D'angelo's long-awaited album, Black Messiah, will be up for sale at midnight on December 15. It's got 12 tracks, and officially credited to D as well as his band, The Vanguard.
At a listening party in New York on Sunday, it was revealed that the record was recorded analog, on two-inch tape. Q-Tip and Funkadelic's Kendra Foster contributed lyrics. Questlove plays on some songs, as do bassist Pino Palladino and drummer James Gadson. Official single "Really Love" will be added to radio on Monday.
On Sunday, Questlove called the album "the Apocalypse Now of black music." In a pamphlet passed out at the party, D'angelo explained the album's name, tying it to unrest in Ferguson and Egypt:
"Black Messiah is a hell of a name for an album. It can be easily misunderstood. 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.
It's 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 decided to make change happen. It's not about praising one charismatic leader but celebrating thousands of them. Not every song on this album is politically charged (though many are), but calling this album Black Messiah creates a landscape where those songs can live to the fullest. Black Messiah is not one man. It's a feeling that, collectively, we are all that leader."
Four of the album's 12 songs have political content. The rest are about love. Here's the entire tracklist:
Black Messiah tracklist:
01 Ain't That Easy
02 1000 Deaths
03 The Charade
04 Sugah Daddy
05 Really Love
06 Back in the Future (Part I)
07 Till It's Done (Tutu)
09 Betray My Heart
10 The Door
11 Back in the Future (Part II)
12 Another Life