Headphone Highlights


60 minsFirst aired 17 Mar 2016Next Headphone Highlights Tomorrow at 9:00pm EST

Black Messiah has arrived. Enigmatic soul legend D’Angelo unveils the influences and inspirations behind his new album.

D’Angelo revolutionized soul music like few others. As part of the Soulquarian movement, and friend and collaborator to Questlove, Lauryn Hill and Raphael Saadiq, D’Angelo continued the legacy of Marvin Gaye and Prince, while fusing it with an off-kilter beat flourish akin to that of J Dilla. With his first album Brown Sugar, D laid the cornerstones of his take on modern R&B and slow jams: low-slung, lazy and hazy love songs that tipped a hat to everyone from Curtis Mayfield to Al Green, Sam Cooke to Jimi Hendrix and Sly Stone to James Brown, all while maintaining his own raw, gospel-steeped sensuality. But it was his long-awaited follow-up Voodoo that cemented his reputation as an iconic artist, earning him many awards, including two Grammys, and multi-platinum sales across the board. In 2014, his 14-year hiatus came to a magnificent end with Black Messiah, a raw, free jazz-inflected, politically charged comeback that won two Grammy Awards that year. D’Angelo has also had his fingers over multiple classic albums, including LPs from Common, Slum Village, Q-Tip, BB King, Roy Hargrove, The Roots, Method Man: the list goes on. Renowned for going deeper into arrangements and song writing than almost anyone, D’Angelo has dedicated his life to the pursuit of the sweetest musical moments.

More Headphone Highlights