Performing deep cuts and classics, the generational musician treated the Verzuz viewership to a career retrospective, slipping in and out of more than 20 songs from his catalog for a digital audience that included DJ Premier, Jimmy Jam, The Alchemist, Timbaland, Snoop Dogg, and more. And while there were plenty of highlights from the night — with Method Man and Redman‘s impromptu assist on “Left & Right” and H.E.R. filling in for Lauryn Hill on “Nothing Even Matters” — the show’s commencement was one for the Verzuz books.
In a first for the livestream platform, D’Angelo’s set opened with the premiere of an untitled new song. Joined by Keyon Harrold, the singer stepped behind the keys and dueted with the trumpeter over a silky, down-tempo riff on Deon Jackson’s “Love Makes The World Go Round.” The song was the first glimpse at new music from the notoriously reclusive singer in nearly seven years.
D’Angelo’s latest album, Black Messiah, was released in December of 2014. It featured appearances from Questlove, Chris Dave, Pino Palladino, The Time’s Jesse Johnson, the late Roy Hargrove, and more. Earlier this year, the first signal of a follow-up arrived in the launch of the singer’s new Sonos Radio channel, Feverish Fantazmagoria. In the opening interview, D’Angelo claimed a new album was and had been in the works. However, as is the case with all things D, a timeline was never mentioned. So we’ll just have to wait this one out.
You can relive last night’s Verzuz event with D’Angelo and friends in full below. Jump straight to the new song at the 2:30 mark hold tight for the announcement of the next participants. Should be any day now.