Happy Birthday, Raphael Saadiq!
Since the '90s, Raphael Saadiq has long been an appreciated member of R&B and hip-hop circles after working with the likes of the Ummah, TLC and Mary J. Blige. He's also known as a great artist even without the collaborations. Saadiq turns 49 today (May 14).
Saadiq's music usually has a joyful tint to it despite the tragedies he faced growing up in Oakland, Calif. -- he lost three siblings in a car accident, murder and suicide. He overcame his losses and teamed up his brother Dwayne Wiggins and his cousin Timothy Christian to form Tony! Toni! Toné! in 1988. The group was a success. Three of their four albums went platinum and hits like "It Never Rains (In Southern California)," "Feels Good" and "Anniversary" are VH1 Soul mainstays.
Saadiq is the most well-known out of the trio because of his work after Tony! Toni! Toné! following the group's split. He joined En Vogue's Dawn Richardson and A Tribe Called Quest's Ali Shaheed Muhammad to form Lucy Pearl, crafting one underrated album. He also released his own solo work. Although none of those songs or albums had the same sort of success of Tony! Toni! Toné, he did score a critical breakthrough with 2008's The Way I See It.
Perhaps Saadiq's best post-Tony! Toni! Toné! contribution to the culture is his work he did with D'Angelo for his song "Untitled (How Does It Feel)." The sensual video, D'Angelo's falsetto and the end at mid-climax are some of the most recognized signatures of the song. But it was Saadiq who produced the sexual beast of a track.
The singer and producer hasn't lost his touch despite being in the fourth decade of his music career. Stone Rollin', his last album, received a good amount of praise. It's not wishful to think he does have a bit more creativity in the tank.
Watch Raphael Saadiq's "Be Here" Video Feat. D'Angelo
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