#ICYMI, D’Angelo has emerged from the stage’s shadow and is performing his classics throughout the United States again. The Voodoo king is older, wiser and a little rounder in the midsection, but his pitch-perfect voice and smooth words are still sending women spiraling into lust-filled stupors.
But for more than a decade, there was a void left in the R&B world when D’Angelo decided to ditch music in exchange for addiction, a gruff beard and an extra 100 pounds on his chiseled frame. With the exception of his rare appearances in mugshot photos, D’Angelo practically isolated himself from the world, leaving us with his classic albums and enticing videos.
Of course the world wanted to know what kept the soul crooner from the stage through the entire millennial decade. GQ asked him in his first cover interview since the release of Voodoo in 2000. D’Angelo’s response? He was hesitant to return to the music world because he had been objectified as a male sex symbol, which was degrading to his musicianship.
“When [GQ] ask D about this, he downplays his suffering. Watching him pull hard on another Newport, I realize that he finds it far easier to confess his addictions than his insecurities about his corporeal self. Self-destructing with a coke spoon—while ill-advised—has a badass edge. Fretting over what Questlove has called ‘some Kate Moss shit’ seems anything but manly. If given the chance, he tells [GQ], he would absolutely shoot the video again. But he does admit to feeling angry during the Voodoo tour.”
“One time I got mad when a female threw money at me onstage, and that made me feel fucked-up, and I threw the money back at her,” he told the magazine. “I was like, ‘I’m not a stripper.’” He was beginning to sense a darkness beckoning.
The heavens opened. The dots were connecting. D’Angelo deprived the world of his genius – those butter smooth vocals hit notes as if they were sent special delivery from heaven – because he was “reduced” to ripping his shirt off on stage.
The world was supposed to eat up that response and finish their plate still craving more D’Angelo. In the beginning, it worked. But now, we’ve stopped eating the lotus flowers – or maybe it’s just me.