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Raphael Saadiq

We time travel to the past and future with master Raphael Saadiq, global music tastemaker.

Raphael Saadiq sings during the 2010 Essence Music Festival at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Friday, July 2, 2010. (AP)

Raphael Saadiq sings during the 2010 Essence Music Festival at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Friday, July 2, 2010. (AP)

Grammy-winning artist Raphael Saadiq grew up in love with Stevie Wonder, Chuck Berry, Little Walter, Sly Stone. Grabbed a guitar to stay centered in a tough life in Oakland. When the world zigged to hip hop, he zagged to “neo-soul” in “Tony! Toni! Toné!”

Instant Vintage was his first solo album – taking the past and making it sublimely new. Now he’s being called a massive influencer. You can hear it all around.

This hour, On Point: to the past and future, with Raphael Saadiq.

-Tom Ashbrook


Raphael Saadiq, Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer. Time Magazine just named him one of the 100 most influential people on earth.

Tim Riley, music critic and assistant professor at Emerson College. He’s editor of the “Riley Rock Index” website.

From Tom’s Reading List

Time “Raphael Saadiq has been on my radar since the first Tony! Toni! Toné! album, Who?”

Pop Dose “The name Raphael Saadiq still probably isn’t familiar to the average casual music fan, but that shouldn’t discount the fact that the Bay Area native has been perhaps the most consistent R&B singer/songwriter/producer of recent times”

Video: Stone Rollin’

Here’s the video from Stone Rollin’ from the album of the same name.

Video: Let’s Take a Walk

Here’s the video of Raphael Saadiq’s Let’s Take a Walk from the album “The Way I See It.”

Video: The Hot Seat

Raphael Saadiq shares his favorite album, who he feels has the greatest voice of all time


Heart Attack                   (Stone Rollin’, 2011)
Day Dreams (Stone Rollin’, 2011)
It Never Rains (In Southern California)(The Revival, 1990)
Go to Hell                    (Stone Rollin’, 2011)
Keep Marchin’             (The Way I See It, 2008)
Radio (Stone Rollin’, 2011)
Love of My Life (An Ode To Hip-Hop) (Eryka Badu, 2008)
Rumor Has It                   (21, 2012)
Never Give You Up (ft. Stevie Wonder) (The Way I See It, 2008)
Stone Rollin’ (Stone Rollin’, 2011)
Everybody Needs Somebody to Love (53rd Annual Grammy Awards)
The Answer (The Way I See It, 2008)
Love That Girl           (The Way I See It, 2008)
Just Don’t                (Stone Rollin’, 2011)
Good Man                  (Stone Rollin’, 2011

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  • U.S. Vet.

    This guy reminds me of Justin Bieber.

    • Guest

      Sounds like an insult, which is an insult. He’s a great artist. What have you done? let me guess you’re a “hero”

      • U.S. Vet.

        So sorry, I didn’t mean to hurt your feewings.

        • BEEZ

          Insult to the vast talents of Mr. Saadiq and musicians worldwide.
          Sorrow is comfort to a fool Mr Vet

          • Elle Oeh

             God bless you but Please don’t feed any trolls. It only encourages them. And sidetracks healthy conversation. Instead let’s engage with the positive comments elsewhere

          • U.S. Vet.

            Aren’t you the president of the Al Sharpton fan club?

          • U.S. Vet.

            “vast talents of Mr. Saadiq”

            If he’s got ’talent’, then that would explain why music sales are way, way down.

    • Adks12020

      Justin Bieber? Really? If you dont know the differences between this guy and Bieber you should probably just give up on listening to music.

      • Ben

        I think US Vet was comparing substance rather than style. 

        That being said, if my only two choices were Saadiq and Bieber, I probably would give up listening to music.  Luckily there is alot of substantial music in the world to choose from.

  • J__o__h__n

    I hope he isn’t a tastemaker for fashion. 

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    If Time Magazine has to make a list, the people must not be all that influential.

    • J__o__h__n

      “I’m obsessed by Time Magazine.” – Allen Ginsberg

  • http://www.voluptuousbrowngurl.com/ Sunflower8166

    What an honor!  LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Raphael Saadiq since his Tony! Toni! Toné! days.

  • Elle Oeh

    This play list is sorely lacking. Nothing from his Grammy-nominated solo album Instant Vintage, the Grammy-nominated Lucy Pearl Album, the Tony! Toni! Toné! years, songs produced for Angie Stone, D’angelo.

    C’mon let’s pump up this play list!

    Here’s my contribution:
    Feels Good (Tony! Toni! Toné!)
    Anniversary (Tony! Toni! Toné! )
    Gospedelic (Bonus Track from Instant Vintage)
    Everyday (Lucy Pearl)
    Dance Tonight (Lucy Pearl)

    • BEEZ

      I play Anniversary once a year for my wife. Great song. I wake her up to it with breakfast in bed!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    It sounds old – and it sounds great. New doesn’t mean good – and what we think of as old is all the stuff that was good enough to survive the years. This easily competes with the best of the old stuff.

  • Mareshia

    I was delighted to turn on my radio and hear Raphael Saadiq!  I grew up on Tony! Toni! Tone! As a girl from the Bay Area, I grew up with Raphael’s music, from listening to Little Walter growing up in East Palo Alto to Feels Good living down the street from Castlemont High near MacArthur and 75th to playing Instant Vintage for my 1 year old twins this morning (minus OPH) and Stone Rollin in the car on the way to work!  I am so pleased he’s been recognized as influential.  Raphael’s dynamism is rarely matched in music and he just keeps giving. Thank you for your contribution Mr. S A (double) D I Q and thank you Tom for this great coverage.

  • Jessepdavis08

    How have I missed this unbelievable artist!! I may be a middle-aged housewife in N.H. but we listen to GOOD music in this house and I will be adding Raphael’s right away. My son and I try to outdo each other in finding excellent artists—i found the Wild Magnolias and he found Solomon Burke! I am sure to outdo him now!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Rich-Madison/100002956347397 Rich Madison

    I must tell you that I hardly ever listen to your show now. I used to listen for 2 hours every single day, but recently you have gotten off the topic of daily news issues and done more and more arts and entertainment. I love the arts, but I can hear that all day on other NPR shows. What you do and do best is real interactive conversations about real issues. When you resort to interviewing “stars” you don’t sound any different from any other cable show where those in the entertainment business interview others in the entertainment business and the self-praise goes around in circles. Please stick to what you do best. I miss it. No reflection on Raphael Saadiq – just something I’ve been wanting to tell you for a while now.

    • jkb28

      I have to agree with your sentiments.  Even though I really like Raphael Saadiq’s music, the On Point format just doesn’t lend itself well to hour-long discussions with one artist or celebrity.  It is best suited to shows that focus on a relevant political or social/cultural topic, particularly if the issues are complicated or contentious.  Those shows are more interesting and informative, and Tom is a superb host for them.

  • VT_Music_Fan

    Great show today – in a possibly related vein, I heard a cut of Ludicris and Jason Aldean’s “Dirt Road Anthem” while at a conference – it was a revelation to hear such a ‘mashup’ – does this reflect a further movement in modern music?

    • VT_Music_Fan

      sorry about the typo – so before someone ‘jumps me’ –  Ludacris… ;)

  • David

    Man, I’m buying Stone Rolling TONIGHT. Thanks, Tom for giving this guy some more exposure, and thanks Raphael for your dedication to quality and originality. I’m more familiar with your older material, but only now am I connecting your name to your newer songs. I’ll do my part to spread the word!

  • Guest

    Been a fan of Raphael Saadiq since Tony! Toni! Toné!…been loving everything he’s done since then. Thanks for giving him some much-deserved recognition.

  • DonMottolo

    Another new fan!

  • DonMottolo

    So glad to hear him building upon and extending the best of real black music.

  • U.S. Vet.

    Justin Beiber, your replacement has arrived.

  • Michele

    Raphael Saadiq is one of the most talented contemporary performers.  His ability to marry all types of music and make it sound classic and new at the same time is singularly amazing.  Whenever I need a pick-me-up this go to music.

  • Ben

    “The Most Talented”?  Yikes.  Not to poke holes in what is actually somewhat decent music, but the guy can barely sing and uses layers of voice filters and effects to hide the fact.  His songs are nice, but really his talent shouldn’t be overblown and his song selection is derivative  – which is probably why people like it, because they like it when they heard it the first time (as kids).  There really are alot of much more talented, but less visually marketable kids out there remaking classic music in this vein but much much better. 

    I think the guy below actually had a point when he compared this guy to Bieber.  I’d go one step farther and say he is about as talentless and marketable as Elvis.

    Listen to the Tiny Desk Concert with Saadiq, and you will see what he sounds like without filters.  Really wanted to like him because he “looks” the part, but there isn’t much substance apart from his good taste in lifted material.

  • Hidan

    Sweet Show.

    Thanks onpoint. 

  • Jmcavoy15

    Please consider Prof. Al Roberts and his new book “America’s First Great Depression” as a guest. Facinating how similar 1837 depression was to today’s situation.


  • Pingback: blog riley | Saadiq, plus Colbert on Catholicism at TIME 100 Awards

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