New "What's In My Bag?" Episode with Raphael Saadiq

Posted by Amoebite, November 20, 2019 05:37pm | Post a Comment

Raphael Saadiq - What's In My Bag?

We were fortunate to have singer, songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist Raphael Saadiq do some shopping recently at Amoeba Hollywood and share some of the cool records he found, along with some interesting stories from his prolific career. "My first tour, in '86, was Sheila (E.) and Prince," he told us, speaking of his beginnings as their bass player. "We used to play (Sheila E.'s) 'Holly Rock'...I still don't know what 'Holly Rock' is, but I was signing it." Saadiq was excited to find a copy of Originals, a collection of demos that Prince wrote and recorded for other people to sing, including 'Holly Rock.' "I wanna hear him singing (it)," Saadiq proclaimed.

Born Charles Ray Wiggins, Raphael Saadiq learned to play bass guitar at age six and started singing with gospel groups at age nine. When he was eighteen, he took the name Raphael and successfully Raphael Saadiq - Jimmy Leeauditioned to play bass in Sheila E.'s backing band. He then hit the road as part of Prince's Parade Tour. After this tour, he returned to his hometown of Oakland and joined Tony! Toni! TonĂ©! with his brother, Dwayne Wiggins, and cousin, Timothy Christian. The group became R&B superstars, with their greatest commercial success being 1993's double platinum Sons of Soul.

The group disbanded in 1997. In 1999, Saadiq launched Lucy Pearl, a supergroup also featuring En Vogue's Dawn Robinson and A Tribe Called Quest's Ali Shaheed Muhammad. The band only released one self-titled album. After a series of high-profile collaborations (including the Grammy-winning single "Untitled (How Does It Feel)" by D'Angelo), Saadiq founded the Pookie Entertainment label in 2002. That same year, he released his debut solo album, Instant Vintage, which garnered him multiple Grammy nominations. His third solo album, The Way I See It, continued Saadiq's string of Grammy nominations. In 2008, he founded a new label, Velma Records, and in 2009, he launched IllFonic, a video game development company responsible for Friday the 13th: The Game. 2011's Stone Rollin' and 2019's Jimmy Lee were both met with widespread critical acclaim. Saadiq, along with Mary J. Blige, received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song for their work on songs for the film Mudbound (2017). Raphael Saadiq has produced work for artists such as Solange, John Legend, Whitney Houston, and Joss Stone.

Saadiq kicked off his What's In My Bag? episode with The Pimp Tape by "the godfather of Oakland, California" Too $hort. Not only were they both from Oakland, it turns out they were both Tauruses. 

Another nostalgic pick for Saadiq was Tomorrow by the R&B/gospel group The Winans. "This is special right here," he said of the record he spent much time listening to high school. "R. Kelly basically stole everything that [lead signer Marvin Winans] did, he's trying to sing like him," he told us, continuing, "A lot of R&B, like Bad Boy, Puff, all this came from these guys."

Saadiq also picked up a copy of contemporary jazz pianist Robert Glasper's Canvas. "One day I'm gonna work with him, in the same capacity that Earth, WInd & Fire worked with Ramsey Lewis. We're gonna do something great together, I know it."

Also in his bag: Kate Bush, Kamasi Washington, and Marvin Gaye.

But who is Raphael Saadiq's favorite Chicago blues musician? And what current hip hop artist does he describe as incredible and innovative? You'll have to watch the video to find out!

Raphael Saadiq - What's In My Bag?
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Relevant Tags

Robert Glasper (6), Puff Daddy (1), Bad Boy (1), The Winans (2), The Pimp Tape (1), Too Short (9), Tony! Toni! Tone! (2), Sheila E (4), Prince (67), Amoeba Hollywood (876), What's In My Bag (381), Jimmy Lee (1), Raphael Saadiq (4)