0109: “Sugah Daddy” by D’Angelo and The Vanguard

Black Messiah was supposed to be released sometime in 2015. There were supposed to be a lot of things D’Angelo was to release after his 2000 album Voodoo but a myriad of personal and professional obstacles got in the way—mostly revolving around his rejection of being a sex symbol and the death of a friend, both of which caused depression and substance abuse. Black Messiah was supposed to be released sometime in 2015 but the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner provided a reconsideration and it was secretly released in December of 2014. “Sugah Daddy” had been written a few years prior, with D’Angelo having performed it live as far back as 2012. This track is probably the catchiest and popiest one on the album. Between the clap beat and the hopping and skipping piano notes there’s already a blueprint here for a terrific, soulful, mellow R&B tune but added into it are layers of vocal ranges and sudden bursts of horns as well as perfectly placed Stax era type short guitar riffs. My son absolutely loves this song. Almost every time he is in the car he asks me to play it. He thinks some of the vocals are funny but he also really likes the music—I know this because this is one of the few songs that he kind of demands some silence with. Every now and then after I play this for him I’ll throw in some Sly and the Family Stone, Funkadelic, Prince, and Booker T. & the M.G.’s too. He’s too young to fully realize how it’s all interconnected but for now I’ll just enjoy his appreciation of a song that tries to incorporate all of them. “Sugah Daddy” is one of my favorite songs of this decade, a song that had me hooked within 10 seconds.

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