Like any other old-school R&B band trying to establish some street cred these days, Tony Toni Tone devotes one track on House of Music to a collaboration with a guest rapper. The track is the first single, “Let’s Get Down,” and the rap star is DJ Quik, but the results are not what you’d think. For one thing, the Oakland trio applies its trademark of relaxed self-assurance to the mix. While everyone else in hip-hop and R&B is flinging electronic beats, synth bleeps, and vocal beefs at the listener, Tony Toni Tone never hurries. Lead singer Raphael Saadiq, {cq} his brother Dwayne Wiggins and their cousin Timothy Christian Riley exude the confidence that they’re in control, so they can take the time to let the beat sway and slide rather than slam all the time. –Geoffrey Himes

amazon : House of Music (1996)

Spotify : Tony Toni Tone : House of Music (1996)