Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Raheem Devaughn Creates a "MasterPiece"

(In photo: Raheem Devaughn on the cover for his single "Bulletproof" which features the rapper Ludacris. Raheen released his new CD The Love and War MasterPeace yesterday admidst excellent critic reviews)

DC home-grown artist Raheem Devaughn is one of the most talented folks to be from the area, following in the footsteps of one of his vocal idols, Marvin Gaye. Yesterday, he released a new CD that has upped the game in an increasingly more creatively stagnant mainstream market. Raheem Devaughn's new CD The Love and War Masterpeace is superior and yet another great CD starting off 2010 right. It's worth copping today!

With a resounding introduction speech from none other than Dr. Cornel West, Raheem Devaughn’s new CD begins with an exclamation point that doesn’t end, even after the last song. “…we talkin about revitalization…”

Dr. West says about this CD and that is what this CD does—it revitalizes the game, taking it next level. Raheem does what Marvin Gaye did so effortlessly it seemed—speak of political and social issues within a musical landscape that never lacks in rich soul melodies and grit. Raheem’s sound is heavily marked by Marvin Gaye’s influence on this CD, particularly on the endlessly beautiful “Garden of Love” and this new project would make the legend proud. Where other Marvin imitators like Chico Debarge and Robin Thicke have borrowed only from his sound, Raheem has used Marvin’s sound as a springboard to create a contemporary fusion of old and new. With Ludacris on the first track “Bulletproof”, Raheem brings us the next chapter in the book that Marvin’s “What’s Going On” began about our lives “…here, overseas and across the waters…”

Raheem is evidently in a mood of collaboration (as we saw with his recent video feature on Tabi Bonney’s “Fever”) and this CD is heavy with featured guests on songs besides Ludacris, including Wale on the head-nodder “Greatness”, Damian Marley on the socially critical “Revelations 2010” and Malik Yusef on the very sexy ballad “Fragile”. Every single one of these collabos work. Wale adds the necessary lyrical flow “Greatness” without taking the focus away from Raheem while Marley on “Revelations 2010” adds the funk to this already soul-blazed song about the social and political war on Black men.

The best collaboration on the CD, however is “Nobody Wins a War” which is 100 times better than any tribute song we’ve heard with a heavy set of celebrity vocalists on the mic. This song features Raheem on lead with verse and chorus sung by the likes of Jill Scott, Bilal, Anthony Hamilton, Algebra, Chrisette Michele, Shelby Johnson, Ledisi, Citizen Cope, Dwele, Chico DeBarge and Rudy Currence. Pure beauty.

Listen to this song on by clicking HERE

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