The Black Messiah (aka D’Angelo) Made His Verzuz Debut to Close Out Black History Month and I’m Still Not Over It

D’Angelo performs at The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas on August 21, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
D’Angelo performs at The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas on August 21, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Photo: Ethan Miller (Getty Images)

Y’all.

I’m still not over it. No, seriously—I’m not.

It’s been nearly 48 hours since the ever-elusive artist D’Angelo blessed us all with his “D’Angelo and Friends” Verzuz battle at the legendary Apollo Theater and I have yet to come down from that high (not a literal high, but you know what I’m saying).

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The battle, which we previously told you about here at The Root, was everything I thought it would be and then some. DJ Scratch kicked off the night with an hour-long mix that made me miss getting ratchet at the function with my friends. But it wasn’t until D’Angelo walked out in his floor-length fur coat and side-tipped hat that I knew the night would be filled with nothing but good vibes, Brown Sugar, a little bit a Voodoo, and a whole lot of soul. Initially remarking that “we were his friends,” fans were a bit confused at the start; many, including myself, kinda thought the “and Friends” part would encompass some surprise guests like Maxwell, Lauryn Hill, Erykah Badu, or something. Eventually, we were all pleasantly proved wrong (looking at you Method Man, Redman and H.E.R.), but of course Black Twitter had to get the jokes off first.

Kicking it off with an untitled song featuring Grammy-winning trumpet player and band member Keyon Harrold (yes, that Keyon Harrold), viewers were eventually treated to a fire-ass guest appearance from Method Man and Redman who performed “Left & Right” and “Breakups 2 Makeups” with D’Angelo. But perhaps the biggest and arguably most magical moment of the night came when H.E.R. later showed up to perform her hit “Best Part,” which she beautifully flipped and reversed into D’Angelo and Lauryn Hill’s duet “Nothing Even Matters.” Even though a lot of us were holding out hope that Lauryn would’ve been at least one of D’Angelo’s friends, H.E.R. did what needed to be done and then some, making for a truly special moment.

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“SURPRISE! I SANG WITH D’ANGELO AT THE APOLLO!” H.E.R. later captioned in an Instagram post after her performance. “He’s my favorite!!!!!!!!! I can’t believe he’s my biggest fan lol. Thank you @verzuztv and @djscratch! What a HISTORIC moment. TOP 5.” Top 5 for sure and it’s safe to say that a whole lot of other folks agreed.

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Giving us what we truly deserved, D’Angelo performed some of his greatest hits from all three of his albums Brown Sugar, Voodoo, and Black Messiah, including but not limited to: “Cruisin’,” Lady, “Me & Those Dreamin’ Eyes of Mine,” “Alright,” “Jonz in My Bonz,” “Feel Like Makin’ Love,” “Devil’s Pie,” “Really Love,” “Another Life,” “Send It On” (those three back to back to back made me ascend to the ancestral plane, I kid you not.), “Spanish Joint,” “Brown Sugar,” and ending it with “Untitled (How Does It Feel).”

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Like most things, the night came to a beautiful end—and man, if it wasn’t the healing balm we needed to end Black History Month on a good note. If D’Angelo never hops on Instagram again, I’d be okay with that. He came, he sang, he gave of himself and blessed us with vibes so ethereal, my cup will be full until he decides to re-emerge and bless us all over again—even if that’s 5, 10, or 15 years from now.

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Whenever you’re ready, D, we’ll be eagerly waiting for you with open arms...but please make it soon, because this high won’t last forever.

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