D’Angelo releases first record in 14 years – Black Messiah

by Raheem Karim

D’Angelo has released a pop-up album, Black Messiah, his first record in 14 years.

Word is that D’Angelo will release Black Messiah tonight at midnight, his first album since 2000’s Voodoo and only the third of his twenty year career.
The singer and multi-instrumentalist first hit the charts twenty years ago with U Will Know as part of Black Men United with Brian McKnight, Usher, R. Kelly, Boyz II Men, Raphael Saadiq and Gerald Levert. D’Angelo wrote the music for the song while his brother, Luther Archer, wrote the lyrics.

The next year, D’Angelo released his debut album, Brown Sugar, which included three top ten R&B hits (Brown Sugar, Crusin’, Lady) followed by a four-and-a-half year sabbatical where he did some soundtrack recording and worked with other artists.

In 2000, he released the masterpiece Voodoo, debuting at number 1 on both the Top 200 and the R&B albums. A major world tour was followed by another, longer, sabbatical which ended in 2009 when it was announced that the singer’s third album would be called James River and would include heavy participation from Prince among many other R&B artists.

An album and tour announced for June 2010 but never materialized and further rumors spread over the ensuing years. D’Angelo did a series of shows in Europe in 2012 along with a surprise appearance at Bonnaroo and, in early 2014, it was revealed that he was back in the studio working on new material. Finally, on December 10, a YouTube video implied that the new album Black Messiah would be coming soon. That was confirmed on December 12 but a release date was not revealed until today.

Collaborator Q-Tip revealed the impending release on Twitter saying ‘@dangelo album out 2nite! Black Messiah!’. The release, set for midnight, was confirmed to Billboard by representatives of the artist.

At a listening party on Sunday afternoon, an information sheet was handed out with an introduction by D’Angelo:

Black Messiah is a hell of a name for an album. Many will think it’s about relig