06/23/2015 01:05 pm ET | Updated Jun 29, 2015

D'Angelo And Black Panther Co-Founder Bobby Seale Discuss Racial Politics And Protest Music

The topic of racial injustice addressed on D’Angelo’s latest album “Black Messiah” has led the artist to meeting a longtime idol in political activism.

The Grammy Award-winner recently joined Black Panther co-founder Bobby Seale in Oakland, California for a special but casual discussion filmed by The New York Times in a video titled, “Professor Panther.”


In a short clip of the conversation above, Seale sits behind the wheel as the pair recalled the early years of the Black Panther Party, which Seale founded with Huey P. Newton in 1966. D'Angelo also shared his thoughts on today’s crop of hip hop and R&B artists who he said lack substance in their music and fail to reflect the various social issues affecting America today.

“There are so many parallels that’s going on and it’s the same fight with the police. There’s a song on the album called 'The Charade’ and it specifically speaks to the Oscar Grants, and the Trayvon Martins, and the Michael Browns,” D’Angelo said in reference to the track featured on his latest album “Black Messiah.”


“We did that because ain’t nobody talking about nothing. The music that’s coming out now. Everybody talking about how many drugs you sold, how many bottles of champagne they’re poppin’ at the club. Ain’t nobody talkin’ bout no real shit,” he told Seale.

“I know for a fact that the music back then in that day it fed the movement. We as artists, I really feel like we have a responsibility. These kids, they’re paying attention to us. They’re looking at us.”

Following the December release of “Black Messiah,” the album went on to debut at the number 5 slot of Billboard’s Top 200 charts selling 117,000 albums in its first week, according to Billboard.

Check out more of Bobby Seale and D’Angelo’s conversation in the clip above.


  • Wu-Tang Clan - "A Better Tomorrow"
  • J.Cole - "Be Free"
  • The Game ft. Various Artists - Don't Shoot
  • D'Angelo & The Vanguard - 1000 Deaths
  • Lauryn Hill – “Black Rage”
  • T.I. ft. Skylar Grey - "New National Anthem"
  • Alicia Keys – “We Gotta Pray”
  • De La Soul ft. Chuck D - "The People"