Raphael Saadiq Gave ‘Cuff It’ To Beyoncé But It Was Meant For Tony! Toni! Toné!
After winning a Grammy for co-writing Beyoncé’s “Cuff It,” Raphael Saadiq is finally ready to admit who the song was originally penned for.
The famed singer-songwriter is hitting the road for a tour that includes a highly anticipated reunion of his beloved R&B group Tony! Toni! Toné! The soul-singing trio will perform a number of their classic hits including “Anniversary,” “Whatever You Want,” and “It Never Rains.”
But there was a new song that could’ve been added to the setlist if Saadiq, 57, hadn’t given it to Queen Bey instead.
“That record was going to be a Tonyies record, the part that just sounds like [mimics the ‘Cuff It’ guitar riff],” Saadiq told Vulture.
“But I gave it to a friend of mine and said, ‘I got this record. I was going to do it, but what about Beyoncé?’”
Saadiq shared the vision he had for Beyoncé’s rendition of the song and credited super-producer The-Dream for getting the ball rolling.
“She’s one of those people where if she’s feeling it, she’s going 100 percent in. I said, ‘It’s going to move people. It’s going to work, I’m telling you.’ I think she just put it away,” he said. “From what I heard, The-Dream eventually found it. And he was like, ‘What is that?!’”
The celebrated songwriter, who has penned a number of classics for artists like Solange‘s “Cranes in the Sky,” D’Angelo’s “Untitled,” and all of the hits performed by his old group Lucy Pearl, knew he had another hit on his hands.
“I already knew it was one of them joints,” Saadiq said of “Cuff It.”
“I always said, if you drop the right music on an artist, it could go, but I’m glad she has so many eyeballs on her, you know what I mean? You can’t really trick people, it’s got to be good.”
It was the first time Saadiq had written for Beyoncé, and it ended up garnering him a Grammy for Best R&B Song.
“Beyoncé’s a hard worker. I told her, ‘I’ve always knew we would work together at some point.’ Like I said, it’s all about timing,” he shared.