GQ’s Amy Wallace Managed To Capture D’Angelo’s Story from his musical and spiritual upbringing in the pentecostal church, to transforming into a r&b sex-symbol, worldwide. This interview also delves deeper into the matter of dealing with great expectations from a loving audience, both musically and physically.
Here’s an excerpt of the interview:
“months later, high on cocaine and drunk off his ass, D’Angelo found himself ejected from his car on that balmy Virginia night, hurtling through the pitch-blackness, flying. When he hit the ground, he broke all the ribs on his left side—and dealt another blow to his foundering career. Once he’d been the heir apparent to the giants of soul: Marvin, Stevie, Prince. (The rock critic Robert Christgau was so transported by D’Angelo’s live show that he called him R&B Jesus.)
But shortly after the wreck, discussions ended with several top music executives, including Clive Davis at J Records, who’d been considering signing him to a $3 million contract. Then D’Angelo’s manager told him he was done with him, too.
Still, D’Angelo couldn’t feel the bottom, even though it was right beneath him. He shows me how close, reaching toward the floor with his well-muscled left arm, the one inked with 23:4, for the Twenty-third Psalm. It’s early March, just a few weeks after he’s finished a sixteen-day mini-tour of Europe—his first live performances (not counting church) in more than a decade.”
Check out the video of D’Angelo performing live @ Bonnaroo with Questlove and the Soultronics during Questlove’s Jam.