Do you remember that video by D’Angelo for his cut Untitled (How Does It Feel?). [Click link to get a taste.] You remember the one. He was all cut up and butt-naked and glistening with sweat and shit. The camera stopped just where his business began, and all the women around the world were all up on the screen trying to peek down like they were actually going to catch a glimpse of his manhood. Yeah, I was hatin’. But I wasn’t hatin’ enough to get up and go to the gym.
Well anyway, I looked up from my labor in the vineyard, and D’Angelo was missing. And as I do around this time every week, I set out to find him. Damn, people. I thought he was just taking a break, but it ain’t all good.
You know, I was really diggin’ on his CD’s, 1995’s Brown Sugar and 2000’s Voodoo, and after that video, his name was on everyone’s lips. But curiously, I didn’t see or hear from him until years later when I came across a picture of a very overweight, very raggedy D’Angelo reporting for a court hearing.
It appears D’Angelo has spent much of his time in the last few years going to court. He has had numerous run-ins with the law to include drunken driving, drug possession, assault, disturbing the peace, and even a couple stints in rehab. [Click here for a great article covering his last eight years]
It is reported that he has become almost a recluse. The last interview he gave was back in 2000. As far as new music is concerned, besides cameos on tracks by Common, Rapheal Saadiq, Snoop Dogg and other artists, and pre-packaged greatest hits stuff, there has been none. Insiders report that D’Angelo has indeed recorded endless hours of new music; however, most of what he has recorded remains unfinished. Lately, though, things seem to be looking up; numerous sources report that he is back in the studio making steady progress.
D’Angelo’s tremendous talent has always been more than evident. And certainly I find it very difficult to understand how someone with so much talent and potential can just let that talent and potential waste away. But it is impossible to look on the inside of a person and see the issues they may be dealing with or the pain they may simply be trying to overcome.
Certainly I look forward to more amazing music from D’Angelo, but for now I just hopes he does whatever he needs to do to heal. I collected a few of my favorite D’Angelo tracks below to include one with Rapheal Saadiq.