It was 1995 and my brother and I were taking one of our trips to the record store. It was a monthly visit, more of a treat that we allowed ourselves. Being college students at that time, we had to pick and choose how our money was spent. My brother was a music connoisseur. I listened to a lot of music for sure, but sometimes my criteria for what to buy was simply based on the cover of the CD.
I purchased two things that day. One was a CD by Kenny Loggins (yes, Kenny L) and the other was D'Angelo's CD, Brown Sugar. I thought the cover was cool, retro and it was cheap. We got back to our apartment and my brother was bumping his music and I was feeling the base through the wall. I opened this new artist and by the first 8 measures he had my attention. By the last song (SDM), I was a pure fan. It had been a long time since I experienced music. It was simple, musically layered, spiritually familiar and highly intelligent writing. I got on my brother's last nerve because I played it for weeks over and over and over. D'Angelo truly changed how I selected music.
2015: Last night, I got a chance to go to one of his concerts. This was one of those unplanned blessings. It was a rainy day and my plans were to hang with my nieces and nephews at the park. Simple plans including a picnic and maybe kite flying. You can't fly kites in the rain and soggy sandwiches and hot dogs are not appetizing for anyone. Once my plans were altered, my thoughts went to others and I remembered that I was suppose to call one of my college friends and catch up with her. I text her and she texted me back asking me, "You want to go to a D'Angelo concert?" What the what? Hell yes. The person that was suppose to go could not, leaving a ticket open…just for me. Whoa! Thank God for rain right?
The concert was amazing. The crowd was all in (Detroiters of course. What do you expect) and the music reminded me of the day I purchased Brown Sugar. It also reminded me of church. It really did. I found myself clapping like I was in the spirit. It was strange but comfortable. It was wonderful to see D'Angelo enjoying life. Enjoying what he does and everyone enjoying it with him.
I got home late from the concert and woke up early, writing, drawing…inspired by what I saw, what I heard and experienced. D'Angelo is a life soundtrack for me and can't wait to hear the next movements.