D’Angelo works in mysterious ways. When Afropunk Festival, which returns to Brooklyn once again this weekend, announced this year’s lineup, the neo-soul great was first on the bill. He was a prominent presence on the fest’s website.
Now, he’s no longer pictured among the fest’s performers, and his name isn’t listed on the schedule (though there is an unspecified “special guest”). A link to D’Angelo’s festival artist description from Google is broken.
A rep for the fest told Wondering Sound via email that D’Angelo is “still performing” but declined to give a set time, explain why D’Angelo isn’t on the schedule or give further detail. Reps for D’Angelo didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
Afropunk’s website in late June, via Archive.org:
D’Angelo, of course, has been keeping fans guessing for years since his classic 2000 album, Voodoo. The singer’s manager, Kevin Liles, recently said a follow-up was coming “sooner than later.” Engineer and producer Russell Elevado shared snippets of new tracks titled “Sugah Daddy” and “The Charade” early this year. In January 2013, the Roots’ Questlove said the album was “99 percent done,” after saying in December 2011 it was “pretty much 97 percent done.” That is to say: The mysterious lack of D’Angelo on Afropunk’s schedule is typical D’Angelo.
Whatever happens, plenty of impressive acts will be taking the stage on August 23 and 24 at Fort Greene’s Commodore Barry Park. Others scheduled to perform include Cold Specks, Ice-T’s newly reunited Body Count, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Shabazz Palaces, Bad Brains, Trash Talk, Lianne La Havas, SZA, the Internet and more.
And if it’s all as simple, as, say, D’Angelo showing up on Sunday in that Green Stage “special guest” time slot — quite possible, considering festival organizers said as much today in a Twitter reply —don’t say he wasn’t already announced. Update: D’Angelo materialized after all.