Ten years later, my reaction to this video is the same as when I first saw it in my dorm room freshman year (holla 404 E-haus, UNC’s South Campus!) with my roomie and my bestie. We three were jaw jacking about something when the video came on my roomie’s 13in television. All conversation ceased. I was sitting cross-legged on the top bunk, roomie was sitting on her bed, and bestie stood in the middle of the room. All three, mesmerized and silent. All three, breathing in sync with him. We were the ultimate voyeurs, peeking in on an intimate moment with a man we could have built from all of our favorite parts. It wasn’t raunchy. It wasn’t vulgar. It was sexy in the way romance novels try to be with all of that grand, overly-descriptive language.
Not until the video went off were we able to start talking again. There was about a 10 second delay and we all snapped out of our trances and laughed. Real talk, some kind of Lex Luthor, Dr. Doom, Magneto, Boris & Natasha, or Dr. Evil could have put his world domination propaganda into that video and we would have willingly done their bidding. I still really can’t tell you what the lyrics are or what the song’s about because I don’t really *hear* it. SMH.
Let the church say “Amen.” Former Vibe EIC and current executive editor of The Root, Danyel Smith, had this to say about the vid in a NYT article from ’00:
Last week, I was at the hair salon, which is always a bustle of activity, people hollering for hair dye … BET and MTV are on all day long with no one paying too much attention, but when that video came on, you could’ve heard a bobby pin drop. All the women just watched in silence, and when the video was over, there was a collective sigh of ‘Oh my God! He is beautiful!’
Unfortunately, there’s speculation that the video’s popularity may have backfired and pushed D’Angelo into the dark place he’s in now. ?uestlove told journalist-come-annoying twitterer Toure that D’Angelo was crumbling under the pressure of the video and what “he wants is to get fat. He doesn’t want his braider braiding every nook and cranny of his hair. He doesn’t wanna have to have ripples in his stomach. He doesn’t want the pressure of being ‘Untitled’ the video…Had he known what the repercussions of ‘Untitled’ would’ve been, I don’t think he would’ve done it.” Well damn, D. Thanks for the memories at least.
“We made this for women,” said the video’s director Paul Hunter. Well thanks Mr. Hunter. Thanks Dominique Trenier (D’s then manager). How does it feel ? 10 years later and it still feels good.
Quotation Source: Wikipedia