"Black Messiah is not one man. It’s a feeling that, collectively, we are all that leader.", says D'Angelo. But the fact that he penned every single track in this (with a little help from his friends, Q-Tip and Questlove from The Roots), playing almost all the instruments in the studio, suggests otherwise. And only one man can do this in such style and funkiness - Prince.
The structure of the songs is vague. Sometimes it's difficult to even spot the chorus or an actual melody. But somehow it works. It's a body of work that was inspired by pure fusion. You can mess around with the guitars and then drown in the soulful tender vocals of "Really love". You then go back to "1000 deaths" and yell at its aggressiveness, while you're thinking about the "Sugah Daddy" pianos and brass. But you cannot escape from the Erykah Badu-esque "Back to the furure", because that's the way this album rolls - You connect the dots from different songs and if you do it with love and respect, you can only hear one song, one voice, one guitar, one message.
"Black Messiah" is a tough-love project. It has been recorded in order to mess with your head and play with your emotions. It's a 14 year-old expirement that has just found its spot in the world. So be careful how you handle it.