If you have been a fan of D'Angelo since his Voodoo days, the release of Black Messiah last weekend was the culmination of a painfully long wait: 14 years, to be exact.
To get an understanding of just how much time has passed, think about it like this: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram didn’t exist 14 years ago. Most people who heard his previous album had to do so by actually buying it on compact disc. When D'Angelo last dropped an album, Apple had yet to introduce the iPod or iTunes.
And yet, while 14 years is a long time, D’Angelo has been around even longer than that. If you were a teenager when his first album, Brown Sugar, came out in 1995, you are old enough now to call Black Messiah “grown folks music,” all while telling anyone under the age of 20 that they don’t know nothing about some D’Angelo—because it’s likely they don’t.
To help all the young folks who weren’t around to hear Brown Sugar but were probably conceived to it, allow us a chance to put you up on game. Here is your crash course in D’Angelo.