#85: D’Angelo ‘Brown Sugar’

Before the pornographic revealing music video, before the drug issues that led to the munchies and way before the extended wait for new music, Michael Eugene Archer, professionally known as D'Angelo,
stepped onto the soul music scene and changed the game forever. It was the summer of 1996 and with the release of his debut album, Brown Sugar, D'Angelo ushered in a new era of soul music, dubbed "neo-soul" by lawyer-turned-record exec Kedar Massenburg. The first single from the set was the title track "Brown Sugar," and it gave us a taste of what D'Angelo was all about.

There was just something about this 21-year-old brotha with the sexy, streetwise swagger and cornrows who sang about wanting some of that sweet sticky thing. Or did D'Angelo want some of that sticky icky? It's debatable whether the song was about a woman or about weed with its multiple references to Mary Jane, but there was no denying that this man's music got everyone lifted once they heard it. D'Angelo's voice flowed over the Ali Shaheed Mohammed track like hot butter and got even the hardest thugs to nod their heads.

Currently in the midst of an eight-year long musical drought with no foreseeable end in sight, the people are fiending for some new D'Angelo like Pookie from New Jack City. Goodness knows when we'll get another hit, but until then we'll remember when he first got us open.

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9 Responses

  1. I love everything about this song.

  2. I miss him and loved his whole vibe. This song & video were so smoothed out.

  3. I agree with Danielle...this song was so right on every level...

  4. I used to stay up late every night to see this video on BET...tee hee hee

  5. ...before the drug issues that led to the munchies
    For the second time today, cut it out Butta.
    Waves of nostalgia are washing over me. I might have to fire up some of that Cougar to get through this. I SO miss this man...and his lips.
    Was hard for me to choose just one from the album but this song is indeed a classic.

  6. This song and this album officially marked when I began to realize my inner "coolness" in college. Many memories of Brooklyn, summertime, and house parties listening to this track and the rest of this album. Please, D'Angelo, come back to us! This was quite possibly one of the best debut singles by a contemporary artist in recent memory.

  7. Yeah, Deangelo did bring that exotic flava to the table. Mmhh, mmhhh, mmh.

  8. Between this and "Lady" I absolutely fell in love with this man. D'Angelo had this allure that most men can't even comprehend (and no it wasn't because of the weed smokin', lol). He is just a fine specimen of a man and musician.

  9. This brings back memories of college. I actually wrote a review of this album for the school paper. I love the WHOLE thing.


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