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Raphael Saadiq details losing brother to drug addiction on forthcoming album, ‘Jimmy Lee’


Columbia RecordsRaphael Saadiq is turning his pain into triumph with the release of his forthcoming album, Jimmy Lee

Slated to arrive on August 23, the intensely personal effort addresses the loss of the R&B veteran’s brother to drug addiction.  

“When you’re on drugs, people don’t look at you in high regard,” Saadiq explained to Billboard recently. “But I always looked up to him.”

The former Tony! Toni! Toné! frontman added: “So if I could give his son a positive spin on the dad he never really had…it’s the best feeling I’ve ever had with any record.”

Led by the infectious single “Something Keeps Calling,” Jimmy Lee is set to feature a special guest appearance from Kendrick Lamar on the closing track. 

“I put [Kendrick] on the last track, because what I’m saying is there’s more life ahead of you than behind you,” Saadiq revealed. “And Kendrick is the only person I knew that could speak to that.”

Saadiq says that when tragedy struck he was prompted to step back into the limelight. 

“This time, I went down the rabbit hole in a more positive way,” Saadiq explained. “I’ve seen close friends with the same [addiction] issues as my brother in what’s become a world epidemic. I guess I’m being used as his vessel.”

Jimmy Lee marks the Grammy-winning artist’s first solo album in nearly a decade, following 2011’s Stone Rollin‘. In the time since, Saadiq has lent his songwriting skills to the likes of Solange and Mary J. Blige, and also composed the score for HBO’s hit series Insecure, starring Issa Rae.

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