'How Does It Feel' to Know D'Angelo Is Doing a Verzuz at the Apollo and Has a Possible New Album Coming Soon?

D’Angelo performs during FYF Fest on Sunday, Aug. 23, 2015.
D’Angelo performs during FYF Fest on Sunday, Aug. 23, 2015.
Photo: Rich Fury/Invision/AP (AP)

It looks like D’Angelo is about to serve as a true “Black Messiah” of the Verzuz series and will be spicing things up for the popular online battle! The neo soul artist confirmed he’ll be hosting a “D’Angelo Verzuz Friends” on his official Instagram page over the weekend. This ain’t no normal Verzuz, either—D’Angelo won’t be at his home or at the studio in Atlanta, but instead, he’ll perform live at the legendary Apollo Theater in Harlem. We’re assuming this will all be COVID-compliant, of course.

“You’re on the stage and there’s such a high, then you get off the stage and it’s just you,” D’Angelo once mused in his 2019 Tribeca documentary, Devil’s Pie - D’Angelo, an intimate look into his life. Though it seems D’Angelo won’t be going head-to-head in a traditional Verzuz (because as fans have noted, who can actually square up, musically?), it won’t be “just [him]” on the stage.

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The “friends” part of the event is still a mystery and it looks like that will be part of the draw—the performance may include special surprise guests. Can we look forward to folks he’s famously collaborated with in the past, such as Lauryn Hill, Erykah Badu, Raphael Saadiq or Angie Stone? Will we be getting a special reenactment of the “Untitled (How Does It Feel)” video as a late Valentine’s Day gift?

In addition to D’Angelo and D-Nice announcing the next Verzuz via Instagram Live, the artist also teased a new album coming soon, which is obviously a big deal since he’s known to take long breaks between projects (such as the 14-year gap between Voodoo and Black Messiah)—amping up the anticipation even more. Black Messiah dropped in 2015 and is D’Angelo’s most recent studio album.

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D’Angelo Verzuz Friends will take place Feb. 27 at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT and will broadcast via the official Verzuz IG account and Apple Music, per usual.

Staff Writer, Entertainment at The Root. Sugar, spice & everything rice. Equipped with the uncanny ability to make a Disney reference and a double entendre in the same sentence.

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DISCUSSION

blakebortlesandjaymes
BB&J: The poster currently known as BB&J

If anyone could do a Verzuz with D’Angelo, it would actually be a collaborator of his (and Oakland native - we went to the same high school many years apart!) Raphael Saadiq. Like seriously. Check out his music, writing and production credits. He’s qualified.

But I’m loving the twist on D’Angelo’s Verzuz. That’s going to be fire. I’m looking forward to it.