Who The Game’s Been Missing: D’Angelo


I remember it like it was yesterday. Everyone talked about him and that video ad nauseum. Mainly women like my
mother and aunties on the phone, at work, in the beauty shop, in the supermarket. There were excited
whispers of a talented singer from Richmond — the South Side, across the river — who was getting national
attention for his provocative new video. And he was foine.
Center

“Girl have you seen it?”

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“Uh unh, I heard it was gooooooood…”

“Well, apparently someone was ‘servicing’ him the whole time!”


D’Angelo
‘s “Untitled” video set the standard for sexy in the ’90s soul era: raw, stripped
down beauty, both musically and in his case, physically. His pillowy lips, signature cornrows, and the
infamous pelvic “V” were laid bare, to the sheer delight of all of his lady fans, who collectively swooned at the
sight of him. No, he wasn’t the glossy gyrating R&B crooner popular during the ’90s *cough* Ginuwine
*cough*, but his soul and depth made it hard to deny him.

From what I can tell, D’Angelo has more sense than what is portrayed in the media. In Charlie Peters
spoken word piece
, which uses a clip of a long lost D’Angelo interview, Mr. Brown Sugar drops
knowledge on the complexities of the business of music, and how easy it is to become corrupted by
it. And given his struggles with substance abuse it is apparent that the transformative effects of the
industry affected him deeply. From what I can tell, that’s keeping it pretty damn real.

Sometimes you learn more about people through other people than you do in one-on-one interviews
(D’Angelo hasn’t really had any since 2000), and Questlove‘s celebrity stories blog
paints a vivid picture of the type of person D’Angelo really is. In Quest’s tale, D’Angelo sidesteps the
opportunity to “partake in festivities” with an apparently open and willing Madonna. His response (as
paraphrased by Questo):

“dog I aint no one’s puppet. She f–ked with tupac for a month to get some cred and when
she got what she wanted she was out…and ain’t letting no woman puppetize me for her
gain…sides…I ain’t trying to run the wrath of 2 million black women just cause that’s famous
pu–y…plus she ain’t got no ass…”

Who else would turn down the advances of a mega popstar like that? This shows that despite the
curveballs he was thrown during his tenure in the spotlight, he was able to retain some of the common
sense he came into the game with.

Now the fervent whispers are circulating again, but this time it’s because D could possibly be making
a comeback. (I don’t want to jinx it, there have been too many false starts over the years). He
is currently scheduled to perform in January 2012 at Paradiso in Amsterdam with additional concerts booked for Paris and London. Not a bad move for the reclusive, elusive singer, but I’m
hoping he’ll come stateside to parch the thirst of fans who have been missing his talent — and realness — for years.

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