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D’Angelo made artistic and socio-political waves with his 2014 album “Black Messiah”. In a brand new interview with the New York Times, D’angelo sits with Bobby Seale (co-founder of the Black Panther party) and discusses the role artists have in speaking out.

Now more than ever is the need to sing about it and to write songs about it. And no one’s doing it. There’s only a chosen couple of people. I think it just takes one little snowflake to start a snowball to go down the hill”

The influence that a musician has cannot be ignored, and D’angelo reminisces on a time where he feels political protest was a trend.

“Coming up, the music of my era was very conscious. I grew up on Public Enemy, and it was popular culture to be aware. People were wearing Malcolm X T-shirts and Malcolm X hats. It was a very cool thing to know who Malcolm X was. It was all in the lyrics. It was trendy to be conscious and aware. Now the trend … it’s just [expletive].”

And how he feels about modern hip-hop today?

“Kendrick Lamar, he’s an example of someone who is young and actually trying to say something. Who else? You got Young Jeezy and Young Thug. You know what I’m saying? It’s stupid. It’s ridiculous.”

Accompanied with a video of Bobby Seale giving him a tour to the Black Panther rooted Oakland, the article and interview comes at a critical time in sociopolitical debate, with the recent Charleston church massacre and the debate on confederate values and racism it has sparked.

Check out the full interview and video here and let us know what you think with a comment below

D’angelo sits with Black Panther co-founder and discusses musical activism and modern hip-hop  was originally published on