There are no-brainers and then there are no-brainers. This one: is a no-brainer.
For starters, I VIVIDLY remember when D’Angelo’s Voodoo dropped in January 2000. We’d been waiting for a new D’Angelo album since he came through and crushed the buildings with 1995's Brown Sugar. When Voodoo dropped, I remember the constant debate over which album was better between the two; they were as constant as the debate over who was the better MC, Jay-Z or Biggie. Folks split off into their two camps and there was very little middle ground. For the record, both are classic (indisputable) and more for the record, I’m a Brown Sugar, guy, though I love Voodoo with my whole heart.
And then came the video.
D’Angelo clearly hit the gym and wanted to share it with the world. Paul Hunter directed this video that was just one continuous shot of a sweaty, naked D’Angelo, and well, that was all she wrote. D’Angelo became a sex symbol, people spoofed the video and every dude’s girlfriend was glued to the television screen. There was even a rumor that D’Angelo was getting “served” and his movements were the build up to the climax at the end when he is throwing his hands in the air, and waving them like he just didn’t care.
Worked for me and everybody else.
This video is so intertwined with his legacy at this point that when you mention Voodoo, people automatically think of the video (such that they were alive and old enough to be aware of D’Angelo at that point). It is also part of what allegedly turned him into more of a recluse than he already was—the pressure of being this version of D’Angelo was a lot.
But as sure as the day is long, D’Angelo dropped one of the most memorable, recognizable, jealousy-inducing videos ever. I thought about hitting the gym after I saw the video, but then I also came to the same realization Drake probably did after listening to Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly for the first time: I can’t do that, so why try.