D’Angelo releases politically charged new album ‘Black Messiah’

Record is singer-songwriter's first in 14 years

D’angelo has released his long-anticipated album ‘Black Messiah’ following the release of new song ‘Sugah Daddy’ over the weekend.

The LP, D’Angelo’s first since 2000’s highly regarded ‘Voodoo’, was released at midnight last night. News of the release was revealed in a tweet by collaborator Q-Tip yesterday and confirmed by reps at a listening party in New York later in the day.

The 12-track record, which includes contributions from the former Tribe Called Quest rapper, Questlove and Parliament-Funkadelic’s Kendra Foster, is being billed as D’Angelo’s most political to date. The sleeve features a photo of demonstrators, and in a booklet handed out at the New York event, the singer cited recent protests around the world as inspiration.

“Black Messiah is a hell of a name for an album,” D’Angelo wrote. “Many will think it’s about religion. Some will jump to the conclusion that I’m calling myself a Black Messiah. For me, the title is about all of us. It’s about the world. It’s about an idea we can all aspire to. We Should all aspire to be a Black Messiah.”

He continued: “Its about people rising up in Ferguson and in Egypt and in Occupy Wall Street and in every place where a community has had enough and decides to make change happen. It’s not about praising one charismatic leader but celebrating thousands of them.”

The R&B singer and producer added that not every song on the album is politically charged, but that “calling this album Black Messiah creates a landscape where these songs can live to the fullest. Black Messiah is not one man. It’s a feeling that, collectively, we are all that leader.”

“It’s a passion project, and it’s everything,” Questlove said yesterday. “I don’t really want to give a hyperbolic or grandiose statement, but it’s everything. It’s beautiful, it’s ugly, it’s truth, it’s lies. It’s everything.”

D’Angelo unveiled new track ‘Sugah Daddy’ over the weekend, a song he’s frequently performed on-stage since 2012. The singer has also announced plans for ‘The Second Coming Tour’, which will see him playing Birmingham Academy (February 17), Manchester Apollo (18) and London Apollo (20) alongside his band The Vanguard, which is made up of bassist Pino Palladino, guitarists Jesse Johnson and Isaiah Sharkey, keyboardist Cleo ‘Pookie’ Sample and John Blackwell on drums.

The ‘Black Messiah’ track list:

Ain’t That Easy

1000 Deaths
The Charade
Sugah Daddy
Really Love
Back in the Future (Part I)
Till It’s Done (Tutu)
Prayer

Betray My Heart
The Door
Back in the Future (Part II)
Another Life