See D’Angelo Talk Sly Stone, ‘Space Jam,’ and the Future of His Music
In-depth RBMA lecture features Questlove cameos, author Nelson George
You can now watch, stream, download, and read a transcript from D’Angelo’s Red Bull Music Academy lecture Wednesday night in Brooklyn. Author Nelson George hosted and Questlove occasionally joined the pair onstage to contribute invaluable overdubs to the proceedings. As NPR reports, about 500 audience members partook in person, though onlince participation was significant, with Twitter hashtag #AskDAngelo trending at No. 1 locally.
Topically, the elusive R&B god hinted at a collaboration with Sly Stone; discussed his need to “go deep, deep in the onion” while recording; explored Richmond, Virginia’s unique creative vigor; talked about discovering young talent in church; shouted out Slipknot; remembered meeting Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson for the first time; mentioned Space Jam; explained a lot of his influences; and … well, the entire thing is 85 minutes long. You get the idea.
Watch above, listen/download below, and hit NPR to read along. Also, find a handy timestamp directory for the video at the bottom of this post.
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00:01:25 How playing guitar has affected D’Angelo’s music
00:06:47 “The blues is the thread that holds everything together.”
00:08:50 “If it’s confusing at first, that’s a good thing.”
00:10:37 What is the Vanguard?
00:11:56 “We up here singing for the Lord. Don’t be cute.”
00:15:56 D’Angelo’s group IDU (Intelligent Deadly But Unique)
00:18:40 “My main musical love was Prince.”
00:22:00 “I’ve been playing piano since I was 3.”
00:27:00 D’Angelo goes to the Apollo
00:30:05 D’Angelo on Mtume
00:34:05 D’Angelo on how he met Questlove
00:35:45 Questlove tells the story of how he met D’Angelo
00:38:25 Questlove: “I thought… Yo, this is our savior.”
00:41:42 D’Angelo on Voodoo
00:44:20 The evolution of D’Angelo from Brown Sugar to Voodoo
00:49:40 D’Angelo on Pino Palladino and Roy Hargrove
00:51:45 D’Angelo on “Devil’s Pie”
00:52:40 D’Angelo on Black Men United’s “U Will Know”
00:57:20 How technology has changed the music industry
00:58:20 “I met Sly Stone recently.”
00:59:35 Social media pressure on the creative process?
01:00:35 “I have a teepee.”
01:02:40 D’Angelo on the process of recording
01:03:31 “I’m kind of a first take dude.”
01:04:30 Where are you going musically?
01:06:25 If you were not a musician, what would you be?
01:07:50 Is there ever a temptation to do Christian music?
01:10:00 Questlove on how D’Angelo transformed his drumming
01:16:50 D’Angelo and Questlove on Soulquarians
01:19:20 Can we grapple with the phrase “neo-soul”?
01:22:00 “You put a name on something, you put it in a box.”