D'Angelo, "Brown Sugar" (1995)
Much like its spiritual predecessor, Rick James' "Mary Jane," the groundbreaking title track from D'Angelo's debut LP is about more than just a smoke-out session. Setting his soft yet husky voice over a crunchy Rhodes piano arrangement, he rhapsodizes about a girl named "Brown Sugar" with so much lovingly vivid detail that it sounds as if he's falling in love, and making love. "I gets high on your love, I don't know how to behave," he lilts, occasionally shifting into an ecstatic falsetto. The effect is so intoxicating that it's easy to lose sight of the neo-soul weed metaphor at the song's core. "A lot of people are real busy tryin' to get their point across. Not letting the listener use their imagination. You should be able to lay back and close your eyes and come up with your own vision," he told Vibe in 1995.