D’Angelo’s ‘Black Messiah’ Release Moved Up as Response to Protests [Audio]
D’Angelo’s “Black Messiah” wasn’t released Dec. 14 just to appease his eager fans.
The early release serves, in part, as the singer’s response to the ongoing protests, stemming from two recent cases of police officers fatally shooting unarmed civilians: Staten Island, N.Y., resident Eric Garner and Ferguson, Mo., teen Michael Brown.
After learning that grand juries failed to return indictments in both cases, the singer decided to expedite the release of his first studio effort in 14 years, moving it forward from its planned 2015 release date, according to The New York Times.
“The one way I do speak out is through music,” D’Angelo told his tour manager, Alan Leeds. “I want to speak out.”
D’Angelo’s longtime studio engineer and mixer, Russell Elevado, revealed they completed the project only about three weeks ago.
“It’s pretty much right out of the oven — it’s still hot,” he said.
Although he used the same stealthy release technique that Beyonce Knowles used for her self-titled album last year, the expedited release was more about catching the mood of the times than copying Beyonce.
“Of course, she started something with that, but this couldn’t be more different in terms of the record,” says Peter Edge, chief executive of RCA Music Group. “That was a ‘visual album’; this is a musical album.”
He added: “It’s really caught the zeitgeist of what’s going on.”
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)”
- “Betray My Heart”
- “The Door”
- “Back in the Future (Part II)”
- “Another Life”
Source: The Touch Radio