Singer Dawn Robinson has been in the entertainment industry for decades, first as a founding member of mega-hit 90’s group En Vogue, then as a member of platinum-selling act Lucy Pearl. Her departure from both groups was contentious but now one of the original “Funky Divas” is speaking up with her side of the story some years later.
Robinson’s voice can be heard on a bevy of iconic singles, such as En Vogue’s “My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It)” and Lucy Pearl’s “Don’t Mess with My Man,” but that journey hasn’t been an easy one over the years, with Dawn having issues between two groups. While her impact has never been underestimated, the appreciation of her and her talents on a business level have been.
Robinson joins a slew of other artists who have joined the chorus in realizing that the various contracts they signed early in their career with various peoples haven’t been to the benefit in the long run. Kanye West took to Twitter to ask his fans to advocate on his behalf in his own attempt to get control over his music, and he’s not been the first.
Here are my ten Universal contracts … I need every lawyer in the world to look at these— ye (@kanyewest) September 16, 2020
Kanye, being himself, at one point tweeted his whole entire record contract with Universal Music Group out to his Twitter followers, frustrated that the label hadn’t been forthcoming about allowing him to purchase back his own masters.
However, Dawn Robinson has shared in a new interview that Raphael Saadiq promised her $1,500 to save her house – and fell through with his promise. In addition, she alleged he also used their extensive personal relationship to sign her to a predatory contract with regards to Lucy Pearl.
Robinson tells a lengthy story in which she revealed that she’d known producer and musician Raphael Saadiq of Tony! Toni! Toné! fame out of Oakland since they were both 16 years old, giving them an extra bond unlike most. This was the start of Robinson’s problems, unfortunately. Her trust of Saadiq resulted in the loss of her home, which she’s still hoping to get an apology from Saadiq from.
“We were supposed to have our album out by June. Here we are in November; our album wasn’t out. I was like, ‘Raphael, the bank has been calling me about my house. I’m gonna lose my house.” She said that prior to her joining the group, she’d expressed the need for a small amount of money, as she was leaving other opportunities to join Lucy Pearl.
“He told me when I signed to Lucy Pearl, ‘I don’t have a lot of money to give you upfront, but I can figure out how to find what you need, if you need it.’” It was that promise, coming from someone she knew and trusted, that she banked on – and expected him to have her back. And unfortunately, he didn’t.
“So, I signed that deal. So now, here it is we’re in November, and we were supposed to put out the album in June, the bank is calling. They’re knocking on my door. And I need to pay my mortgage. And he was like, ‘well, I don’t know what to tell you. Every man for himself.’”
Despite talks of a reunion, Robinson seems adamant to not reunite with Saadiq until he makes amends for the huge impact losing her house had, and still has, on her life.
See the full interview below.