It’s been a little over a week since I started on The Shy Peacock and I am absolutely floored and grateful for the love and support from my fellow Peacocks! In honor of such a wonderful experience so far, I wanted to share some clips from a very special concert I was able to attend last night. I’m sure you could figure out who it was but I still want to introduce him…drum roll please…I got to witness the greatness named D’Angelo and The Vanguard!
I thought about doing a review of the concert but I would be lying if I didn’t say that I’m a die hard D’Angelo fan and any live show of his is a dream come true for me. So, in lieu of critiquing one of our musical geniuses, I’ll just talk about the beauty of this concert even happening.
As I’m sure we all remember, D’Angelo burst on the scene in 1995 with the Brown Sugar album and followed up with one of the sexiest albums ever, Voodoo in 2000. In an effort to not give the trite history of D’Angelo’s extraordinary talent and subsequent hiatus due to the personal issues he’s faced, I’ll just say that I connect my coming of age with certain artists like Erykah Badu, MJ, Nas, The Roots, and Jill Scott, but I absolutely consider D’Angelo in that list. I was a rising high school freshman when Brown Sugar came out and it was one of the first albums I purchased for myself, and I was a high school senior when Voodoo was released (we even had a rendition of the Untitled video during our senior show…too grown). He was absolutely apart of pivotal transitions of my childhood and young adult life. I connect hearing the song “The Root” to my first experiences with understanding the control that love and spirit can have on a person and the song “Africa” was the first time I heard a song acknowledge our ancestors and an earnest, yet beautiful way.
Fast forward to this year with the release of Black Messiah. In a few words, this album is our modern day protest soundtrack. In light of what’s happening to black people all over the country, D’Angelo waited 15 years to release a new body of work and he did so to capture what the people are going through. It’s as if he finally stepped into the musical pantheon with the likes of Marvin Gaye, Sly Stone, and Prince. He made his “That Album”. That in itself is powerful to me and it points to his true identity as a musician, bandleader, AND artist. Not a pop star. Not a commercial gimmick. A real artist that does the “good work” through his medium of expression. His personal issues could not kill his talent and his mission. He, in my opinion, has reignited the idea that when you have a God given talent, you use it for the right reasons. You use it for change through honest commentary. In the clips you’re about to see here, please take note that although he’s still fine, his voice is still clear and he still commands a whole room of people through his music and his band. He is a pied piper.
Let’s really take a look at D’Angelo’s story and remember that we have the ability to make things happen and open the eyes of our peers when necessary. It doesn’t matter how prolific he is album-wise because his power lies in the impact ANY of his music makes on the people who listen. Patience with one’s self and the refusal to rush the process is something we can take from his story and apply to our own.
The show clips are coming next. If you want to see more, follow me on Twitter and Instagram at theshypeacock and I’ll be uploading more in the coming days.
The Entrance. “Ain’t That Easy”
The Classic. “Brown Sugar”
The Love Song. “Really Love”
My Middle Son’s Favorite Song. “Betray My Heart”
The Encore. The Closer. “Another Life”