D’Angelo gives his first interview to GQ after an extended hiatus. In the interview, the soulful crooner speaks on a variety of topics, including the ‘evil in music’ and how being viewed as a sex symbol contributed to his exit from the spotlight.
Ironically, D’s source of pain was his signature song–”Untitled (How Does It Feels).” Well, the reception of the racy video accompanying the song is the source. People, women in particular, viewed the “Brown Sugar” singer as a sex symbol rather than a musician.
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 pulling 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.”
On an instance with a female fan. “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.’”
Hopefully the power of music proves more effective than chiseled abs. The entire interview has been made available on GQ.com. It’s lengthy, but well worth the read.