Core audiences – they ride and die for their favourite artists. If artists treat them well, they will be with them forever. If you look to other genres of music like rock and roll, artists like The Rolling Stones can sell-out shows anytime, anywhere. This is largely due to the fact that fans grew with them and can link their music to specific periods in their life.
We have similar artists in the hip-hop/neo-soul (alternative) music world – think artists Outkast, Erykah Badu, The Roots or even a group like M.O.P. Performers that reached extreme heights of commercial success at one point or another and gained notoriety using a specific formula. Artists like Erykah Badu continue to make music that, although experimental at times, does not venture outside the comfort zone of it’s core audience (NOT a bad thing). The opposite can have disastrous results, as we experienced when Lauren Hill did string of highly criticized shows that saw her revisiting and reimagining her classics.
Enter platinum selling artist D’Angelo, a neo-soul messiah who brought us hits like Untitled (How Does It Feel), Left & Right, Brown Sugar, Lady, Devil’s Pie and Cruisin’. His two commercial releases Brown Sugar and VooDoo are often cited as two of the most excellent and singular R&B albums of the past 15 years. He’s worked with the likes of J.Dilla, Dr. Dre, DJ Premier Common and more.
Numerous set-backs, including legal and personal health issues, prevented the completion and release of his long-awaited third LP, which was tentatively named River James. Today, after 14 years of waiting, fans (including us) woke up to find the album, which ended up being titled Black Messiah, was gracing our Spotify accounts. Our upfront impression – we love it. To put it simply –do you like D’Angelo? You’ll love this album.
He gives his core audience exactly what they want from him, in a good way. Although it includes writing credited to Q-Tip and production credit from Questlove (and others), the largely self-produced album is a gem. From the buttery Sugah Daddy, the super smooth, head nodding Prayer, the Questlove co-produced The Charade or our current fave Till It’s Done (Tutu), D’Angelo gives us a project completely on par with his other work, not an easy feat. A great listen front to back – definitely add this album to your collection, playlist, etc.
Grab the album now, available anywhere you buy music.