There are very few worlds that can quantify this moment, so please bear with me.
It’s taken 14 [damn] years, but today we f-i-n-a-l-l-y get to hear the first insight into D’Angelo’s much anticipated, much dreamed about, often forsaken new album – which we know now to be titled Black Messiah. Courtesy of Red Bull’s 20before15 project ‘Sugah Daddy’ is available to stream and download for the first 1,000 listeners (I was #965) and is as rich and thick in detail as you’d hope; you know, given the guy has been living in near solitude for the past decade and half.
Voodoo fans will be happy – I know many of them were unjustly concerned (heathens) for reasons I’m still confused by (“will it be too freeform?”, “my expectations are too high”, “what if it’s not as good as Voodoo…”), but more importantly long-standing D’Angelo fans will be elated. ‘Sugah Daddy’ isn’t self-indulgent nor stagnant – it perfectly represents the prodigal sons thought process and wonderfully tracks smutty funk, creole soul and Dirty Mind harmonies.
Listen to ‘Sugah Daddy’ via 20before15 now.
Update: stream the track via D’Angelo’s official soundcloud player now.
Update #2: It has been confirmed that Black Messiah will be released on iTunes at midnight (EST) tonight! Get ready, only a few hours to go!
Behold, a Christmas miracle!!!
D’Angelo has just announced the title of his long-awaited, near-mythical new album – the followup to 2000’s magnum opus Voodoo.
Appropriately titled Black Messiah, the LP is officially credited to D’Angelo and the Vanguard. The announcement is marked by short teaser which presumably featurs a snippet of new music off the album. Furthermore, an event chaired by Nelson George and sponsored by Red Bull Music Acedemy and Afropunk will debut the project in New York this Sunday (!!). Posters of the Black Messiah artwork have been spotted around the city…
D hits London town in February as part of his new European tour, so expect to hear fully formed new songs… you’ll find us somewhere near the front losing our minds (again).
Now excuse us while we go clean our brains off the ceiling… #ohmygod.
Update: It has been confirmed that Black Messiah will be released on iTunes tonight at midnight (EST)! Get ready, only a few hours to go!
Flying Lotus has uploaded his contribution to the expanded edition of “Grand Theft Auto V”, which will be released on PS4 and Xbox on November 18th, boasting no less than 162 songs. The quiet free-form jazz that seems to be deep woven into Flylo’s marrow is everywhere on this record, anchored by Krayzie Bones focused verses. Thundercat providing that gut wrenching bass again, of course.
TDE’s first lady returns with a woozy new track produced by Thundercat, Chris Calor, Cody, LoveDragon and Sounwave, seemingly featuring an obscure sample (astutely observed) from Welsh producer Ifan Dafydd’s ‘Treehouse’ – which we first gushed about back in 2011. ‘Sobriety’ finds SZA pouring her unfiltered heart out, colourfully swooning about past loves and strained relationships. Produced, arranged and performed beautifully by all involved the track is another exciting prospect from the St. Louis native. Hopefully we’ll get that full project soon.
King Push returns with another Kanye West produced killer-killer. As much as I miss hearing Pusha (or rather Clipse) spit over those Neptunian beats, it goes without saying that the chemistry between him and label boss Yeezy is undeniable. Kanye’s weird-guy vision stays winning.
14th return with a new single titled ‘Sweet Lies’, marking the welcome of new band member Jack who they officially describe as a “producer, sound engineer, cellist and all round badman”. Their latest single is a bold, industrial ballad filled with gothic soundscapes and a killer melody from lead singer Tracey Duodu. This certainly feels like a new phase in the bands evolution – lets hope to hear/see more of them in the coming year.
New York duo Lion Babe – who we first flagged back in 2013 – has returned with a video for ‘Jump Hi’, the groups new Nina Simone-sampling single featuring Childish Gambino. Serving as the lead single from their forthcoming Lion Babe EP, the track is unapologetically summer filled, boosted by singer Jillian Hervey’s raw soul vocal and Lucas Goodman’s full production.
Tinashe’s contribution to the Lorde-curated Hunger Games soundtrack takes shape as ‘The Leap’, a woozy down-tempo full of breathy vocals, and a slyly crisp beat. Soundtracks can always be a bit dodgy, but ‘The Leap\ sounds likes a track left over from Aquarius, Tinashe’s recently released, well received debut album and so feels like a song that belongs to her.
2014 has certainly produced its fair share of promising R&B. Tineshe’s debut album Aquarius entered the mainstream thanks to its clever pop-crossover, while Teyana Taylor’s less compromised new LP VII released on Kanye’s G.O.O.D Music label has been pleasing muso ears since debuting last week.
But the one I’ve really been waiting for was released yesterday.
Toronto’s Rochelle Jordan first piqued our interest sometime back in 2011 when she – alongside some other early innovators – began unleashing a futuristic view on a genre many had long given up on; it’s easy to forget now how soiled the word “R&B” was before this period. Since then she released Pressure, a “mixtape” stronger than most albums, along with a number of loose tracks and singles that lead her up 1021.
Together with her long-time collaborator KLSH, Jordan’s new album is a cascade of sentimental lyricism, swirling vocals, lush harmonies and pristine productions. And by “pristine” I really mean they knock effin’ hard. The influences are clearly there and easily traceable, but compared to the aforementioned artists/albums referenced above 1021 stands out as the most authentic and visionary. This album couldn’t exist in any other period of time but now and for that it already gets my vote as one of the best LP’s of the year.
1021 is out now on iTunes and available to stream on Spotify.
Listen, when Nicki isn’t making mega-hits for 7 year olds, she’s a beast on the mic who, left to her own devices, normally out shines and out-raps the majority of her male counterparts. Her verse on ‘Monster’ (and pretty much every other song she’s ever featured on) can still prove that. And well, that’s exactly what she manages to do here on her new single ‘Only’ featuring label boss Lil’ Wayne, musical-bae Drake and recent collaborator Chris Brown. Listen to Minaj go in… The others are on top form too of course.