Wednesday, May 02, 2012

An Interview With Raphael Saadiq

Caught a great interview with Raphael Saadiq last week. Listen Here. He is one of the few Soul/R&B artists who I really appreciate from the current crop. I'm a bit of a music geek with mostly retro taste... give me 60's thru 80's and I probably don't need anything else. With the exception of Jazz, most of the accessible music of the last century that matters was made during that period (you could probably include part of the 50's in there was well).

I wasn't a huge fan of Saadiq early on. Was not a huge fan of 3T. I definitely don't care for the Hip Hop work (everyone who reads my blog regularly should know my feelings about Rap/Hip Hop by now). But I do like the solo work he did later on. The last few albums were great.

I was annoyed by parts of the interview where his work is referred to as "Black music". I just feel that it is a way to try to pigeonhole an artist. We are not in the era of  'race records' anymore...where there was a deliberate attempt to segregate music along racial lines. Yes, there is a rich musical history that Black Americans have helped to galvanize (for good or bad).... and Black Americans deserve credit... (especially for the good). But the term "Black music" annoys me. It makes it sound as if music made by Black musicians is somehow foreign to the American experience.... that it hasn't been part of the American soundtrack for the past 100 years. Furthermore... assigning it to a certain group...suggests that no one else can have it, use it, enjoy it, etc. Good music is simply good music. Soul/Neo-Soul/Blues/Funk music has no color. Bobby Caldwell, Joe Cocker, Michael McDonald, Teena Marie, Boz Scaggs, Mayer Hawthorne, Jamie Lidell, Mac Rebennack, Randy Newman and many others have proven that point.

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