The Sons of Soul…
If I have to narrow down the groups that helped shape my teenage years, Tony! Toni! Tone! would be in the top 5. I remember when they came out. I remember how I felt when I found out that NO ONE’S name was Tony (or any variation thereof). I felt like I’d been swindled, hoodwinked, and bamboozled. I remember holding my boyfriend’s hand walking down the hallway at my high school. Tony! Toni! Tone! was that R&B group that had that different sound. They were more clean cut than Jodeci, and had a different sound from Boys II Men.
I cannot lie, I did not like “If I Had No Loot.” Although I will admit that it was a jumpin track. I remember everyone talking about it, because it was the first time we’d heard a song sound like that. They had a style all their own. Walk down the “3 Tonys” road with me.
Whatever you want: For me, a song can get my ear because I like the rhythms and cadences. “What makes you think that I would try, to run a game on you. Just as sure as my name is Da-Wayne” makes me smile everytime. The way that line flows was…. it just was…
Lay your head on my pillow: This song was smooth. I mean, like JIF peanut butter smooth. And just like butter, I’m sure legs spread. (Not mine though.) I remember when the radio would cut out the instrumentals at the ending because the song would run a little long. Ididn’t even mind Raaphael talking to me at the end (his high-pitched self) because it sounded genuine. Yes, these are the things I remember about this song.
Just me and you: I would pretend that he was singing this song to me. Only in the privacy of my bedroom though. This song didn’t even rhyme. Did we care? No, we did not. I feel like I could be in love when I hear this song. Yes, I’m on my emo today. I hate every moment that it lasts.
Feels Good: This song made me (and several other people) dance. “If it really feels good to ya, baby lemme hear you say.. uh uh baby.” There’s nothing else to be said.
Slow Wine: I remember thinking “ooh, a song we can slow grind to” then being sorely mistaken. It was a bit too uptempo for a good slow grind, but that’s alright. It wasn’t until today that I remembered to unearth this gem. It doesn’t get a lot of love, because everyone is too busy thinking about other songs. But that’s fine, I’m sure “slow wine” stays in it’s own lane.
Anniversary: I had to give this mention because all ya’ll like it. It’s not my favorite, it doesn’t even rank in my top 3, but I can understand why people would like it. “Do you know what today is? It’s our anniversary.” (hint: she’s been waiting for ya’lls anniversary since last week.”
In Never Rains (in Southern California) The music in this song is… (at least to me) Now that I think about it, this song didn’t rhyme either. It just goes to show that you don’t have to have a rhyming pattern to make a song do it’s job. (you hear me R. Kelly?)
I’m gonna give a special shout out to “That’s All I Ask of You.” It was on the “Higher Learning” soundtrack, and it was the first time that Raphael Saadiq was singing on his own, and it sounded great. Memory: I remember my friend Tijuan had the cassette (yes, I said that) and he gave me a ride home. We sat in his car in my parking lot listening to both sides of the cassette and talking. By the time I made it upstairs, I’d missed curfew and my mother said I couldn’t go to Homecoming. I was MAD!! Not only because listening to a song with just a friend wasn’t worth it, but because my date had already gotten his suit. My date STILL clowns me for missing that homecoming dance. I still love the song though, even though there’s a specific memory tied to it.
Last, but not least. How excited were you when you found out that Raphael Saadiq was 1/3 of Lucy Pearl! It’s like that group was all the good parts of some of the best music that ever was. There were a couple songs after “Dance Tonight” but the group just didn’t take off. I guess my one CD purchase couldn’t keep them afloat. That’s alright though, because nowadays Raphael Saadiq is making his solo music. (with that old school Motown style.) I like him, I like his music, I like the memories.
And thank God for Tony! Toni! Tone’!
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Peace and Love, Nick