The 2016 Essence Festival is right around the corner and we're excited as ever to check out this year's lineup that includes the likes of Maxwell, Mariah Carey, Kendrick Lamar, Lalah Hathaway, Lion Babe and more. However, one artist that will not be in the building at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome will be D'Angelo, who last took to the festival stage back in 2012. But before he made his long-awaited return, a young D'Angelo took to the same stage in 1998 to perform songs from his debut album, 1995's Brown Sugar.
If you weren't lucky enough to attend that show, then have no fear. A recording of his rehearsals for the night have surfaced online and even in practice, D'Angelo is clearly a cut above the rest. The result is D'Angelo ESSENCE Festival Rehearsals 1998 featuring Questlove, Anthony Hamilton, Bilal, Pino Palladino and Spanky who were collectively known as the Soultronics. The beauty of it all is that you get treated to listening to then-unknowns A. Ham and Bilal sing their ever-loving faces off even during rehearsals. There's even "Send It On," which wouldn't even be released until the following year when Voodoo dropped. The best part? The download is available for the low-low price of free 99. Check out the tracklist below and then dive into this rare gem.
D'Angelo D'Angelo ESSENCE Festival Rehearsals 1998 tracklist
1. Ain't It Funky Now
2. Jonz in My Bonz
3. Cruisin/Me & Those Dreamy Eyes of Mine
4. S**t, Damn, Motherf**ker
5. Send It On
6. When We Get By
7. Brown Sugar