Summertime And Wendy I ain't seen for a while Since she's been working Trying to catch her own style With that I got her back The kettle's always boiling Snows a falling and it's truly freezing Danny ain't been calling He's got a family But outside my door still says "Welcome" on the floor Life is just a big old game to me I'd like to be number one on your team Call me baby, baby Make me your baby girl One day someone will snatch me for their lady The buds in their blooms now But no letters come from Lucy She's deep in a book Trying to bring down the crooks But she's on my mind profusely My sister Lucy The birds and the bees, yeah They do their thing in trees While we're hustling, bustling, playing the game of life We're looking in a dark cloud for the answers To the question why Life is just a big old game to me I'd like to be number one on your team Call me baby, baby Make me your baby girl One day someone will snatch me for their lady I could never be your number two 'Cuz when you're not there I'm sure someone's loving you And I can't have it I won't have it Maybe one day someone will snatch me for their lady You know sometimes I find myself confused It's always why this and why that See have you ever heard the saying It's just a game Then one more why Why can't I stop playing?Quality tune performed by former Tony Toni Tone frontman Raphael Saadiq (featuring Joss Stone) from his sleeper hit LP The Way I See It. Vintage Motown sounding single reminiscent of duets performed by Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell.
Raphael Saadiq stands legs together, arms spread wide, surveying every inch of London’s Roundhouse.Dressed in pristine white shirt and trousers, he appears almost messianic. ” it is with the unshakeable confidence of a man on the cusp of greatness.He may as well be saying: “This is my time.” The man born Charles Ray Wiggins in Oakland, California, 45 years ago has paid his dues.At 19 he toured the world with Prince, in his twenties he led the Nineties r&b titans Tony Toni Toné, before forming the urban supergroup Lucy Pearl in 1999.More recently, he has juggled life as an acclaimed solo artist with a parallel career as a sought-after producer for the likes of Joss Stone and Snoop Dogg. ” he says, between bites of a steak sandwich in a London café. And I’m building up to it again.” Dressed in leather military boots, cropped trench coat and thick, Fifties-style, tortoiseshell specs, he is a disarmingly low-key shadow of his on-stage persona.
Popular among stars, he once famously got Stevie Wonder to come to his New York studio within an hour of requesting him to collaborate, “just because I felt the song needed a harmonica solo”. But he exudes the quiet assurance of a man carefully cultivating his career’s autumn bloom. “When I come to London now it’s like being in LA, because they know me like I’m at home.” Explosive live performances certainly help.
On stage, all rubber-limbed dancing and raucous ad-libs, he exhibits a youthful exuberance to match his boyish features. “Cats 25 years younger can’t run with me.” After mastering soul (on his 2001 Grammy-winning album Instant Vintage), experimental funk (2004’s Ray Ray) and Motown (2008’s The Way I See It), his latest solo record captures the essence of his live show.
The soul/blues-flavoured Stone Rollin’ is his wildest, most beat-driven and vocally expressive album yet. The seductive groove of Good Man, his forthcoming single, frames a tale of domestic disharmony in the first person, while The Answer pays tribute to the personal and professional mentors who helped raise him, the youngest boy among 14 siblings.
“I wanted to send a message to people who deserved it — uncles, baseball coaches, music teachers.
People who build guidelines for you to go the right way.” His childhood was punctuated by tragedy: one of his brothers overdosed on heroin; another, also a drug addict, committed suicide; and a sister was killed in a car accident.
“Oakland was a beautiful place, but there was a darkness to it,” he says.