Reclusive R&B star D’Angelo rushed to release Black Messiah, his first album in 14 years, after a grand jury last month decided against indicting a police officer who killed teenager Michael Brown.
The “How Does It Feel” hitmaker unveiled Black Messiah without warning on Sunday after abandoning its original release date of early 2015.
According the Nytimes.com, the singer spent the past month pulling all-nighters to complete the album because he wanted to speak about the protests in Ferguson, Missouri through his music.
The scandal began last month after a police officer who shot and killed unarmed teenager Michael Brown as he was arrested for stealing cigars was not indicted for the incident.
D’Angelo’s manager Kevin Liles recalls their phone conversation shortly afterwards, saying, “He said: ‘Do you believe this? Do you believe it?’… And then we just sat there in silence. That is when I knew he wanted to say something.”
The notoriously private star explained the purpose of the album, writing, “Many will think it’s about religion. Some will jump to the conclusion that I’m calling myself a Black Messiah. For me, the title is about all of us. It’s about the world. It’s about an idea we can all aspire to. We should all aspire to be a Black Messiah.
“Its about people rising up in Ferguson and in Egypt and in Occupy Wall Street and in every place where a community has had enough and decides to make change happen. It’s not about praising one charismatic leader but celebrating thousands of them.”
D’Angelo released his previous album Voodoo in 2000.
Photo Credit: RCA