They Reminisce Over You Podcast

Tony! Toni! Toné! cover art for episode 53 of the They Reminisce Over You Podcast

Jun 16, 2023

Episode 53: Tony! Toni! Toné! - Feels Good

Episode Summary

On this episode, we are talking about one of the greatest groups of '90s R&B, actually '90s music in general. They brought you songs like "The Blues," "Feels Good," "Whatever You Want," "Anniversary," "Let's Get Down." All the jams that you know and love. From Oakland, California. Tony! Toni! Toné! We get into our favorite songs from their albums, Raphael Saadiq's solo albums and some of the songs for other artists that they've had a hand in.


Miguel: This is They Reminisce Over You. I'm Miguel.

Christina: And I'm Christina. We wanted to take a minute to make a small request of all our listeners. If you're listening to us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Goodpods or Podchaser, leave us a five star rating. You can also leave a review as well on Apple, Goodpods and Podchaser. Ratings, and reviews will help us with discoverability. And we want to get this out to as many like-minded folks as we can.

Miguel: We wanna get on the first page of these podcast apps.

Christina: And to move up on the charts as well. So help us get the word out.

Miguel: Make sure to follow and interact with us on social media. We’re @troypodcast on the 'gram and the bird. Also check out our website, It's where we post links to a lot of the things that we mention in the show, as well as transcripts and themed playlists that supplement our episodes and more.

Christina: Thank you again for your support. You ready to get into the show?

Miguel: Let's do it.

Christina: Welcome back to They Reminisce Over You. I'm Christina.

Miguel: And I'm Miguel. On this episode, we are talking about one of the greatest groups of '90s R&B, actually, '90s music in general. They brought you songs like "The Blues," "Feels Good," "Whatever You Want," "Anniversary," "Let's Get Down. " All that good stuff. From Oakland, California, Tony! Toni! Toné!

Christina: [mimics air horns]

Miguel: "Has done it again." "It feels good." I don't know why I did that, but—

Christina: You did it.

Miguel: Here we are. I did it.

Christina: Yep.

Miguel: So, let's just get right into—

Christina: No takes backs.

Miguel: Yeah, no take backs. Let's just get right into it.

Christina: Let's do it.

Miguel: So, I remember hearing Tony! Toni! Toné! for the first time when I was in junior high school. And I say this because Tony! Toni! Toné! has a very specific time in my life.

Christina: Okay.

Miguel: And a very specific memory of riding the school bus to and from Dodson Junior High in San Pedro, California. They would play the songs a lot on the radio and just listening to the first album last week—I never had the first album, but I knew all of the songs from the first album because they played it on the radio so much.

Christina: Okay.

Miguel: "Little Walter" and "Born Not to Know." All of that stuff was being played on the radio. So, I knew it without knowing it basically. What about you? When was the first time you heard Tony! Toni! Toné!?

Christina: I'm pretty sure it was "Feels Good" because I am not familiar with the first album. So, "Feels Good" is their first single off of the second album, so I’m pretty sure it's that, 'cause I definitely remember that song. I liked it but it wasn't until "Whatever You Want." 'Cause I remember liking "Feels Good", but it was just like, oh, it's a catchy song. But it wasn't like, top of my faves just yet.

Miguel: Yeah.

Christina: And again, just looking at the discography and the release dates—'cause I really like "Whatever You Want," so, I think that's probably the one that made me a fan.

Miguel: Yeah, for me, I won't say that I didn't like the first album, but it didn't hit me like the second album did it. Like, I listened to it because it was always on the radio, like I was saying. But, I just thought that "Little Walter" and "Born Not to Know" was a little too preachy for me.

Christina: Yeah.

Miguel: I understood the message they were trying to get across, but I was like, it is kind of corny.

Christina: Yeah. After-school special.

Miguel: Yeah, exactly. And then the videos had Sinbad in 'em, so I couldn't take it seriously.

Christina: I was just about to say, was it that Sinbad playing the grandma, in "Born Not To Know"?

Miguel: He, he played the grandma[1] in "Born Not to Know" and he was Little Walter in "Little Walter".

Christina: I didn't watch that video.

Miguel: So, I can't take that video seriously when Sinbad is doing Sinbad stuff.

Christina: Right.

Miguel: So, I didn't really get on board until the second album and at that point I was all in. So, like you said, "Feels Good," "It Never Rains (In Southern California)," "Whatever You Want," all that stuff.

Christina: Right.

Miguel: That's when I was really in, because they did like, some new jack swing-ish stuff and I mentioned on this pod several times how I really wasn't into '90s R&B. Because it kind of felt gimmicky to me, like, some diet hip hop is what it felt like a lot of R&B acts were doing.

Christina: Like who?

Miguel: Just the whole new jack swing stuff, it, it sounded like they wanted to be hip hop, but didn't want to go all the way to hip hop, and I just really couldn't get into a lot of it.

Christina: Okay.

Miguel: But what I liked about Tony! Toni! Toné!, is when they would give you like "Whatever You Want" or "It Never Rains," it had a lot of live instrumentation in it. So it reminded me of the '70s R&B that I really liked.

Christina: Right.

Miguel: So, that's what drew me in.

Christina: Yeah, I was thinking that technically they are a male R&B group but they don't really fit into the discussion of like, say the, the Jodeci’s and the, the Boyz II Men’s because they're, they're more, I think of them as a band.

Miguel: Right.

Christina: Like, even though these other acts groups or solo acts may have live instrumentation, it's not like having a full band as the group.

Miguel: Right.

Christina: So, I saw in an interview that I think of Raphael Saadiq saying he didn't like being called, um, what were people calling them? Not vintage, what's the word? Like, basically saying they're old school soul.

Miguel: Right.

Christina: Right. He's like, it's just soul or whatever. But they, they are kinda, they're more reminiscent of ’70s style soul.

Miguel: Yeah, they do have a lot of that in their DNA that sounds like it could have come out in the late ’60s, but a little bit updated.

Christina: Yeah.

Miguel: But yeah, that's what drew me in was uh, the live instrumentation and whatnot.

Christina: Definitely.

Miguel: And since you really didn't listen to the first album, did you go back and listen to it this week?

Christina: I did. I think, maybe if I had listened to this in ’88, I probably would've liked it. But since I'm listening to it now, I have no kind of nostalgia attached to it.

Miguel: Yeah.

Christina: So, it just sounds like old music.

Miguel: Right.

Christina: So, if I had to pick a song, it would be "For the Love of You."

Miguel: Right.

Christina: But again, like I said, it, I have no real—

Miguel: Because that one has the elements of older songs.

Christina: Yes.

Miguel: Rather than the new jack swing style that they were doing at that time.

Christina: Yeah.

Miguel: Yeah, same for me. That would be the one that I would choose as my favorite song from the album. Either that or "Who's Loving You." Either of those two.

Christina: There is one song that did, stand out.

Miguel: Yeah.

Christina: I was just about to skip it. It's called "261.5."

Miguel: I was trying to figure out what could that possibly mean, because I'm like, it's not temperature.

Christina: Yeah.

Miguel: It’s not a phone number.

Christina: Too many numbers.

Miguel: It’s not a radio station. Like, what could this possibly be?

Christina: Yeah, so if you don't know the song, it starts off with a little monologue right?

Miguel: It's a courtroom scene and a judge is speaking. And then he says that he's, they've been accused of violating California penal code 261.5.

Christina: Yes.

Miguel: So, I'm thinking, okay, you've done "Little Walter."

Christina: Yeah.

Miguel: You've done "Born Not to Know". This song is gonna be about the Black man’s struggles with the penal system. So, I'm expecting that to happen and the judge says that they're guilty of…what did he say? "Falling in love with a minor."

Christina: Wait, wait, wait. So, he goes, "falling in love." And then when I heard that part, I was like, oh, it's some little corny thing of like, oh my God, like throw me in jail. I fell in love.

Miguel: Yes.

Christina: And then, with a minor, I'm like, excuse me, what?

Miguel: Yeah. I literally said, "nigga, what?" out loud to myself as soon as I heard it. Because like I said, I've never had the album.

Christina: Right.

Miguel: So, I've never heard this song before until a couple days ago.

Christina: Uh huh.

Miguel: And yeah, it was a different time.

Christina: It gets worse.

Miguel: The ’80s were a different time, but come on, man.

Christina: It gets worse. So, now we know that 261.5 is the penal code for relations with a minor.

Miguel: And I had to look it up to verify that this was actually the code. So, it was.

Christina: Yeah, and he's talking about a 15 year old.

Miguel: Yeah.

Christina: And not only is he talking about a 15 year old, he said "she came on to me and now I fell a victim."

Miguel: Right.

Christina: "To 261.5." Like, okay.

Miguel: So, I heard that and was like, you know what, let me just get out and move on to the next album.

Christina: Yeah. And I'm mad though that the song is kind of catchy though.

Miguel: It is. It is, but—

Christina: But I'm like, I can't be sitting here listening to you talking about how a 15 year old came on to you and you just couldn't resist.

Miguel: Yeah, so I had to get out quick and move on to the second album.

Christina: Yeah. So, I'm like, eh, you know what? Maybe some of y'all need to like, revisit some of your old discography and maybe…destroy it.

Miguel: Yeah, that one was rough. Like damn, really?

Christina: Ugh.

Miguel: So, that wasn't on my favorites list.

Christina: No.

Miguel: But moving on to The Revival.

Christina: Here we go.

Miguel: This is where the jams start coming in.

Christina: All right, let’s talk about The Revival.

Miguel: Yeah. So, like we said, "Feels Good," "It Never Rains (In Southern California)," "The Blues," which is probably my favorite one on the album.

Christina: Oh, is that so?

Miguel: "All you ever give me is the blues." So, yeah, this is all the shit that I'm into.

Christina: Yeah. I really like, uh, "Whatever You Want." It was a toss up between that and "It Never Rains."

Miguel: Of course.

Christina: But I picked "Whatever You Want" in the end.

Miguel: Yeah, I, I can see that being a good pick. Everybody loves "Whatever You Want."

Christina: Although the first time I went to California, it rained most of the time.

Miguel: It rains in the video.

Christina: Yeah. But he's in New York.

Miguel: No, they're in California.

Christina: But he says he's in New York and then he's gonna come visit her in California.

Miguel: Right, and when—

Christina: I thought the rainy scenes was in New York?

Miguel: Well, at the end of the video, they're standing on a cliff, in California, in the rain.[2]

Christina: Oh. Lies.

Miguel: That always bothered me. How are you going to say it never rains—

Christina: He brought the rain with him.

Miguel: —but you’re standing in the rain? But yeah, I like that one. And with, "Whatever You Want". I was watching an interview with, Raphael on The Breakfast Club from like two or three years ago, and Charlamagne being Charlamagne, he asked them like, you can go out and tour and make money as Tony! Toni! Toné! What do the other dudes bring to the table? So, he was like, nah, Dwayne, he's a great musician, he's a great writer. And Timothy as well. They bring stuff to the table. It's not just me.

Christina: Right.

Miguel: And he says that, I think it was, "It Never Rains."[3] Yeah, I'm pretty sure it was "It Never Rains (In Southern California)" where he said that they're on tour somewhere. Timothy was getting ready to go off with a girl. He walks into the room, tosses him a cassette and just leaves. And he starts playing it and it's like, the finished song of "It Never Rains (In Southern California)" minus the lyrics. So, he's like, no, they bring stuff to the table. It is not just me. They're part of this too. But Charlamagne being Charlamagne.

Christina: He has to be Charlamagne.

Miguel: He's like, they can't do stuff without you. And he's like, they've been touring ever since I left. Like they, they don't need me.


Christina: Well, before their next album, they had a little, one single in the Boyz n the Hood soundtrack, "Me and You," which I love.

Miguel: Yeah. And that wasn't supposed to be a Tony! Toni! Toné! song. Or it isn’t a Tony! Toni! Toné! song that is his—

Christina: It isn’t?

Miguel: It's his first solo song. But the record label president said that you can't put out a Raphael Wiggins song.

Christina: hmm.

Miguel: It has to say Tony! Toni! Toné! on it.

Christina: Okay.

Miguel: So he said that they forced him to put Tony! Toni! Toné! as the group.

Christina: Right.

Miguel: But it's his first solo song.

Christina: Okay. Well, he managed to get a official solo song later on as well.

Miguel: Yeah, he said that one only happened because he had changed his name to Raphael Saadiq. Raphael Wiggins was signed to this one, but Raphael Saadiq was able to put that out and that was the first thing he did as Raphael Saadiq.

Christina: Was "Ask of You" on the Higher Learning soundtrack.

Miguel: Yeah. And he said, John Singleton was like, well, Raphael Saadiq gonna be on this album, so you can't do anything about this.

Christina: Okay.

Miguel: Yeah, the, the soundtrack stuff was really big and he said John Singleton came to him, didn't tell him what the movie was about. Just described the scene as Nia Long and "some kid." Cuba Gooding as "some kid" and write a song for it. And he did.

Christina: Okay.

Miguel: And that was it.

Christina: That's one of my favorite, quote unquote,Tony! Toni! Toné! songs.

Miguel: Technically. Tony! Toni! Toné!. But yeah. Yeah, I like that one too.

Christina: Mm-hmm.

Miguel: Which led us into the Sons of Soul album.

Christina: Yes.

Miguel: Which came out the following year. They went to Trinidad and stayed there for like four months during the making of this album. And that kind of gave them the inspiration. And you can tell on this album is where they kind of started drifting away from the quote unquote new jack swing era. And more into the live instrumentation that they're known for.

Christina: There is some mention of new jack swing on "If I Had No Loot."

Miguel: Yes, and I've been searching for this tweet that I saw a couple years ago, and I cannot find it, where this woman said that she was listening to like, a throwback radio station and Tony! Toni! Toné! came on and all she heard was, "you can new jack swing from my nuts." And she had never heard that before.

Christina: Same! You know what, and I know exactly that part, but I never just heard the words.

Miguel: Yeah, it samples Ice Cube’s, "The Nigga You Love To Hate." And he says—

Christina: And it’s throughout the whole song.

Miguel: Yeah. He says, "you can new jack swing from my nuts." No, it's not "The Nigga You Love To Hate." I, I forget the name of it, but it's on Ice Cube's second album.[4]

Christina: Yeah.

Miguel: And it just samples him saying "you can new jack swing from my nuts."

Christina: Throughout the song. And now I'm just like, how did I miss that? Because it's not like they just snuck it in once. It's on the song many times.

Miguel: Yeah, it's all throughout the song. But yeah, they did that one, which listening to the song now, and I really never paid attention to it until I was listening to it the other day. They're talking shit about like, fake friends, like Drake always is. About how you only come around when I got money and you wanna do this and that. And I was like, oh, okay. I see what you're doing here.

Christina: They're so funky with it—

Miguel: Yeah.

Christina: That you’re just like, not really paying attention to…

Miguel: "And you can my jack swing from my nuts" and just grooving along, "If I Had No Loot." But yeah, there was what? "Slow Wine."

Christina: That's the Trinidad influence.

Miguel: Yeah. "(Lay Your Head On My) Pillow." "Anniversary," "Leaving." So, this was another one that had a bunch of jams on it too.

Christina: Yeah, there's a another song that's not a single, which is hilarious. "My Ex-Girlfriend."

Miguel: Yes.

Christina: I can't remember the melody now, but the line is like—

Miguel: "My ex-girlfriend is a—"

Christina: "My ex-girlfriend is a ho." I was trying to make sure I could remember the melody so I could sing the line as is, but now I forgot how the song actually goes. But—

Miguel: I completely forgot about it.

Christina: The chorus is "My Ex-Girlfriend is a Ho."

Miguel: Yeah, I completely—

Christina: Not that melody though, but—

Miguel: I completely forgot about that song.

Christina: Yeah, you know what? I was listening to the album on Tidal and that song is not available there. But it's available on one of these like, weird compilations, which makes no sense since it's not a single. So I almost missed this gem until I realized that there weren't songs available on Tidal, and I switched over to Spotify and heard it there. But yeah, I almost missed it. Because I know all the singles, but there's some, album cuts that I hadn't heard yet.

Miguel: But yeah, that was another favorite of mine. What is your favorite song on this album?

Christina: You know what? First I was gonna say "Anniversary," but when I was re-listening to "If I Had No Loot," it's just so like, funky. Makes you wanna dance. I think it depends on my mood.

Miguel: Okay.

Christina: 'Cause I would say that I like them the same amount, but like, they're not comparable.

Miguel: Yeah.

Christina: 'Cause you have one uptempo one and then one smooth one. So, I don't know, one of those two.

Miguel: All right, I'm going with "Pillow."

Christina: That was a strong contender as well, but of the slow songs, I think for me, "Anniversary" edges it out a little bit.

Miguel: Okay. And following that up a couple years later, even though technically they had broken up at this point. But they decided to give it one last go with the House of Music album from ’96, which to me is their best work. Thoughts?

Christina: Well, I know that you probably like,"Let's Get Down" because it's a DJ Quik production.

Miguel: I do. And we listened to it before we actually started recording, but I never noticed until I was living in Vegas how much of the melody of Nirvana’s "Smells Like Teen Spirit" lives in this song.

Christina: Yes.

Miguel: Like the,"Let's get down, let's get down." That part is obvious. But, I was at a club in Vegas, and I don't remember who the DJ was. Most likely it was DJ AM because he was known for doing these kind of mashups and whatnot, and it starts playing, but they're playing "Smells Like Teen Spirit" at the same time.

Christina: Right.

Miguel: And I'm like, this is fucking brilliant. Like, how do you come up with this? But the more it started to play, I'm like, wait a minute. They used the entire melody from this song to build "Let's Get Down."

Christina: Yeah.

Miguel: And I just played you the, uh, YouTube video of the Nirvana instrumental with the vocals of "Let's Get Down."[5] And it fits perfectly.

Christina: Mm-hmm. It does. For me, you said it was obvious, but I didn't catch it right away with the,"Let's get down, let's get down." But like, after you hear, you're like, oh, that's the same thing. But the, the rest of it too fits perfectly.

Miguel: Yeah. I only caught that "let's get down" part. But the entire song is based off of the melody of "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and I love it. But I love the whole album, not just the Quik production, but the entire album is by far my favorite Tony! Toni! Toné! stuff. I think "Loving You" might be my favorite Tony! Toni! Toné! song.

Christina: Yeah. I was about to say, when I was re-listening to it, I was like, okay, this one's my favorite song. And then when I was just looking at Wikipedia, I'm like, wait, this wasn't a single?

Miguel: Nope.

Christina: It's funny how there are so many songs that are never official singles, but they're like, fan favorites and sometimes it might even be one of the best songs of the album.

Miguel: Right.

Christina: 'Cause I was like, I swear I hear this song everywhere though, but how did I hear it? Because I didn't have the, I don't remember. I don't think I had the album.

Miguel: Okay.

Christina: So, I'm not sure how I know the song if it wasn't an official single. Maybe I did have the album. I dunno.

Miguel: I definitely did because I used to ride around in my ashy Corolla with the 15s in the trunk, just slamming this. Flying down the 110 freeway bumping some Tony! Toni! Toné!

Christina: And this was one of those things where, we talk about sometimes you're a fan of somebody without knowing you're a fan of somebody.

Miguel: Right.

Christina: 'Cause like, I remember seeing DJ Quik in the video but I didn't realize like, who he was.

Miguel: Okay.

Christina: You know how so many like, R&B-ish songs in the '90s would always have like, a rap or something, right?

Miguel: Yeah.

Christina: So, I kind of thought DJ Quik was just like, oh, here's the requisite rap.

Miguel: So, basically you thought Quik was like, Tupac's brother on "Feels Good?"

Christina: MoPreme.

Miguel: Mocedes, MoPreme, Wycked.

Christina: "Quite a nice fellow."

Miguel: "Mocedes, the mellow."

Christina: Yeah.

Miguel: You thought that's what Quik was doing?

Christina: Yeah. I didn't realize who he, like, what he was. I knew who he was in terms of name and what he looked like, and I'd see him on things here and there, but like I didn't realize what he was.

Miguel: Right.

Christina: I thought it was like, oh, he's gonna come in and do the rap.

Miguel: Nah, this is a DJ Quik, G-One production.

Christina: But now that I'm more familiar with his work, I can tell by listening to it now. I'm like, okay, this is definitely a DJ Quik production. But I didn't know at the time.

Miguel: "Mocedes the mellow."

Christina: "Quite a nice fellow."

Miguel: Oh man.


Miguel: So, what is your favorite on the album? "Loving You?"

Christina: Yep.

Miguel: Okay.

Christina: That’s the one.

Miguel: Yeah, that's hands down probably my favorite Tony! Toni! Toné! song. And I don't know why, it just is.

Christina: You don't have to have a reason.

Miguel: I don't.

Christina: What I did notice about just listening to all these albums is, there's not really any like obvious bad songs. You know what I mean? Like, there may be songs that I would skip or maybe not purposely listen to, but pretty much all their albums you can just leave on.

Miguel: Yeah.

Christina: You know, background music in, uh, this cafe that we keep saying we're gonna have someday. Or like, work music or something, you know? Like, it just kind of works to just have it on.

Miguel: Yeah.

Christina: Because I think that their focus on the live instrumentation and stuff, it just, everything just kind of sounds nice.

Miguel: Yeah. And on this album, even the stuff that isn't live and it's like, samples and drum machines, it sounds a lot like the stuff that Dilla was making and Q-Tip because they were kind of working together at this time.

Christina: Yeah.

Miguel: He wasn't officially a member of The Ummah,[6] but he was always around. So, the little idiosyncrasies of the production, how it's not always on beat, it's slightly off a little bit. You can see the Dilla influence in that and how it sounds. So, it sounds a lot like the stuff they were doing with D'Angelo. A lot of the Tribe Called, Tribe Called Quest, ah, the A Tribe Called Quest stuff towards the end. You can see that they were influencing each other, and this sounds a lot like it would fit in with the Soulquarian stuff.

Christina: Yes.

Miguel: Even though he wasn't a Soulquarian, but he was always around doing stuff with 'em.

Christina: Right. I thought he was, because I actually looked it up. When I was watching the video for "Be Here" with D'Angelo and also they did a performance together and I was just thinking about how Raphael Saadiq’s solo stuff sounds even more like sort of the D'Angelo, Soulquarian stuff. So, I looked up and I was like, is Wikipedia wrong? 'Cause sometimes it's wrong cause it says he's not part of them.

Miguel: No, he wasn’t. Like, he would come in, do a song or two and get out. But he was like, on everybody's stuff.

Christina: Yeah.

Miguel: He's on the Badu stuff, he's on Common’s stuff. He's on some of the Tribe Called Quest stuff, but he was never a Soulquarian himself.

Christina: I saw in an interview where he said he was in town and he was like, I feel like smoking weed. And he's like, who, who would have weed? Oh, I know D'Angelo's recording at, uh, was it Electric Lady?

Miguel: Electric Lady.

Christina: He's like, oh, D’Angelo probably has some, I’ll just stop by. And he just showed up at the studio. D’Angelo’s there's like, come in and do a song. And then they wrote, one of the songs together. I can't remember which one. So, I was like, oh, you just like roll up to the studio for a joint and end up making a song together, but you're not part of Soulquarians?

Miguel: Right. And I guess that's just how it was. He comes in, does his thing, and leaves.

Christina: Yeah.

Miguel: I was reading that doing stuff like that is kind of the reason that he actually left Tony! Toni! Toné! He said there was some issues with allocations of funds as well, but most of it was he had these things that he wanted to do, but the rest of the group really didn't want to do it. So, he would be like, all right, I'm just gonna toss this song over here to this person, let them do it, and then I'm gonna give this to this person. And he says, looking back on it now, he should have talked to them more about what he was feeling, but he was like, you know what? I'm out. And just stop answering phone calls and stop showing up to things. 'Cause he said that in their minds he's just looking to go solo.

Christina: Right.

Miguel: But he's like, I don't want to be a solo artist. I like being in bands 'cause that's more fun. But since none of 'em actually spoke on it. It actually ended up happening because he's like, I'm just gonna go, and stop answering phone calls and whatnot. And that became the start of his solo career, 'cause he said he wanted to be a producer and a songwriter.


Miguel: And he wanted to do types of music that they weren't doing in Tony! Toni! Toné!. Because even though he left Tony! Toni! Toné!, he immediately got into Lucy Pearl.

Christina: Right.

Miguel: So, It's not like he wanted to be solo.

Christina: He just wanted to do something else.

Miguel: Yeah, he just wanted to expand a little bit.

Christina: Hmm.

Miguel: But it worked out.

Christina: Yeah…

Miguel: And that's it. Just yeah?

Christina: Yeah. Well, I'm just, thinking that as much as I liked the Tony! Toni! Toné! stuff, I think his solo stuff and the Lucy Pearl stuff actually fits more into what I had generally liked about '90s music and early 2000s, 'cause Lucy Pearl was like 2000? Their first album came out.

Miguel: Yeah.

Christina: I loved, ask of you on the Higher Learning soundtrack, that's more of the, um, the neo soul sound that all the neo soul people hate—

Miguel: Yeah.

Christina: —being called. But I don't know if maybe it's because like, without having the band, that the sound sounded more like that rather than sort of the traditional soul. Which I do like. But for me personally, that sound of the '90s was, what I prefer.

Miguel: Okay.

Christina: So, I find that the Tony! Toni! Toné! stuff is traditional soul. I mean, it was updated. It didn't sound like old music, but you definitely see more of the influence with the band.

Miguel: Yeah, and the Lucy Pearl stuff was kinda like a bridge between the two. It had some elements of Tony! Toni! Toné! And they were even on one of the songs.

Christina: Yes.

Miguel: But it also sounds a lot like the stuff was gonna start doing a little bit later with his own solo albums.

Christina: And it had more of a hip hop influence.

Miguel: Yeah. Because the Instant Vintage album, which was Raphael's first solo album, I really like that one too. I don't like it as much as the Tony! Toni! Toné! stuff, but it has one of my favorite songs on it. "Still Ray." So, that pushes it up on the list for me.

Christina: Well, I love "Still Ray" but, you know I'm gonna pick, "Be Here" with D'Angelo.

Miguel: Of course. I'm aware.

Christina: I think I told you this before, but in the video, his leading lady is, uh, Emmett's mama from The Chi.

Miguel: Yes, yes.

Christina: And it was funny seeing her because the most recent time we saw her was playing his mom. And in the video there's all these girls dancing out front of their, motel and she just comes riding up in this car, comes sauntering out, like move bitches.

Miguel: I'm here now.

Christina: And I'm like, hey, that's Emmett's mama.

Miguel: Oh, man.

Christina: Y’all can go home.

Miguel: Yeah. You're, you're done here. so I assume that's your favorite song on the Instant Vintage album.

Christina: Yes. And you like "Still Ray" because of the sample?

Miguel: Well, it's not exactly a sample, but—

Christina: Or, the elements.

Miguel: It has the, the feel and the elements of "Still D.R.E." but in his own little way. And there's a tuba solo, too.

Christina: Yeah, I was watching his Tiny Desk Concert and he was saying, ah, I can't remember exactly, but I think he said he wanted to, or he did go to Texas A&M I think? And he just loved the bands and stuff. So, he was saying it was like his goal to feature a tuba in, in a song. And he finally—

Miguel: And there it was.

Christina: —got the chance cause he was saying that they were bothering him about like, oh, the song doesn't have a hook yet. He's like the tuba, that's, that's, the hook.

Miguel: Just this random tuba solo.

Christina: So, he ended his Tiny Desk Concert[7] with that song and they really highlighted the tuba.

Miguel: Right, because you have to.

Christina: Yeah.

Miguel: You have to do it.

Christina: Yeah. You don't hear tubas very often.

Miguel: No, not at all.

Christina: Especially as the focal point. So, that's pretty good too, but you know, if D'Angelo's on it—and that they sound really good together too. It's not even just like, oh, I'm just gonna automatically pick D'Angelo. Like, they work really, they sound really good together.

Miguel: Right. And they're always performing their version of "Bring It On Home To Me" where they changed the lyrics a little to fit them. Like the one you sent me the other day when they were performing on the Chris Rock Show.[8]

Christina: There was a comment that said something like, they went from the blues to the juke joint to church in five minutes and yeah, pretty much.

Miguel: Yeah, that was pretty much what it was.


Miguel: So, the next album is Ray Ray. And what I like about his solo stuff, and this continues with the albums after this as well, is they're all themed and he kind of sticks to that theme. This one is basically the soundtrack to a Blaxploitation flick. So, much so that the first song, or the intro was called "Blaxploitation."

Christina: Yeah.

Miguel: So this looks and feels like an album that would be about a pimp in Oakland in 1973, which is why he's standing next to this Mercury Cougar with his suit on and a glass of cognac as Ray Ray. And I'm pretty sure I can figure out which song you're gonna like on this album.

Christina: So, I actually hadn't heard this album before, so, when I scanned the track list, surprise, surprise, I went straight to the Teedra Moses tracks first.

Miguel: Of course.

Christina: I can't remember the name now, but it's one of her tracks that I like the best.

Miguel: Uh, you have "Chic" and "I Want You Back."

Christina: I think it's "I Want You Back."

Miguel: Okay. And they're back to back on the album too.

Christina: That's why it makes it even harder to remember I think. But it's one of the songs with her is the one I like best.

Miguel: Yeah.

Christina: But I will say I like this album overall better than Instant Vintage, cause I don't know if that needed to be 19 tracks.

Miguel: Well, that's like most albums that were out around that time, they didn't need to be as long as they were.

Christina: But, okay. So I like Ray Ray better overall as an album. But Instant Vintage had those two monster singles with "Be Here" "Still Ray," and I don't think Ray Ray has big hits like that, but as a complete album, I like this one better.

Miguel: Okay.

Christina: Between the two.

Miguel: I like the "Ray Ray Theme." That's my favorite one on this. Or "I Know Shuggie Otis." Those two. Those two, because he's at least on the, "I Know Shuggie Otis." He's talking a lot of shit and I like it.

Christina: Because that's what you like.

Miguel: Yes, I'm into that. But like I said, it, it sticks to a theme. With like, being a soundtrack to a Blaxploitation film and I like that.

Christina: So, maybe that's why this album felt more cohesive cause it had a, a specific theme, whereas I don't think Instant Vintage did. Did it?

Miguel: Not really.

Christina: I think that was more of like, I just wanna try a bunch of different things.

Miguel: Yeah. That one was more of, this is what y'all know me for and I'm gonna give you all of it. All the things that you know that I can do is gonna be on this album.

Christina: In 19 tracks.

Miguel: Yeah. Around the same time the rest of Tony! Toni! Toné! minus Raphael, performed and produced "Diary" with Alicia Keys on her album.

Christina: Yeah. You know what? I was confused by that because I didn't hear Raphael and I was like, Tony! Toni! Toné!? And then there was this other guy Jermaine Paul, who was more prominently featured. So, I was like—

Miguel: And he has no affiliation with Tony! Toni! Toné!

Christina: Yeah. So, I was like, how is this featuring Tony! Toni! Toné!? So…

Miguel: Because it's the, the band.

Christina: The rest of the band.

Miguel: The, the other five guys were there.

Christina: So, that had always confused me, but now it's been cleared up.

Miguel: Yeah, I think that is one of the few Alicia Keys songs that I like.

Christina: Okay.

Miguel: Because of Tony! Toni! Toné! being on it.

Christina: You didn't like the first album at least?

Miguel: It's okay. Like I said, it's one of the few songs that I like. I'm not a huge Alicia Keys fan because I think she does too much sometimes.

Christina: Hmm.

Miguel: And right now I'm thinking of that video of where she's screaming and she throws her head back[9].

Christina: I like the early stuff, the first couple albums, but the, the, later albums, I just, it don't work for me. But we're not here to talk too much about Alicia Keys.

Miguel: Yeah, but, that "Diary" song is brilliant. I really like that. It's basically, like I said, Tony! Toni! Toné! with Alicia replacing Raphael.

Christina: And this Jermaine Paul guy.

Miguel: And and that Jermaine Paul guy. That's pretty much all that they've done as a group. I saw a couple singles that they've released over the years, but I had never heard of 'em until yesterday. But Dwayne has been involved in a lot of production since Raphael left. I did not know that he was instrumental in getting Destiny’s Child signed.

Christina: Oh? I did not know that either.

Miguel: Yeah, he was part of the team that got them their deal. He wrote and produced on the first three albums. So, he was instrumental in that. Keyshia Cole, he was instrumental in helping getting her career off the ground with again, production and songwriting. Kehlani, H.E.R., Zendaya did an album.

Christina: Okay.

Miguel: But they all have the Oakland connection and he's kind of been involved. If you were a young artist coming up in Oakland, apparently you went through Dwayne.

Christina: Okay.

Miguel: 'Cause he's pretty much plugged in with everybody it seems.

Christina: Destiny's Child didn't come up in Oakland.

Miguel: They didn't, I don't know how they ended up with him, but when they first started they ended up in Oakland recording with him. And like I said, he wrote and produced on the first three albums. And I saw that Kehlani, H.E.R. and Zendaya was supposed to be in a group together.[10]

Christina: Okay.

Miguel: With his sons, and Kehlani actually recorded with them and they were a like, on America's Got Talent or The Voice, one of these singing shows before they all individually went solo.

Christina: Okay.

Miguel: Yeah. He's been involved behind the scenes and still touring with Tony! Toni! Toné! since 1998 or whenever Raphael bounced.

Christina: Yeah.

Miguel: So, they've been doing stuff, as Raphael said, they bring things to the table. But in terms of new music, they haven't really done much, but he's continued to do things. So, his next album after Ray Ray was The Way I See It, which came out in 2008.

Christina: I did not get a chance to listen to it.

Miguel: I like it because it's kind of like in the same vein of Adele's early stuff and Amy Winehouse. Sharon Jones and Dap Kings. Basically all the British artists who do American music.

Christina: Uh huh.

Miguel: Where they basically try and do like Philly Soul, Motown, all that kind of stuff.

Christina: Okay.

Miguel: That's what this album sounds like.

Christina: Okay.

Miguel: So, much so that he was dressing that way for like, two years. Everywhere you saw him, he was wearing a suit with a skinny tie and dark frame glasses looking like David Ruffin. But I really like that one because like I said, it, it sticks to a theme and it sounds very Motown-ish.

Christina: Okay.

Miguel: And I assume you didn't listen to Stone Rollin’ either.

Christina: No, I didn't get to that part of the list.

Miguel: Okay.

Christina: Or Jimmy Lee.

Miguel: Yes. Same thing with Stone Rollin’ It sounds very like, late sixties, early seventies, psychedelic rock, and little bit of the blues as well.

Christina: Okay.

Miguel: So, that one has a full theme. And same with Jimmy Lee. That one, it has a lot of talk about depression and drug use and just people struggling with substance abuse. He dedicated it to his brother Jimmy Lee, who died of an overdose. And that one, it sounds closer to the early Tony! Toni! Toné! stuff. Well, not early, but late '90s Tony! Toni! Toné! The House of Music type stuff.

Christina: Okay.

Miguel: It's not as fun. Because like I said, it is dealing with like, personal issues.

Christina: Right.

Miguel: But it still sounds good.

Christina: Okay.

Miguel: So, I would recommend that you check those out too.

Christina: Yeah, I just, it was a, a lot to listen to.

Miguel: Yeah, it is.

Christina:And I didn’t give myself enough time.

Miguel: It is. Just recently though, they announced that they're getting back together and going on tour.

Christina: Mm-hmm.

Miguel: There's been no dates announced yet, so, we don't know when it's gonna happen. But when it does, we’re gonna go.

Christina: Okay. Now they announced, but which version of Tony! Toni! Toné!?

Miguel: Raphael’s in the mix. He's gonna be on tour with them.

Christina: Okay.

Miguel: Because like I said, they're still touring and they have been. So, that version of Tony! Toni! Toné! is still out in the world. 'Cause I saw a tweet a couple weeks ago where someone recorded them performing. And he said, I've been here for three songs, and I just realized that is not Raphael Saadiq on stage. [11] So, of course, people were replying with "Phony, phony, phony." And "Tony, Tony, Anthony." Just a whole bunch of different funny tweets about the fact that Raphael wasn't there. But if you go to the website, it says that the dates with Raphael will be posted soon.

Christina: Okay.

Miguel: So, we'll see when those get posted. We’re gonna go see that version.

Christina: I mean, like we're almost halfway through 2023 already. Like, they gonna post these dates anytime… soon?

Miguel: Hopefully it comes soon, but when they do announce the dates, we're gonna have to go.

Christina: Okay.

Miguel: Because they might not do this ever again.

Christina: Right.

Miguel: So, I'm taking the opportunity to see these people while we can.

Christina: Yes.

Miguel: So…

Christina: And since we've been going outside.

Miguel: Yeah, we back in the streets now. We got a few more—

Christina: For the most part.

Miguel: Yeah, a few more concerts lined up over the next couple months. We got Beyoncé.

Christina: Mm-hmm.

Miguel: We're going to see Wu-Tang and De La Soul and Nas.

Christina: Yep.

Miguel: We're going to see the LL Cool J tour that he's doing for the hip hop 50th. Don't know who's gonna be at that, but a lot of people are on the bill, and it depends on which city they're gonna be in, so.

Christina: We out here.

Miguel: We in these streets. Is there anything you would recommend for people to listen to from Tony! Toni! Toné!, Raphael, any of that?

Christina: So my recommendation would be Sons of Soul for Tony! Toni! Toné!. I think that's the one I like best overall. And as I was saying, of solo Raphael Saadiq, I liked Ray Ray best overall. And the Lucy Pearl album because, I really like it even though it was one and done, but it's a pretty good album.

Miguel: It is.

Christina: And it's really interesting seeing how these three who come from three very different groups kind of mesh all together.

Miguel: Right.

Christina: And they, they really lay that on thick in the first track where they literally mix songs from Tribe, En Vogue and Tony! Toni! Toné! all together. So, in case you didn't know.

Miguel: This is where we come from.

Christina: Yeah.

Miguel: For me, I don't have one specific thing. I'm just gonna tell our listeners to check out the playlist. Because it's gonna have everything on it.

Christina: There you go.

Miguel: We're gonna have some, Tony! Toni! Toné! We are gonna have some D'Angelo, some Solange, Beyoncé.

Christina: Yeah.

Miguel: Teedra Moses, all that.

Christina: I mean, yeah, we didn't even really, like we mentioned it, but I didn't even have time to go through all the, the stuff that they do for other people.

Miguel: Yeah. So, just go ahead and check out and check out the playlist for this episode. And would be my recommendation is all the stuff that's on there.

Christina: Yep.

Miguel: And I asked you this last episode and you had something to say.

Christina: I know. So, I missed up cause I don't this time.

Miguel: You have nothing to say before we leave now?

Christina: Nope. That's it. I'm done.

Miguel: So, we had a one episode streak where you did have something to say at the end.

Christina: Yeah.

Miguel: Just not this time.

Christina: Not this time because I'm getting "hooongry."

Miguel: All right. On that note, it's time for us to wrap this up. Thank you again for listening to They Reminisce Over You. Check out, like I said, for links to the playlist, links to videos that we mentioned. Just all the stuff that we mentioned in this episode. You can go to Where you can sign up for our monthly newsletter, get some goodies in your inbox once a month, and it's free. You can follow us on social media at @troypodcast on the bird and the 'gram.

Christina: And Facebook.

Miguel: Yes. And Facebook. I gotta remember to start saying that now. We are available on Facebook now. Can't say how active we're gonna be over there, but there is a Facebook page. So, if you're a Facebook person, jump on over there. If you're looking to buy some merch, you can go to Nuthin' But a Tee Thang. That's our store. T-E-E-T-H-A-N-G .com. If you wanna buy some t-shirts, hats, keychains.

Christina: Mugs. Socks.

Miguel: Socks.

Christina: Stuff.

Miguel: We have a bunch of stuff that doesn't relate to the podcast, so go check that out.

Christina: I mean, technically it does.

Miguel: It does. We do have some pod stuff on there, but we also have things that are just lifestyle and things that we like.

Christina: Yeah, and hopefully over the next few weeks that's gonna get a little revamp and a few more products. So…

Miguel: Yeah, go check it out.

Christina: Keep checking, keep checking back.

Miguel: Yeah, there might even be a discount code hitting the streets.

Christina: If you wanna find out, you'll have to sign up for the newsletter.

Miguel: Exactly. And on that note, we are outta here. We'll be getting in your ear holes again in another two weeks. So, deuces silly gooses.

Christina: Bye.