After 14 years out of the spotlight, D'Angelo released "Black Messiah," a new album, which debuted with little promotion at a New York City listening session. Featuring 12 new tracks, it arrived at midnight on Monday, available on iTunes and to stream on Spotify (below). The debut single, "Sugah Daddy," premiered on Sunday.
"Black Messiah" features lyrics from Q-Tip and Kendra Foster, and backing by Questlove, James Gadsen and Pino Palladino. In an introduction for the album (see it all at Pitchfork), D'Angelo wrote, "'Black Messiah' is a hell of a name for an album. It can easily be misunderstood. Many will think it's about religion. Some will jump to the conclusion that I'm calling myself a Black Messiah. For me, the title is about all of us. It's about the world. It's about an idea we can all aspire to. We should all aspire to be a Black Messiah." He references Ferguson and Occupy Wall Street, but not every song on the album is politically-based. It's all sexy as hell, like his previous work.
D'Angelo's last record, "Voodoo," came out in 2000. Since then, critics and fans have been curious of his whereabouts. A 2012 GQ profile called "The Return of D'Angelo" focused on his struggle with addiction, and he's been teasing "Black Messiah" for at least a few months. (His manager teased a new album in an interview with Billboard back in June.)
Listen to the whole thing now: