'Angelo's 'Black Messiah' Is Finally Here & It's Everything We'd Hoped
[UPDATE: It’s here, folks. Now go geek out. Purchase on iTunes or stream below if you Spotify]:
Ho. Lee. Shit. I don’t know if I ever imagined I’d be in the position to actually tell someone that the D’Angelo had finally delivered on everyone’s except his own promise to redeem soul music wholly and forever with the follow-up to his turn-of-the-century masterpiece Voodoo. Well, good people of the Okay realm and abroad, it is with exultant joy and humility that I can say the day is here. And it’s every bit as sweet as I always dreamed it would be.
It’s not like we weren’t forewarned or anything. If the last 14 years of our lives have proven anything, it’s that every 7-8 months or so someone you know (mostly Questlove) will chime in with the “Oh, I heard that new D from my boy who’s engineering the record. Shit is crazy!” whispers to set the jones in. But it wasn’t just Questo’s chirps and nudges that put the bug in us. Back in 2010, before the initial European tour, before the musical magnificence that was the Brothers In Arms tour, before Russell Elevado criminally teased us with 6-second clips from the studio, even before that spacey P-funked-out cover of Sound Garden’s “Black Hole Sun” mysteriously surfaced, OKP alum DJ Brainchild sat with the man himself and heard the words straight from the source :
“I just want them to know that I’m coming. That’s all. I’m in the kitchen and I’m cooking up something real nice.”
And now we’re faced with what once seemed virtually unimaginable; a full-fledged answer to 14 years of prayers. Who would’ve thought that a man that once claimed to be so detached from the digital landscape could manage to out-Beyoncé Beyoncé? Familiar Soulquarians like Questlove, Q-Tip and newcomer Kendra Foster make appearances (especially in the album’s writing credits). But what’s to say for this new, prism? This masterful blend of classic and contemporary soul, funk and blues, forged by years of refinement.
Listen, I’m not even trying to put forth that this is the end all, be all album of our lives or that the rest of the industry should just pack up their shit and quit But as a mid-twenties D’liever who took to Voodoo like an inmate to 5% Nation after high-school and got through his first years of college reading Questo’s Voodoo Diaries over and over again, this shit is monumental.
Lucky for you and me and the rest of the damn world, our very own Editor-In-Chief Eddie “STATS” was amongst the “first to worship” at the ultra-exclusive listening party, which took place in NYC just a few hours ago. You can read his thorough track-by-track review of the album as it was being played for the very first time below. Just be sure that come midnight you’ve got your card out, ’cause Black Messiah waits for no man or woman. The 15-years-in-the making follow-up to Voodoo hits iTunes at 12:00AM EST with CD and 2xLP vinyl release coming next week. Get your first taste of D’Angelo’s finally realized resurgence with a companion script below and check back at midnight for the link. May D be with you, good people. – Zo
Nelson George introduced the album by saying: “There’s been a lot of narratives around D’Angelo’s career but what hasn’t been said is how smart and politically conscious this cat is…the lyrics are really going to be your guide to what you’re hearing.” Then he passed the mic to Questlove and asked him to speak on the recording, which Questo promised he would “very briefly,” adding “because I *really want to play this record.” To which George replied: “I know you do.”
Still those few words are still worth recording here, however:
“All the answers are in the record. It’s everything; it’s beauty, it’s ugly. It’s lies, it’s truth…it’s everything.”
>>>Click true for Eddie STATS’ track by track preview: