I’ve been loving listening to the new D’Angelo album ever since it came out last month. Fourteen years since his last effort, it was well worth the wait. Lush, thoughtful funk and jazz instrumentals, D’Angelo’s velvety falsetto still there, and lyrics that speak to today’s time–especially to what it means to be black today.
Along with what I’m slowly coming to feel are my Twitter “roomies,” even if they don’t know I’m there:), I positioned myself on my couch with blanket and cat in tow to plod through a bad night of Saturday Night Live skits to get to D’Angelo’s performance on the show. Some tweeps were ready to hang it up and not wait, but they did, and like me were so, so glad. D’Angelo, even though a lot of shade was thrown for his first cowboy-looking outfit complete with scarf-pancho and western hat, beckoning some to call him “D’Angelo Unchained,” performed Really Love. Tweets quickly moved from fashion critiques to “Yes! It’s Really Love with live strings!”…”That’s my jam!”
Sitting through more skits was again worth the wait when it became clear the next song D’Angelo would perform was The Charade. A potent nod to all that’s been happening with the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Ferguson and more, the song’s lyrics call out..”all we wanted was a chance to talk, instead we’ve only got outlined in chalk..” The band wore Black Lives Matter and I Can’t Breathe t-shirts and hoodies, and some tweeted D’Angelo’s hooded jacket represented for Trayvon Martin. It was a beautiful, bold powerful statement that validated time spent watching SNL, as a forum for important music moments. Thank you, D’Angelo for last night’s big moment.
Here’s a link via Sons and Brothers a site focused on helping America’s young people of color reach their full potential in school, work and life to BuzzFeed writer Jim Dalrymple’s take on the evening’s performance, and the best video of the SNL peformance posted to date:
Jim Dalrymple – @jdalrymple