After a string of successful tour dates in Europe earlier this year, D’Angelo sits down with GQ Magazine for his first interview in years. The Grammy award winning singer discusses a whole range of topics including the effects his infamous ‘Untitled’ video had on his life/career, a weird encounter with Madonna at a party and the powerful (sometimes evil) effects music can have on people. The interview also includes a shocking story from D’Angelo’s ex-wife Angie Stone…
The feature also includes new photos of D’Angelo (above) – check them out after the jump.
D’Angelo on the “forces” in music
“There’s forces that are going on that I don’t think a lot of motherf-ckers that make music today are aware of,” he says. “It’s deep. I’ve felt it. I’ve felt other forces puling at me.” He stubs out his cigarette and leans toward me, taking my hand. “This is a very powerful medium that we are involved in,” he says gravely.” “I learned at an early age that what we were doing in the choir was just as important as the preacher. It was a ministry in itself. We could stir the pot, you know? The stage is our pulpit, and you can use all of the energy and that music and the lights and the colors and the sound. But you know, you’ve got to be careful.”
Paul Hunter (Director of Untitled) on the video being misunderstood
“Most people think the ‘Untitled’ video was about sex, but my direction was completely opposite of that. It was about his grandmother’s cooking. Think of your grandmother’s greens, how it smelled in the kitchen. What did the yams and the fried chicken taste like? That’s what I want you to express.” The video may have looked like foreplay, but it was actually about family, Hunter insists-about intimacy.
Later when I tell D’Angelo this, he says, “It’s so true: We talked about the Holy Ghost and the church before that take. The veil is the nudity and the sexuality. But what they’re really getting is the spirit.”
D’Angelo on the effects of the ‘Untitled’ video
One time I got mad when a female threw money at me onstage, and that made me feel like f-cked-up, and I threw the money back at her. I was like, ‘I’m not a stripper.’ On the last day of the eight-month tour, Questlove says D’Angelo told him, “Yo, man, I cannot wait until this f-cking tour is over. I’m going to go in the woods, drink some hooch, grow a beard, and get fat.” Questlove thought he was joking. “I was like, ‘You’re a funny guy.’ And then it started to happen.That’s how much he wanted to distance himself.
Ex-wife Angie Stone recalls a shocking story
Stone remembers an event in Manhatten in September 1996 that was billed as Giorgio Armani’s tribute to D’Angelo. Stone-thirteen years older than D-was three months pregnant with their son. They headed to the event together in a limo, but as they neared the venue where D was going to perform, it suddenly pulled over. He was asked to get into another car, where he would be escorted by Vivica Fox,” Stone says, her voice breaking slightly. The lissome Fox had just appeared with Will Smith in the blockbuster Independence Day. “It was a Hollywood moment. They wanted a trophy girl. I had to walk in behind them to flashing cameras. It started the wheels turning of what was yet to come.
D’Angelo’s encounter with Madonna
When Madonna turned 39, she asked him to sing “Happy Birthday” at her party. One press report had her sitting on his lap and French-kissing him. In fact, two sources say that ultimately D rebuffed her advances at another gathering not long after. At that event, the sources say, Madonna walked over and told a woman sitting next to D, “I think you’re in my seat.” The woman got up. Madonna sat down and told him, “I’d like to know what you’re thinking.” To which D replied, “I’m thinking you’re rude.