D’Angelo Finally Answers ‘How Does It Feel?’: “It Feels Great”

dangelo

Michael “D’Angelo” Archer made the first album that I listened to from beginning to end and bought the album, Brown Sugar after one listen. With songs like, “Brown Sugar”, “Cruisin'”, and “Lady”, I didn’t fast forward, didn’t skip around, just played it all the way through because of how good the music made me feel.

His next album, Untitled, actually was the album that showed the world who D’Angelo was. With the song, “Untitled (How Does It Feel?)” came a video that featured the fit and well-chiseled singer in the nude singing passionately.  It was an instant hit and made D’Angelo a household name.

d'angelo video how does it feel

Fast forward over 15 years from his first studio album debut and the people are talking again.

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“He’s back” some are saying.  Those who long-awaited the return of smooth, groovy-mixed-with-funk neo soul that makes you close your eyes, nod your head and tap your feet when you listen to it.

But where was he?

The truth is D’Angelo had a lot of things going on including depression, drug use and legal issues, all of which kept him out of the spotlight for awhile. After all, he was only 21-years-old when he hit the scene and propelled to stardom. Below, see how he viewed and navigated through some of this issues:

D’Angelo on battling his substance abuse during his hiatus:
“I didn’t really think I had a problem like that,” he says. “I felt like, you know, all I got to do is clean up and I’ll be fine. Just get in the studio and I’ll be f***ing fine.”

dangelo black messiah back 2014

D’Angelo on tour with The Vangard. Courtesy of L. Hainey

But he wasn’t.  He had legal problems, friends in the industry dying of drug abuse, etc. All of that weighed heavy on D’Angelo’s mind and he began to sink into depression, which weighed on his body too.

On gaining weight:
D’angelo ballooned up to 300 lbs, in part to spite those who admired him. The Roots drummer Questlove, D’Angelo’s former bandleader, explains to GQ that at some point, his friend just felt he had to escape stardom. The last day of the eight-month (Voodoo) tour, Questlove says D’Angelo told him: “‘Yo man, I cannot wait until this f**king 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.

 

When someone wants to distance themselves from the world, gains weight and has continued drug use, those are usually signs that something more is happening in their lives.  Social withdrawal is one of the most important…