D’Angelo’s long awaited comeback to the music scene is approaching its full circle. In his first major interview, the singer is featured in a six-page spread in the June issue of GQ magazine, and touches upon subjects like ups and downs of his life and career, and also discusses the effect of his “Untitled” video. The conversation is only available by purchasing the physical print version of the magazine, which is on newsstands now. However, you can read some excerpts of the interview below.
D’Angelo on the evil in music:
There’s forces that are going on that I don’t think a lot of motherf-ckers that make music today are aware of,” he says. “It’s deep. I’ve felt it. I’ve felt other forces puling at me.” He stubs out his cigarette and leans toward me, taking my hand. “This is a very powerful medium that we are involved in,” he says gravely.” “I learned at an early age that what we were doing in the choir was just as important as the preacher. It was a ministry in itself. We could stir the pot, you know? The stage is our pulpit, and you can use all of the energy and that music and the lights and the colors and the sound. But you know, you’ve got to be careful.”
Paul Hunter (Director of “Untitled:) on the video being misunderstood:
Most people think the ‘Untitled’ video was about sex, but my direction was completely opposite of that. It was about his grandmother’s cooking. Think of your grandmother’s greens, how it smelled in the kitchen. What did the yams and the fried chicken taste like? That’s what I want you to express.” The video may have looked like foreplay, but it was actually about family, Hunter insists-about intimacy.
Later when I tell D’Angelo this, he says, “It’s so true: We talked about the Holy Ghost and the church before that take. The veil is the nudity and the sexuality. But what they’re really getting is the spirit.
D’Angelo on the effects of the ‘Untitled’ video:
One time I got mad when a female threw money at me onstage, and that made me feel like f-cked-up, and I threw the money back at her. I was like, ‘I’m not a stripper.’
On the last day of the eight-month tour, Questlove says D’Angelo told him, “Yo, man, I cannot wait until this f-cking tour is over. I’m going to go in the woods, drink some hooch, grow a beard, and get fat.” Questlove thought he was joking. “I was like, ‘You’re a funny guy.’ And then it started to happen.That’s how much he wanted to distance himself.”