Sunday, November 10, 2013

A Good Ass ‘Weak

Not every recording artist is a good judgment of talent. It’s an ugly fact that I have come to accept as a truth as I’ve grown up.

For example, I don’t really think Lil’ Wayne is the best judge of musical talent. Granted he has the notable exceptions of Tyga and Drake (I’ll even include Nicki Minaj for those who would cite her previous mixtapes as justification for whatever nonsense she’s making these days). Outside of that, he has signed background characters like Lil’ Twist and the ridiculously named Gudda Gudda. More to prove my point, he has recently signed Paris Hilton.

Yeah, that Paris Hilton.

Conversely, some artists can spot talent a mile off. We constantly thank Dr. Dre for blessing us with Eminem and then both of them for 50 Cent. The list of amazing talents brought to us includes people like Meek Mill, Stalley, and many others.

Today I will speak on Raphael Saadiq and a contribution he has made.

For those who don’t know who Raphael Saadiq is, allow me to elucidate a bit for you. Saadiq is a singer, songwriter, musician, guitarist, and producer. He is most well known for his early days as a member of the R&B group Tony! Toni! Tone!, a group responsible for hits like “It Never Rains In Southern California”, “Anniversary”, and “Whatever You Want”. Purely based off that I felt he was qualified to suggest artists to me. As such I downloaded a mixtape with his name on it and the singer he is presenting.

His name is Adrian Marcel.

The project, 7 Days Of Weak, has a rather cool neo-soul and R&B vibe that is anchored well by Marcel’s voice. The instrumentation is crisp and the production is flawlessly done. All this added to a voice that is smooth as silk makes it a perfect mixtape to listen to on a drive.

Caught Up” is the first song that drew my attention. There is an underlying groove of subtle sexiness throughout. The track is about being caught up with another woman when you are already committed to someone else. A beautiful female voice defines the song with a refrain that seems to capture the essence of the song well.

I’m your temptation/Give you sensation/Nobody has to know

Dope Dealer” is the obligatory song about that one girl (or guy in some cases) that everyone warns you about. You know the one, right? The one you see who steals your eyes and forces the rest of you to follow. He compares her to an addiction and a dope dealer, hence the title. A nice surprise for me was a Rick Ross sample from Estelle’s “Break My Heart”. The verse plays well against this song.

I don’t usually speak on interludes much but this one needs my mentioning. “I’m Happy” is a voicemail from what I can assume based on the voice is a beautiful girl who is unhappy in her relationship. As such she offers “friendship” to him [Marcel]. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know she wants the opposite. But it’s a real situation and I respect its inclusion.

That interlude leads into “F*ck With Me”, his response to her words. He tells her that she can do better and he is what would be better for her. I am reminded of Justin Timberlake simply because of the production and the feel of it. His voice is all his own, however.

Also check out: “Don’t Disturb This Groove (Remix) and “On It”.

Aside from the sometimes misplaced profanity, this is a solid mixtape. But then, what else would expect with Raphael Saadiq’s name on it?

Written by Lucius Black for Royalty Magazine

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