Marvin Gaye is one of my great musical inspirations. His music connects to the root of me, whether he’s crooning about the state of humanity in “What’s Going On” or sparking a sexual revolution with “Let’s Get it On.”
“Although there was a ‘conscious’ revolution, there was also a great sexual revolution … I think Let’s Get It On was Marvin wanting to make commentary on what was happening. I think there was a big ‘love-in’ that was going on. And with him quoting T.S. Elliot [in his liner notes, that life amounts to “Birth, copulation and death”], and the young lady moaning [on the album], we hadn’t heard that before. That was another first, as well as him capturing erotica like that, and weaving it into the music the way he did; it was mind blowing. I think it was a natural progression, because we were having a revolution with our minds, and then with our bodies at that time.” -Q-Tip
Rarely are the erotic AND the divine aspects of our sexuality explored through music. Marvin Gaye was the pioneer of this exploration. He soulfully, consciously, and effortlessly connected our bodies and souls almost without us even knowing it.
“If the most profound soul songs are prayers in secular dress, Marvin’s prayer is to reconcile the ecstasy of his early religious epiphany with a sexual epiphany. The hope for such a reconciliation, the search for sexual healing, is what drives his art … The paradox is this: The sexiest of Marvin Gaye’s work is also his most spiritual. That’s the paradox of Marvin himself. In his struggle to wed body and soul, in his exploration of sexual passion, he expresses the most human of hungers—the hunger for God. In those songs of loss and lament—the sense of separation is heartbreaking. On one level, the separation is between man and woman. On a deeper level, the separation is between man and God.”
With my next project, The Soft Glow of Electric Sex, I’m hoping to spark a modern day sexual revolution. Our society tends to oppress our sexuality or travel to the other end of the spectrum and become obsessed with it in an unhealthy way. Mainstream media depicts unauthentic sexual connection. Our sexuality is multifaceted. I want to challenge our perception of sex through this project the way Marvin Gaye did with Let’s Get It On.