“Back To The Future (Part I)”
Butta: I’m getting serious Bilal tease on this particular track.
D-Money: Yeah, there’s some Bilal here, definitely. There’s also a bit of J. Dilla, as well. This sounds like a Soulquarians track from 2002…in the best way possible.
Butta: Oh heck yes. The Soulquarians were the truth in a sea full of lies.
D-Money: Say that! This makes me feel like I’m back in my college dorm room lighting some incense, smoking a little something and wearing a dashiki.
Butta: Locs freshly twisted, too, right?
D-Money: Yep! I’d probably be getting them twisted up with this as the soundtrack. *insert wavy flashback lines here*
Butta: This is such a song to kick back and reminisce on the good old days to, which is exactly what D’Angelo is doing yet still accounting for these 14 or so years between albums, which hasn’t exactly been the sweetest.
D-Money: Right. When I’m listening to this, it’s almost like no time has passed between now and then. Yet somehow, it’s still fresh and new. Honestly, this could’ve closed out Voodoo as seamlessly as it fits here.
Butta: Yes, it could have fit on Voodoo sonically with its funky bounce (D’s rhythm guitar playing is some kinda wonderful), but lyrically it is all about the here and now. D is totally smirking at us when he sings, “So if you’re wondering about the shape I’m in / I hope that it ain’t my abdomen you’re referring to.”
D-Money: Haha. Yeah, I caught that line. The whole thing, I feel, is saying that he’s still the same old D, even after all this time. Proof positive that he’s still got it.
Butta: Yes, that was for all the doubters and naysayers — of which I’ve admittedly been one — but I’ve been DELIVERT! Halleluyer!
D-Money: *crowds pulpit and does a Holy Ghost dance*
Can we talk about the musicality going on here and the rest of the album though? D has always played with jazz, funk and rock, but I think that marriage is more fully realized on these tracks, especially this one, then ever before.
Butta: You’re right, this album is so musical and ultimately soulful in the midst of the other genres and styles he incorporates.
D-Money: Especially in a climate where everything is so musical sparse, the organic feel of this is just beautiful to hear. So glad to once again hear someone not interested in just singing over a beat, but willing to truly craft a song from the roots up.