Best Music Cameos & Opinions on Raphael Saadiq


Sometimes, all it takes for a song to go from good to great is the addition of a guest artist, whether it's a rapper going in on the verse or a guitarist shredding a solo. This week, Jim and Greg share some of their favorite musical cameos. They also review the latest from R&B singer Raphael Saadiq.

Download Subscribe via iTunes

Jimmy Lee Raphael Saadiq

Jimmy Lee

Jim calls Raphael Saadiq one the most important, if underappreciated, artists in r&b over the past several decades. He first emerged in the 1980s with r&b band, Tony! Toni! Toné! What followed beginning in the late 1990s was a series of solo albums and productions for the likes of Stevie Wonder and Solange. Now, Raphael Saadiq is back, after an eight-year hiatus, with what Greg calls his most "autobiographical" album to date, Jimmy Lee. Named after Raphael's brother who died tragically in the 1990s after years of addiction, the album delves into the toll of drug abuse. Greg says there is no album in Saadiq's extensive catalogue that resembles Jimmy Lee. It's "like he's channeling ghosts" in songs like "So Ready" and "Sinners Prayer," Greg suggests, noting that Saadiq is "enacting a role of a drug addict going through the throes of addiction". Jim says this album channels the "catharsis through confessionals" found in Marvin Gaye's Here My Dear. He adds that Jimmy Lee also channels the "clouds hanging over the African-American community" in the tradition of Sly & The Family Stone's There’s A Riot Going On. Jim concludes that Jimmy Lee is a masterpiece.

Best Cameos

This week, Jim and Greg share some of their favorite musical cameos, or unexpected guest appearances on songs, from Brian Eno's appearance on a Genesis song to Aretha Franklin guesting on a Eurythmics track.


  • Chuck D. on Sonic Youth's "Kool Thing"
  • KRS-One on R.E.M.'s "Radio Song"
  • Brian Eno does "Enossification" on "The Grand Parade of Lifeless Packaging" by Genesis
  • Beyoncé on Lady Gaga's "Telephone"


  • Del the Funky Homosapien on The Gorillaz's, "Clint Eastwood"
  • Stevie Wonder and Melle Mel, on "I Feel for You" by Chaka Khan
  • Eurythmics with Aretha Franklin, "Sisters are Doin’ it for Themselves"
  • Sandy Denny on Led Zeppelin's "Battle Of Evermore"


This week, Greg is taking a trip to the desert island jukebox to share the track "Down At the Bar" by Peter Laughner. Laughner was an influential figure in the 1970s for bands like Rocket From The Tombs and Pere Ubu. Along with making music, he also contributed writing to music magazines like Creem. He died young at age 24 as a result of drugs and alcohol abuse, but left behind a lot of recorded music. Recently the label Smog Veil put out a box set of his songs, which got Greg on a Peter Laughner kick. "Down At the Bar" is a perfect snap shot of Laughner's Cleveland crafted by the man himself.

Dear Listeners,

For more than 15 years, Sound Opinions was a production of WBEZ, Chicago's public radio station. Now that the show is independent, we're inviting you to join the band and lend a hand! We need your support more than ever because now we have to do all the behind-the-scenes work that WBEZ handled before (like buying insurance and paying for podcast hosting, ugh). Plus, we have some exciting ideas we'd like to try now that there's no one to tell us no!