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Why D’Angelo Should Probably Keep the Weight

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Would you be less likely to purchase D'Angelo's next album if he didn't look like a god?

There's been much made of his weight gain and unkempt look over the past few years, but it must be argued that this isn't simply a case of falling on hard times and not giving a damn. Anyone that's been paying close attention to D'Angelo's career knows that the "Untitled (How Does it Feel)" video was his jump-the-shark moment. It was so provocative and polarizing that no one could recover from it, least of all him. Maybe he has a point to prove.

It's not normally in my nature to sympathize with someone with abs of steel, but not being able to perform your body of work without the crowd screaming "TAKE IT OFF" has to be frustrating for any serious artist. This is D'Angelo ya'll, not Pretty Ricky.

He is arguably one of the most talented modern purveyors of soul, taking his cues from Marvin and Stevie and giving us music that is raw, melodic, and progressive. His work should not be driven by how good he looks shirtless. Voodoo was a standout album that was overshadowed by his nakedness, and for any so-called fan to place a higher value on his appearance than his actual music is downright disrespectful and disloyal.

Perhaps it's time for another renaissance, to usher in an era where hard bodies do not a career make. I'm being real Utopian right now, but in the case of an artist like D'Angelo, this shouldn't be considered an impossibility.

If he delivers another classic album along with a Voodoo-era physique, I wouldn't be mad. The music should come first, though.

D'Angelo: "Really Love"


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  • http://neocarla.com Carla

    I must admit that I was drawn to listening to his music after seeing the infamous "Untitled(How Does It Feel)" video. The album was one that I could listen to from beginning to end. And it's rare that I do that with albums. It's now six or seven years later and I still listen to the album quite frequently. Although he did have a little phase where he looked like O.D.B. a couple of years back, I'd still listen to him. But he will definitely have to bring it! LOL

  • http://www.lynnedjohnson.com/diary Lynne d Johnson

    Having been a fan since the first album, I can say it was the music and not the looks. He was a breath of fresh air. Though, as you've written in your analysis, he's also been documented as saying that the pressure of what the crowd wanted from him caused him to withdraw, to drink, to drug. God only knows what caused him to suffocate Angie Stone (aka Angie B).

  • http://courtneyelizabeth.com courtney

    I can't lie. I'm anxious to hear his new album. And the reason I listened to Untitled was because he was naked on the screen. And well...he looked damn good. But his music came second to that. So, with his next album, I'm sure his music will have to come first. He's got a little credit left...just a little.

  • http://doyouknowclarence.com Clarence

    I think that people shouldn't trip on whether or not D'Angelo doesn't rock a hard body. It's the soul of the music that has mattered.
    I was always fascinated by the article that Toure' wrote on D'Angelo where he went ballistic by being sexually objectified during his shows. He wanted to be about the music..
    ..now is his chance and we should step aside and let him get down with it.

  • S. Flemming

    When I was in college and I reviewed the "Voodoo" album for our paper, I said he was going to become a slave to his image, and everybody called me a hater ... I like D'Angelo. I think he's one of the few great talents to have emerged in the 1990s. But if he'd spent more time dressed and less time flaunting his abs of steel and his happy trail, things would be a bit different now. Nonetheless, I am hoping he'll come back hard because we all miss him.

  • Love

    His music is surely what drew me in from day one. But I'm not mad at the "How does it feel" look. One can argue that the video itself was a breath of fresh air. Yeah, it was SEXED up, but it was also refreshingly simplistic and romantic....just him and the camera...I loved the feel of it. That's one video that everyone will remember, so that alone makes it just as important as the song and the rest of his music.



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