D’Angelo doesn’t mince words when describing how he feels about today’s music.
“Ain’t nobody talkin’ bout nothing,” the singer says in a new New York Times video interview. “The music that’s coming out now...everybody’s talking about how many drugs you sold, how many bottles of champagne they poppin’ at the club. Ain’t nobody talking about no real shit.”
The 41-year-old got together with Black Panther Party co-founder Bobby Seale for the Times video piece. The pair toured Oakland, California, where Seale and fellow co-founder Huey Newton formed the activist organization in 1966.
The conversation, which covered topics ranging from protest music to the history of black struggle, found D’Angelo more in the role of student and Seale as the teacher.
D’Angelo’s latest album, Black Messiah, includes several songs dedicated to social consciousness. One track “The Charade,” was specifically made to highlight what the singer describes as ‘systematic’ deaths of young black men like Oscar Grant and Trayvon Martin.
Seale, who is 78, said he was encouraged by D’Angelo’s renewed dedication to making his music matter.
“You have to keep it going,” Seale said. “You can’t let it quiet down.”