D’Angelo Dispelled A Popular Myth In His First TV Interview In More Than A Decade

The predominant narrative surrounding D’Angelo is that he collapsed under the pressure of becoming a sudden sex symbol after his video for “Untitled (How Does It Feel)” was released. The fact that he disappeared from music for 14 years shortly after the video was released seemed to support this theory. But D’Angelo says it’s just not true.

In an interview with Tavis Smiley, the Black Messiah singer said that his reaction to the response the video garnered was blown out of proportion during his absence.

“It was all good. I think a lot has been made about me reacting to, or me being negative to the reaction of that video. And it really wasn’t that. Too big of a deal has been made out of that.”

D’Angelo did admit to being shaken by the new-found attention, especially as an artist who was attempting to revive a sort-of starless, full-band aesthetic with Voodoo.

“A lot of times live when we were touring for ‘Voodoo’ and I had this amazing band, The Soultronics. Questlove was the drummer, Pino, of course I had the incomparable Roy Hargrove on trumpet, Frank Lacy on trombone. Just this outstanding band, and we were doing some amazing stuff musically. And a lot of times the crowd — or a lot of the ladies were just screaming, ‘Take it off!’ And I kind of felt like, for lack of a better thing, a male stripper, you know? Or I [was] expected to be that, you know what I mean?”

D’Angelo’s interview began airing Wednesday and will conclude Thursday on PBS.