In Defense of D’Angelo

by Jessica C. Andrews

D’Angelo took the stage at Essence Music Festival over the weekend for his highly anticipated return to the spotlight. After his critically acclaimed shows overseas and his two-song stint at the 2012 BET Awards, fans looked to his headlining Friday concert at Essence as a comeback of sorts. And many left disappointed.

I was at New Orleans’ famed Superdome this weekend. I booked a last-minute flight to the city, and even waited an hour outside the arena after a ticket snafu, just to see D’Angelo perform 12 years after he disappeared from the music industry.

More than a decade earlier, when D’Angelo came on the scene at a mere 21 years of age, his soulful tenor and syrupy-sweet falsetto captivated a generation of women, me among them. It didn’t hurt that he had full lips, chiseled features, and a set of washboard abs unlike any I had ever seen.

His mainstream success seemed imminent. He had the sex appeal, mystery, and street edge that black women’s fantasies are made of. But it wasn’t until I put on my headphones and got lost in his music, with its infectious melodies and brilliant instrumentation, that I realized his true genius. Yeah, he is fooine, but first and foremost, he is an artist.

That distinction was lost on the audience at this year’s Essence Music Festival. Despite an hour-long performance in which D’Angelo crooned, played the piano, and danced (yes, danced!) ’til he was covered in sweat, the crowd was glaringly unresponsive. There were valid critiques that D’Angelo didn’t perform most of his classics. (“Untitled (How Does It Feel)” and “Lady” came later in his set.) But for the most part, folks were in an uproar about his appearance: his teeth, his “unkempt” hair, and his stomach. A woman behind me even remarked that he had a “pouch” and needed a “Clarisonic” cleansing tool for his skin.

In his first interview in more than a decade with GQ, D’Angelo lamented how his image as a sex symbol came to overshadow his music. He spoke of painful, embarrassing moments when he would take the stage with his band in tow and hear cries of “Take it off” from the audience. He was being regarded and treated as a “piece of meat,” and in many ways, it was dehumanizing to him. To be sure, D’Angelo’s legendary “Untitled (How Does It Feel)” video set the precedent by portraying him as a sex symbol. But in our celebration of skin, abs, and muscles, we forgot about the music.

Sadly, that pattern was perpetuated Friday night. The man poured out his heart onstage. His voice was flawless. His band, which included The Time’s Jesse Johnson on guitar, sounded better than ever. But the question on everyone’s minds was: “Where are his abs?”

If D’Angelo stepped away from the mic at any point during the show, and tugged at his black motorcycle vest to reveal a toned stomach underneath, the audience may have erupted in applause. But late Friday night, as he walked offstage after his first extended concert in the U.S. in 12 years, the Superdome fell silent, with his once-celebrated career hanging in the balance.

What are your thoughts, Clutchettes? Do you think D’Angelo is being judged too harshly by his appearance? Should he put more effort into his look since that’s what he’s known for? Discuss.

  • Nikki

    The hype about his physical appearance 12 years ago was apart of the reason why he left in the first place.

  • Ms. Information

    Who cares if he has gained weight? Just youtube the nekkid video…I do :).

  • Nana

    Those women are not true fans. The body doesn’t make the music. If they wanted to see a half naked man with rock hard abs go see magic mike and let the people that truly appreciate his music get to see him.

  • http://www.facebook.com/iamqueen.tucker Iamqueen Tucker

    I THINK HE’S JUST FINE AS AN ARTIST, PERSONALLY THINK HIS BODY IMAGE IZ NATURAL , AFTER ALL EVERY BODY DOES NOT STAY THE SAME … THATS WHAT U CALL LIFE,HE’S STILL GREAT AT WHAT HE DO & THAT IZ HIS “ART” I THANK HIM 4 RETURNING GOD BLESS MR.D’ANGELO & CONTINUED SUCCESS!!!!!! A TRUE FAN.

  • http://twitter.com/jameane Jame Ervin (@jameane)

    That’s pretty disappointing. First and foremost, I like D’Angelo for the music. Untitled was an amazing song, with or without the video. Who cares if he is hot or not, he is talented. You fall back on your looks when you have no talent.

  • ginnie

    tHIS IS WHY THERE IS NO REAL TALENT TODAY. PEOPLE GET SO STUCK ON THE PHYSICAL THEY CAN’T APPRECIATE THE NATURAL GIFTS. REAL MUSIC FANS WOULD HAVE BEEN ON THIER FEET. SO POEPLE STOP COMPLAINING ABOUT THE LOST TALENT AND THE AUTO TUNES!

  • gmarie

    I’ve always said, as an artist once you decide to sell sex there is no turning back. Hence the reason we have a 50+ year old Madonna resort to nip slips at shows. It’s sad but it’s the truth, the people will beg for it until you drop.. This is why I sometimes worry about Rihanna. Love her as an artist and I have no doubt she is naturally comfortable with her sexuality and expressing it. But if and ever she decides she wants to be viewed as something other than I’m afraid she will not be able to make the transition. Be positively sure how you want to represent yourself for the whole of your career.

    On the flip-side I do find it hilarious when men are offended by being sexually objectified.

  • Mademoiselle

    I can definitely sympathize for him. However, like many women in the industry, he learned what happens when you rely on your appearance to propel your career. You can’t sacrifice your dignity and expect people to help you resurrect it years later. I was never that impressed with the Untitled video despite my love for the song. I hope he has a great PR team working long hours to reestablish his image.

  • Right as Rain

    Boo hoo hoo. Women deal with those criticisms everyday and now that a man is in the same position we are supposed to feel sympathy?

  • Right as Rain

    If this were a woman you all would be talking about how she needs to do better.

  • hello

    Nobody cares about his music we want to see the abs go on a diet cut that nast azz hair I wish I would pay money to see a fat man singing in a mic please get real I want to see a show u don’t like it deangelo go the hell back underground with lauryn hill

  • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com African Mami

    Yes, he is an artist who is paid to entertain. One’s success in the entertainment industry, now, is more than ever heavily dependent on image, as opposed to artistry.Nicki Minaj anyone?! You think folks buy her albums because she is thought provoking? They attend her concerts in droves to see a real life size barbie in action.

    D’Angelo has been in the business long enough to know the standards set and expectations from fans. He has the money, he definitely should put more effort into creating an image-whatever it is that he would want his fans to identify with. It’s a trade off!

    Eh, I didn’t buy his “dehumanization” assertions. Please! You are going to show abs and expect women (primary FAN base) to not go goo goo gaga gaga? Talk to Idris Elba, the man who can successfully satisfy the fantasies of many just by looking. *faints*

  • choklitgirlwonder

    You shouldn’t be paying to see ANYONE live if you consider “abs” a show. Save yourself the headache, stay in the house, and watch YouTube.

  • http://chunkynappyfunky.wordpress.com/ Ms. Information

    You are silly girl…Idris is fine though but …we loved fat and skinny Luther…fat and skinny Chaka Khan…who is gonna stay fine forever??

  • Serwaah

    yes

  • bluefacedangel

    I paid to see Luther…

  • Jocy

    I was in New Orleans this weekend. D’Angelo sounded amazing. However, I was slightly disturbed by his behavior. He seemed frantic and erratic. But again, his voice was a perfect match to 15 years ago. As for his appearance, it was weird but I figured he was going for something different.

  • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com African Mami

    No one is going to stay fine forever that is a given. However, from a business stand point the entertainment industry is brutal when it comes to imagery. Some time back I was watching the Mary Mary reality show, and they were talking about how image is an important aspect of their brand. He doesn’t have to show abs, but he can at least look kempt, and desirable for his fan base. Eh,but truly and honestly, this man does nothing to my blood pressure.

  • JacquelynMarie

    I saw D’angelo on the BET Awards, and I was so excited to see that he was back on the scene. He did look a little rough around the edges, but once he began to sing, I forgot about the look and I remembered how much I loved his vocals. I thought his performance was outstanding and the band was getting it in…sounding great! I believe those that are so critical of him at this point were never true D’angelo fans. If you were a true D’angelo fan, you would know that he is very talented, it was not just about his looks, he is exceptionally good at what he does. I love him, glad to see him back and I look forward to more of his great music!

  • Britt

    It’s disappointing that an artist as talented as D’Angelo was treated that way by the audience. People love to go on rants about wanting “REAL” music, and when they get it, they don’t appreciate it.

    If they read the GQ article, they would know that D’Angelo has a trainer and is getting in shape and if they saw the photo spread, he looks the same as he did 12 years ago.

    Folks just love to complain about something.

  • http://osoylamala.tumblr.com la mala

    + 1

  • entro

    Never was a big fan especially after i read an interview with his ex angie stone(brilliant and underrated) she was with him before he made it big and for a while after, until his inner circle of advisors said she was not good for his image because of her looks.

    Poetic justice?
    As a man reaps so is what he sows!!!!

  • Jinx Moneypenny

    Before that Untitled video he hadn’t shown any skin (not to my knowledge). All the music videos before the Voodoo album had him pretty much covered, so for people to be thirsty for 2000-era Untitled video D’angelo is disgusting and shameful.

    All I cared about when he decided to come back was that his voice was still intact and that he’d give us some more dope music. Any musichead on Earth isn’t buying albums for a dude’s six-pack. Can you sing along to some firm biceps?

    Didn’t think so.

  • https://edwinaowenselliott.wordpress.com Edwina

    While I totally agree with the sentiment that it should be about the music first and foremost, how well would Rihanna, Beyonce, Madonna, Janet, or any female performer be accepted if they hit the stage packing extra pounds and looking less than flawless? What’s good for the gander (in this case) is good for the goose, don’t you think?

  • Right as Rain

    SMH! If D’Angelo had been D’Angela, you all would be singing a different tune.

  • http://gravatar.com/gravity508 gravity508

    My thoughts on the situation is if this is the response that he’s getting after being basically out of the spotlight for 12 years –this will eventually drive him back into seclusion a la Sly Stone.

    Let him be an artist…..

  • Bee

    I didn’t know that that was why they split, in which case I agree with you: the treatment he’s getting sounds like karma. However, that does not make it right for an audience to treat a person like a piece of meat (male or female). The man has charisma and is a great performer/artist – it really shouldn’t be about his abs and whatnot. But thanks for the info about him and Angie – as I said, I didn’t know that, and it certainly lessens my sympathy for him a bit if it is true.

  • Whatever

    +1

    This man is so talented and all people want are his abs… I’ll take the voice and talent instead.

  • http://chunkynappyfunky.wordpress.com/ Ms. Information

    Yeah he does look like he just left the homeless shelter..lol…aww D….

  • http://www.myblackfriendsays.com myblackfriendsays

    It should really be about the music. Sailing by Christopher Cross won five Grammys. Google him if you don’t know what he looks like. An average joe like him wouldn’t be given the time of day in today’s industry. Blame it on music videos.

  • Downindixie

    No woman deals with ten thousand people screaming at them to take their clothes off during a performance. It doesn’t compare.

  • casy

    I love D’Angelo and look forward to seeing his concert in the near future. He is a true artist. It’s a shame that the music industry is so stuck on image and the artistry comes second. I guess this article shows men get caught up in that image as well. I know women do. Well if D’Angelo wants to be back on top, I guess he has to do what he has to do and that is hit the gym. I mean if Janet Jackson came on stage with a big belly she would get the same kind of flack. Sadly in the music industry this is how it goes and musical artists have to accept that and do what they need to do. Shoot Michael Jackson was still twirling and raising up on his tiptoes well into his late 40′s. James Brown was still doing the splits well past his middle aged years. Chuck Berry was still skipping low to the ground with his guitar long after I’m sure his arthritis was kicking in.
    D’Angelo should see getting his body back in top shape as part of what he has to do like everyone else. He may not like it, but it’s the price he has to pay. He’s too good to let a little paunch stand in his way of being on top. I for one would welcome him on the top of the charts. Ain’t nobody else up there really doing anything and worth listening to.
    So yeah D’Angelo, lose that paunch. It’ won’t be hard, men lose weight quicker than women anyway. Show those Abs, have those sell out concerts and make the ladies swoon. In the end, you’ll be laughing all the way to the top and to the bank. Get those teefuses and skin fixed right on up. You can do it. Do what you have to do, to get what you have to get. Just think of it as part of the package.

  • Srenda

    Seriously. What’s wrong with his teeth? Can somebody tell me? I zoomed the picture and looked at some YouTube footage of the event but I couldn’t tell what was wrong. Are we looking at the same person? He still looks fine to me. Heavier, sure. And I don’t like what he wore really but that’s so minor. He just looks like a musician who is about the music. Most great looking guys aren’t a cut as he was back then and never will be. He still got that sexy face and his arms look pretty cut. It is a shame that he can’t look like what he looks like or wants to look like. He might be dressed that way as a reaction to the attention he got before. We all expect too much shine and polish these days. I like a little rough around the edges. If I were him I wouldn’t change a Got-damn thing unless I wanted to or was ready to. Just because the industry demans that doesn’t mean we have to play into that. Will that hurt his sales? Probably so but he’ll probably be happier in the long run and continue to make the music he wants to

  • AutumnAlicia

    D’Angelo is one of the most talented artist who’s music I’ve been blessed to grow up on. My trip to the Essence Fest this year was mainly to get a chance to experience him live. His voice is still smooth and effortlessly impeccable, not to mention that the band and his stage presence were amazing. While there were a few ignorant comments about his appearance, honestly, he still looked good! I think the issue was less about his appearance. He put together a really good show, but it wasn’t the best song selection for the crowd. He didn’t perform “Brown Sugar,” “Send it On,” “Me and Those Dreamin’ Eyes of Mine,” “Alright” and a few other songs that helped shape his music career… it kind of left me feeling somewhat unsatisfied. Again, I absolutely love everything about this man, but on a “come back” you have to know your crowd. He doesn’t deserve all of the negative press that he’s been getting, after all, his set was still incredible, but it’s fair for the audience to feel a little disappointed by the song selection.

  • http://chunkynappyfunky.wordpress.com/ Ms. Information

    Let it go..you come off extremely bitter on every post.

  • http://beautyandthestreetmag.blogspot.com Amber

    Unfortunately its a full package and though I LOVE his music I also fell in love with his looks to be quite honest. Why not have it all? Its screwed up that the audience acted this way but the reality is….once you put yourself out there as a sex symbol you gotta live up to it. He is an amazing talent and he is certainly an amazing looking guy he should clean up and step up to the plate! Image is everything!

  • minna k.

    D’angelo’s music is timeless. I loved it when i was 14, and I still love it now, and can relate to it, beyond nostalgia. Very few artists have this quality. I think that he looked great considering his 12 year stint with drugs and drinking, and i am very happy that it hasn’t taken a worse toll on his looks. I hope that he is willing to really embrace a healthy lifestyle, and honor his gifts, good looks and talent at his age.

  • Dalili

    I remember thinking Christopher Cross’s voice didn’t match his appearance when I first saw him….but I love/d his music anyway….Sailing is fantastic song!

  • Ms. Mo

    Clearly those individuals were not true fans of his artistry just his abs…take some time to dust off those old CDs and listen to the artist cause the abs did not create the music I love so much. I still have him in rotation on my ipod. I like Brown Sugar but VooDoo is classic…it put him on the map with greats before him he is often compared to Marvin Gaye. Even by Marvin Gaye’s ex-wife. People are so used to listening to studio singers, autotunes artificial sound people forgot what it was like to listen to real music

  • Chah

    You sound like a 12 year old child. A spelling-impaired one at that. His music-loving fans will be D’Angelo’s audience (and there are millions of them around the world, my dear superficial Black people), so I imagine he’s fine with that.

  • deb

    he’ll be fine. It seems like he’d prefer and would need to scale back his performances (focus on smaller, more intimate venues) and discover his TRUE fans. When the hype from his return dies down, I think he’ll find a stride in the industry that is comfy for him.

  • onmycreez

    Lol..First of all his FIRST full headlining SOLD OUT show was at the house of blues in LA on the 4rth of july and he tore the f**kn house down…so again it comes down to the audience. He shouldn’t have played the essence fest period. People who think Trey songz and keshia cole etc are good “artists” proooobably won’t like or “get” D’angelo, and have let’s just say..a different taste in music, but aside from that, D shouldn’t be compared to those cookie cutter acts anyway. He isn’t doing what they’re doing..better yet they couldn’t/wouldn’t ever do what he does..funk soul r&b and rock not just some little trey songz songs about buttoms up andand wetting the bed and shit. He is actually playing instruments…do people know what those are anymore? He’s on the level of marvin, of prince, of stevie of f**kn bb king, jimi hendrix, sly stone, roy ayers….he gets nods from music greats not just some chickenhead from uptown n.o….a fucking thanksgiving dinner to these drive-thru cheeseburger mother**kers. The “spotlight” ain’t where it’s at for him. He has a cult fan following worldwide that loves his music he doesn’t need the trey songz nicki minaj brainwashed top 40 bet demographic like “hello” up there that’s there one day gone the next. Like I said he shouldn’t have played the essence and should just do his own shows for people that go to see him only….not go on tour with mary. And i love mary too. The show at HOB in LA was fucking historic I’m saying….the place was rumbling…read those reviews and peep some footage of it on youtube cause it’s polar opposite of the reviews from essence. People had the chance to witness probably one of the rawest funkiest bands in the world playing right now and want to complain about a pooch on a MANS stomach and his f**kn teeth and skin?!?!?…we are really turning into some bionic robotic superficial ass people in the U.S….D’angelo isn’t for everyone. If you only know him for brown sugar and untitled then you obviously don’t know the extent of his musicianship and were never a fan anyway…cool do you, but D is a true artist. D is for people who love music not for people who love image. So I’m not really surprised by some the negative responses from the peanut gallery I’m just looking forward to his album that I’m guessing will come out this fall sometime….anyway..I see grammy’s in his future.

  • Ms. Information

    +1

  • Nicki

    D’Angelo is not a stripper. Get over yourselves. I think often time people have unfair expectations of their favorite artist – male and female. I saw him at the House of Blues last week and he put on a SHOW! At least… what I consider a ‘show.’ He left it all on the stage, his voice sounded great; he danced; he interacted with the crowed. He actually looked HAPPY and excited to be performing again. There were some hipsters in the crowd who complained that he didn’t perform ‘Untitled’ but you always get a few spoiled and entitled in an LA crowd. And the complainers were in the minority. However, he did perform a lot of his new songs which sounded great to me.

    D is still sexy to me. Now there’s just a little more of him to love.

  • Nicki

    Totally agree. I was disappointed in the reaction from the Essence Fest crowd, but not surprised.

  • Rhonda

    I am a fan of D’Angelo because he is a true musician. I was at the House of Blues on the 4th of July and he gave a awesome show! He had both women AND men of all races grooving to him and his band.

  • Darling Nola

    I would shed a tear for D’Angelo (I am a dedicated fan of his music) BUT it’s the nature of the beast. Women are subjected to the same, if not more, scrutiny when it comes to appearance and the “sex symbol” expectation. He could always churn out a gospel album to showcase his voice if the R&B limelight is too much … just a thought.

  • Meme

    He does look unkept. If I saw him on the street and didn’t know who he was, I would honestly think he was homeless.

  • meme

    I think they are fans…they were fans of his image as well as his music. When I go to the grocery store, I make sure my hair looks nice, clothes are clean & unwrinkled, etc. He was performing ifo thousands, and he honestly looks like he doesn’t give a damn. It’s that same, unkept/haggard/somewhat out of it look Lauryn Hill has now. I truly hope there isn’t more to his physical change than just age.

  • http://gravatar.com/ownagemasta ownagemasta

    You rude as hell, Get Your Life, foreal. You probably look nasty

  • http://www.lifestylebyky.com Kydee Kristina

    I still get chills listening to D’Angelo Crusin….the soul in his voice is like no other and people have the nerve to be stuck on his abs…are you serious? when we live in a age of autotune and Roscoe Dash? Real Music is dead…we need to start appreciating when the real music returns and forget about the superficial appearance of these celebrities, they are humans just like us…get ovet it…In D’Angelo’s defense I appreciate him as an artist not as a sex symbol…puh-lease

  • London Gal

    As a longtime fan of D’angelo, I think he’s still an amazing artist and I’m glad he’s back on the scene – Real music fans need him more than ever! I think the fans that are upset about his appearance are people that jump on to the Vodoo image and not the musican. I love his ‘new rock look’, it suits the type of music he’s doing now and if some ‘fans’ don’t like it they can turn to the fake and superfical artists populating the music scene. I don’t think he should change for anyone and the true fans will always support him.

  • London view

    As a long-time fan of D’angelo, I’m really pleased he’s come back to the music scene. I feel the people who are upset at D’angelo’s appearance are not actually fans but people who jump on to the Voodoo image. Therefore, when they see him now, they are critical of his look. I think people need to realise artists change and develop their look and sound. I don’t expect D’Angelo to remain the same after 12 years – I would actually be disappointed if he kept doing ‘Brown Sugar’ ’95 style. I would be asking ‘where is the growth?’

    The most important thing to me his is quality music and amazing vocals which are still intact. Plus, I actually love his new ‘chocolate rock ‘look, it suits his current music style and he’s sexy with it! If anyone knows about D’ Angelo’s taste in music, it’s very varied with influences from jazz to heavy rock, so this is now making its way into his music. I also found the whole ‘Untitled’ image to be too polished/fake and not his true character. Unfortunately, he will lose a lot of superficial fans but the true ones like me will always support him. Plus, the new album will be amazing!!

  • http://clutch Paula Demeary

    I’m a bit late to this forum and I wanted to reply to this block of conversation for a very real reason, but I am so in agreement with your part in it. Charisma and talent should trump abs any day. (Although they were good to look at.) As to why they split, I still don’t know if that’s the whole reason. This isn’t new thinking on my part, but it wasn’t even on my radar at first. I’m younger, than Ms. Stone, and older than D’Angelo.

    Now, having reached a certain stage, having past the age Angie was when they hooked up, having a son that is around the age he was, if I have accurate knowledge of the relationship, that’s a 12-14 year age gap, with the guy
    being very young. Now it’s not so much the gap, but the ages at the time of the gap. And he wasn’t the svelte shirtless image we have in minds today, I mean baby face and all. I wonder if he had just been given some time to grow up if they would have gotten together at all. I have read interviews with her, ( I think she has amazing talent.) where she has said our black men need mothering from their women. Maybe that’s just a little to literal on her part because I understand she’s done something similar again with another even younger married man.

    Lastly, in defense of D’Angelo, I know people that haven’t followed him might be shocked, after all, since his disappearance, he’s been allowed to freeze in our consciousness as the chocolate covered demi-god that made us break out in sweat, but for those of us that know, we see a massive talent that was at the edge self destruction, now firmly (hopefully) treading a path back to health and civilization, headed in a direction musically that he had already begun exploring even before he signed off.

  • http://gravatar.com/beeyondabcs beeyond abc’s

    I wasn’t there, but one of my friends who is a concert promotor told me it wasn’t good. She felt that he was behaving weirdly and thought that his singing wasn’t terrible, but too over the top sometimes. She felt like at times he yelled a little too much. I think if he nailed the performance, people would have overlooked his looks.

  • francais

    okay, i read the article and i agreed wholeheartedly at first. but then i watched d’angelo’s BET performance and i got where the EMF audience was coming from.

    his capacity for artistry was sooo evident in his BET performance where he gave us a mix of jazz & soul with his new music. but there was a little oomph missing from that performance, and that oomph was the sensuality he’s so well known for.

    d’angelo or his team doesn’t seem to recognize that high profile musicians are brands, and a huge part of d’angelo’s brand is sex appeal. the washboard abs are what grab you, but the flawless falsetto and musical genius are what keeps you.

    through doing the untitled (how does it feel) video years ago, d’angelo and his management set an expectation of sensuality-infused performer for fans.

    when somebody tells you d’angelo is performing, you’re envisioning a “fooine” sweat-covered chocolate man with his shirt off crooning to you. Not a black hipster in some combat boots with a questionable twist out crooning to you.

    folks were stone-faced b/c he didn’t live up to the expectation he set for them.

  • Nay Nayla

    Ok and this is from somehow who actually attended the concert last Friday. When D’Angelo came out everyone was all ears. But, I do not remember D’Angelo having a long line of hits. True, he gave an hour’s worth of performance. However, he only had 9 minutes worth of hits so what was he singing for the the duration of the concert. The audience was unable to relate to the performer or his music. And yea, they wanted to see some abs or hear something familiar but that was saved untl the final minutes of his performance during which I’d fallen asleep, my friend next to me had fallen asleep. I mean there was so many negative comments made about him, but the performance sucked to me.If Essence was going to book someone, they should have taken the time to book someone who had a multitude of hits, not just three songs. People were getting up and going into the halls to converse, use the restroom, eat, and take pictures doing his performance. And, I’ll admit that I was one of them. I was totally bored and was praying for him to get off the stage. He lost the crowd. You can’t get mad at the concert goers for being non-responsive. The selected performers should be able to bring it. If it wasn’t for a pity, I would demand part of my money back. Because that was absolutely ridiculous. I’m just glad that Charlie Wilson came out afterwards. and brought the crowd to their feet. Now, that man knows how to perform!! Fault the performer, the performance, the hosts, but not me–that was paid entertainment and to be quite frank, i was not.

  • Nay

    Awww. my comment disappeared

  • Nay

    My comment was that he should not have been on the stage for 60 minutes if he only had 9 minutes worth of hits. Sing those songs and get off the stage. I fell asleep. My friend fell asleep. The person next to me fell asleep. She was clowning. I was clowning. I mean we were disappointed. In passing, I heard someone say that he needed his ass whooped and also if he was in fact singing or crying. Judging by how many people got up, including myself, and left our seats to mingle, take pictures, buy food, use the restroom, etc., I don’t feel like I took his performance the wrong way. I feel like he delivered it the wrong way. It’s no way that the masses were disappointed because had a little flab on him. It was a train wreck in the making. That is Essence’s fault not mine, not his, or anyone else’s. They should’ve known better. We were unable to relate to his music for the remaining 51 minutes because what he was singing weren’t radio hits. I paid to be entertained and in all actuality, I was not. The 3 hits he had, were sung during the final moments of his performance but by the time he’d sung those, he’d lost me and everyone else!!! I speak the truth!!

  • Miss Rhetoriq

    LOL. Exactly. People would be on some “let’s save our sister”. Smh. i love being in love with music, because what a sad life it is to sit there and not enjoy it because you need visual accompaniment. As MJ said, “you got to let it simmer….bath in the moonlight”.

  • onmycreez

    So you’re saying you need to hear a “hit” song played 40 times a day before you can relate to it? You need the radio to tell you what you like. You need other people to like something before you do. Fuck a “hit”..real musicians don’t try to make hits just to make a hit…they do what the fuck they want and the fans follow. Get off the radios dick. D’angelo’s music just isn’t for you then, or the dumbed down washed up essence fest audience. You can keep the trey songz and the neyos…real music heads will rock with D’angelo. Todays “R&B” should really be called P&S…….pop&sex…doing gay ass electronic dance music (hello neyo and usher). People didn’t understand voodoo when it came out and it seems they still don’t. Ay nay you saying he sounding like he was crying not singing. Trey songz sounds like F***king horse when he sings…can’t play any instruments write sex jingles and won’t be remembered as a great musician but he’s a top 40 guy. You know how stupid he’ll sound trying to sing his “hits” when he’s old and his career is done? All i know is that “black” music is/has been at an all time low. D’angelo is a breath of fresh air. There’s a reason why the baddest musicians want to play with him. Chris daddy dave pino palladino jessie johnson?!? Those are the some best of the best. Some of ya’ll are some simple minded pop tart surface ass people…couldn’t recognize real talent and soul if it was preforming right in front of you….oh wait…

  • http://tifivil.tumblr.com Urbanchica

    I’m 2 months late but thtese are my sentiments exactly….

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