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A Re-encounter With Raheem Devaughn

I first met Raheem DeVaughn 8 years ago, before he was barely a known name in D.C., both our hometowns.  I saw then, what is happening today: A complete blossoming of a prolific artist that breaks the stereotype of your Bobby Valentino’s, Ne-Yo’s and Usher’s. 8 years later, both of us in Atlanta, pursuing our own respective musical and artistic dreams, I had the chance to be reintroduced and talk about his journey so far, his new album and new voice. With The Love and War Masterpeace Raheem DeVaughn has managed to synthesize many styles of contemporary and traditional soul, moving  from lover man grooves to political statements without missing a beat. DeVaughn has clearly outgrown the limitations the Nation’s Capital planted for him, allowing him to explore and draw in song, his bigger picture in his new “Masterpeace.”
Bren: Raheem, boy has it been a minute since I last saw you. K-Alyn days. Remember?
DeVaughn: Oh man yeah. That cat’s doing real well in Ethopia.
Bren: Yeah I heard. Interesting our paths cross again, here in Atlanta of all places. But, we’ll talk about that later. So talk to me about the new album, what was the inspiration? What’s your heart telling us here? You’re real soulful and open in your writing, which is unusual these days when you’ve got a plethora of writers writing for artists. A lot of artists are singing about sexing and grinding, but you’re allowing your vocals to really express you emotions. Talk to me about that creative process and approach you took with this new record.

DeVaughn:
 Well I definitely have some sexin’ and grindin’ on this album, but we’ll get to that. {laughing}. This album is something for the mind, body and soul. It’s called The Love and War Masterpeace. I think it’s some of my best work. Half of the album is socially conscious, half of the album is love; you know, bedroom material; and something for the women– the whole nine.
Bren: So it’s modeled after vintage tapes with Side A/Side B?

DeVaughn: In a perfect world, it would have been like that, but from a business stand point, we’re putting it all in on one disc at one point. We’ll start with a full disc. One starts out with a deluxe joint and then the weeks and months and years that follow. You’ll be able to get the full deluxe digitally. The hard copy will be one disc. First it’s gonna be 2 cds then it’s gonna be shrunk down to 1 CD. So that means you can only have a certain amount of songs on one CD. But you definitely get the messages out that we did. I have Dr. Cornel West narrating through the whole joint. I got Damian Marley on the album, Bun B, Luda, Wale and my new artist.
Bren: Yeah, talk to me about the single with Ludacris and how that came about and what the inspiration was behind that theme.

DeVaughn:
 The record has been recorded for about 2-3 years, already. And then ya know, when they opened up the budget for the new album, I had lunch with Chaka and Luda on my own and sent them the record, and I was like yo I want y’all to be a part of this. I sent them the record and they loved the record. And then out the blue, Chaka hit me and I sent him the record and he did it. No money exchanged hands. None of that. They did it off “GP,” just really feeling and really believing in the record. They’re just real dudes, keeping it 100. And now that I came to Atlanta, the DTP family showed me a lot of love. I view Atlanta as whole other vibe down there. And that’s how that record in particular came about. And everybody who’s on my album I went and got them for the album – the label had nothing to do with that.
Read the interview in its entirety, here

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