D'Angelo pulled a Beyonce on the world tonight. The Grammy-winning singer invited a select few journalists and celebrities, including Spike Lee and Questlove, to a listening session—sponsored by Red Bull Music Academy and Afropunk—where it was announced that, Black Messiah, his third album, would be released digitally tonight at midnight.
"This album is like the Apocalypse Now of Black music," said Questlove, who collaborated with D'Angelo on three of the album's 12 songs. "It's everything; it's beautiful, it's ugly, it's truth, it's lies."
Black Messiah comes 14 years after the ESSENCE Festival alum's critically-acclaimed album, Voodoo. Listen to a stream of the song 'Sugah Daddy' off of the album here.
Our first thoughts upon listening to Black Messiah:
"The only way I can describe it is gut bucket blues. It's soul, funk and rock rolled up in a magical package." -ESSENCE.com Entertainment Editor, Yolanda Sangweni
"The first couple of songs remind me of Prince's Controversy album. [Black Messiah] couldn't have come out at a better time." -ESSENCE Entertainment Editor, Cori Murray.
"It's a brilliant album, especially for the times we are living in right now." -ESSENCE Editor-At-Large, Emil Wilbekin.
"I didn't think that there could be a 'Brown Sugar' or an 'Untitled' on this album, but there is. The last track, "Another Life" is that undeniably sexy soul song. I'm getting pregnant right now." -EBONY Editor, Jamilah Lemieux
"I'm relieved, more than anything, that the album came out and it's really good. D'Angelo did the critical work. " Damon Scott, COMPLEX Senior Editor.
Black Messiah is available on iTunes. Will you be picking it up?