One year after Beyoncé shocked the world with her digital drop, D’Angelo surprises with the release of his first album in nearly 15 years, Black Messiah. The follow-up to 2000’s Voodoo hit iTunes on Sunday night, marking the long-awaited return of R&B’s prodigal son.
Author Nelson George made the official announcement hours earlier at a listening party at the Dream Hotel in New York City, hosted by Red Bull Music Academy and Afropunk. “It’s been a really, pretty closely guarded secret as these things go,” he said.
While D’Angelo did a good job maintaining its secrecy, there were hints in the days leading up to release via a 15-second trailer and ads posted around NYC.
The 12 tracks, which he recorded with his band The Vanguard, include the lead single “Really Love” and funky “Sugah Daddy,” which dropped earlier today.
D’Angelo addressed the controversial album title. “It’s about people rising up in Ferguson and in Egypt and in Occupy Wall Street and in every place where a community has had enough and decided to make change happen,” he said in a statement. “Not every song on this album is politically charged (though many are), but calling this album Black Messiah creates a landscape where those songs can live to the fullest.”
Upon its release, the album became a trending topic as fans welcomed D’Angelo back. “It’s a passion project, and it’s everything,” said The Roots’ Questlove, who played on the album. “I really don’t want to give a hyperbolic, grandiose statement, but it’s everything.”
Stream Black Messiah below via Spotify and click here to purchase it on iTunes.
Just copped D'angelo. Shit sounding crazy. GRATEFUL. And Chris Rock congrats on your movie. Loved it.
— J. Cole (@JColeNC) December 15, 2014
— Justin Timberlake (@jtimberlake) December 14, 2014