4. D'Angelo "Brown Sugar" (1995)
Album: Brown Sugar
Producer: D'Angelo and Ali Shaheed MuhammadCo-produced with A Tribe Called Quest sonic architect Ali Shaheed Muhammad, the soulful “Brown Sugar” served as the D'Angelo's debut single. A sticky-icky ballad where the object of his desire was a strong spliff, the track was as smoked-out as its subject matter.
The Grammy-nominated song could've been a comic novelty record if D'Angelo's haunting vocals, funky drums and churchy textured organ didn't sound so damn serious. Simultaneously retro and revolutionary, “Brown Sugar” was the perfect introduction to a great artist.