The album: D’Angelo: Brown Sugar (1995)
DJ Monalisa Murray is an O.G. on the L.A. scene, having made the transition from working in marketing and promotion for record labels to working for herself as one of the Southland’s premier selectors, down with everyone from Umoja Hi-Fi Soundsystem, to Footlong Development, to the KPL All-Stars. For her album choice, she wanted to spin us back to the emergence of D’Angelo and his debut album, Brown Sugar. We talked about how D’Angelo struck a different note than R&B in that era, how his style played to and against hip-hop, and just what exactly “brown sugar” refers to. Spicy.
More on D’Angelo and Brown Sugar
- Michael Gonzales’ reflections on Brown Sugar for Mass Appeal
- Cheo Coker’s original 1995 review of the LP for Rolling Stone.
- Dan Buyanovsky’s oral history of D’Angelo for Noisey.
More on DJ Monalisa
Show Tracklisting (all songs from Brown Sugar unless indicated otherwise):
- “Brown Sugar”
- “Jonez In My Bones”
- Billy Preston: Music is my Life “Will it Go Round in Circles”
- D’Angelo: Voodoo “Feel Like Making Love”
- ”Me And Those Dreaming Eyes of Mine”
- J Dilla: A.K.A. J. Yancey “Me And Those Dreaming Eyes of Mine [Remix]”
- ”Shit, Damn, Motherfucker”
- ”When We Get By”
- Rolling Stones: Sticky Fingers “Brown Sugar”
- D’Angelo: “She’s Always In My Hair”
- D’Angelo: Black Messiah “Really Love”
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About the show
Hosted by Oliver Wang and Morgan Rhodes, every episode of Heat Rocks invites a special guest to talk about a heat rock – a hot album, a scorching record. These are in-depth conversations about the albums that shape our lives.
Our guests include musicians, writers, and scholars and though we don’t exclusively focus on any one genre, expect to hear about albums from the worlds of soul, hip-hop, funk, jazz, Latin, and more.
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