How many artist can drop an album out of nowhere and create a buzz among their fans, fans of the genre and the music industry? 12 months ago Beyoncé dropped her self entitled album with little warning and I say little because before the album was released she announced a tour. There aren’t many artist even with a large profile who would attempt to pull this off. As big as Nicki Minaj’s fan base is, she hasn’t emulated Beyoncé by being innovative, yet uses her sexual nature to promote her new music. Jay Z, arguably the biggest artist to emerge out of hip-hop changed the game with his #NewRules campaign but I doubt would be able to have the same effect as Beyoncé did if he attempted the same trick.
Someone like Beyoncé can go on tour for any reason, but so can a near forgotten legend like D’Angelo. I say near forgotten because before he announced his tour how many people were speaking about him? And before the album Black Messiah, how many wanted to go and see him live? I’m not suggesting that D’Angelo is going to have the same success in sales as Beyoncé, but it is brave and I think effective attempt.
This isn’t a review because I feel “one play reviews” are not accurate at all. E.g. Yeezus, many critics gave it so much early praise I thought they were riding the Kanye bandwagon or on the drugs. What I will say is there is a nice vibe off initial listening and similar sounds to his two previous albums. Many people who had seen D’Angelo live have criticised his voice and weight. From the sounds on Black Messiah, he definitely has his talent within the studio production.
Now D’Angelo has done this, will this actually change they way albums are released? When Beyoncé did it I felt it was a one-off because it would be incredibly hard to replicate the success, ignoring the legendary status of artist who have not released any projects in modern time. D’Angelo’s Black Messiah could allow artist to release projects with minimal promotion like he did. He used one track to mark his return and then a day later the whole world had access to his album.
If you’re a fan of good music Black Messiah is an album you should be checking out before the year ends.