Angie Stone: Soul on the Outside

Angie Stone: Soul on the Outside

The soul diva dishes on her influential career, getting played for her publishing and feeling like an industry outsider

by Souleo, August 16, 2012

Angie Stone: Soul on the Outside

Angie Stone

Photo courtesy of Kevin Goolsby

thing is that you have only said positive things about D’Angelo in the public and vice versa. So it’s like if you two don’t have an issue then why should others?

AS: I think it is important people know I learned an immense amount of things from D’Angelo. They say he got it from me but we worked very well together. Together we were a threat because they know two heads are better than one. At the end of the day I would keep it 100 and he trusted me with that. But I never get positive feedback from any of [the others.] I never even received a plaque for the work I've done. So I am out here doing me and it’s proof that I can take care of my own.

EBONY: I want to talk about Sylvia Robinson. When you were part of The Sequence you were signed to Sugar Hill Records. Did you have a relationship with Sylvia prior to her passing?

AS: Sylvia Robinson was a mentor for us all. We learned every trick of the trade from her. I was clueless when I first moved up north on how to deal with the world and the industry. I was 16 turning 17 and still in high school. I listened to everything she said. She taught me to go out and get what it is I wanted because I had the talent. When my group did break up she had already positioned me to stretch out because I had a gift and she acknowledged the gift a long time ago. I think we were close as long as she was in control of me. The minute she lost control she stopped trusting and the separation happened. But she always respected me and that’s the difference because I never spoke out against her or the label. The honor came when the sons asked me to sing at their mother’s funeral. I knew not only did she love and respect me, but that this day would come and I would be the one to hold her down.

EBONY: There is also this story of how so many artists signed to Sugar Hill didn’t get royalties and were financially exploited. Is that part of the story too?

AS: It’s so sad to talk about it now but I am going to because I never had a voice to say it before. At the time that Sylvia Robinson was the queen of Sugar Hill Records we were all okay and knew we’d get more money. We just didn’t know how to get it. I think once everybody learned we were benign completely taken advantage of nobody had money to fight. Years later [The Sequence member] Cheryl the Pearl said ‘they they owe us a lot of money...'I had gotten over and beyond it [but] since I was a team player I supported them and as time went on we learned there was a lot of money owed. Our song “Funk You Up,” that we wrote, Sylvia took 25% of publishing which left us 75%. Dr. Dre cut the song “Keep Their Heads Ringin’” and when I looked up we all had was 6%. Sylvia had sold the licensing and rights to the song over to Dr. Dre. Right now to the day Dr. Dre is collecting publishing on a song we wrote. I never had a publishing deal because I was underage. By the time I went to deal with it legally the building had burned down and there were no records or files of anything. So [The Sequence is] still being cheated. It hurts because this was our first song ever by the first female rap group worldwide. It is our legacy and we have Dr. Dre collecting publishing on our song. It is a sin. I would hope one day I can look at him as a man face-to-face and say, ‘I have children and grandchildren. I would like them to know my legacy. Can I please have my publishing back because it was never hers to sell?’

EBONY: Wow, we are going need to call Dr. Dre on that one! On a personal note, are you still engaged?

AS: We have been involved for almost seven years now. With regards to where we are with marriage, we are closing in on it.

EBONY: Is your daughter Diamond still singing?

AS: Yes, we are going to get her photo shoot done and get her back in the lab. She is awesome and sings on the last song on the album. By the end of this year she should have a pretty decent compilation of music to get started with.

EBONY: What else do you have in the works?

AS: I have First Class Glam: The Angie Stone Agency, which is a glam squad. We worked with the BET roster

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