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RaheemDeVaughn The Gospel of Raheem

said about the show. He’s on his way to pick up his eldest son from school. He realizes, perhaps mostly from his son, the power of his presence. “When I go pick him up and he just like runs to me ... that’s the best part.” Raheem grew up in Maryland – the son of jazz cellist Abdul Wadud and a mother whose record collection inspired his path – and made a name for himself on the D.C. scene hustling mixtapes of his music on the metro and after performing at such famed spots like Bar Nun. In 2002 he signed with Jive Records and in 2005, released his major label debut, The Love Experience led by the lovingly simple yet melodiously complex singles, “Guess Who Loves You More,” “You,” and “Believe.” The album sold 250,000 units and peaked at No. 46 on the Billboard 200. By the time his

sophomore effort, The Love Behind the Melody, released he caught the attention of The Recording Academy and was granted a Grammy nod for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance with the Chucky Thompson produced single “Woman.” Despite the major label success, however, Raheem remained rooted in the indie scene that launched him. His shows became indelible, compounded by his vocal ability and the crown and cape he would wear (he called himself the “Underground King”) or his presentation of “Chronkite,” his hooded alias. He continued to drop mixtapes, including the notable 12-track prelude to a masterpiece, last year’s The Art of Noise, and started his own label, 368 Music Group which, “If you pull out your cell phone,” he said, “you’ll notice ‘3’ represents the alphabet ‘D’,” “6” represents “M” and “8,” “V.”

words By: Sia Tiambi Barnes


aheem DeVaughn, the two-time Grammy

Award-nominated selfproclaimed R&B hippie neosoul rockstar, may most widely be known for his bedroom crooning. However,

after his new album, The Love & War Masterpeace releases this March, many more will be baptized by his genrebreaking lyrics.

. We’re living in a time of spiritual war...this

ain’t no time to be sugarcoating nothing, you know what I’m saying? image By: Shirin Wilkerson


“We’re living in Revelation,” declared Raheem DeVaughn before transitioning into a melodious cut from his new album, The Love & War Masterpeace: “There’s a war going on outside that no one is safe from,” he sang. It’s the usual smoke and flashing lights at the historic 930 Club in Washington, D.C. on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day 2010. Raheem is dressed in a hoodie tattooed with “I [heart] People” across the chest. Behind him, unusually so, is a movie screen with rotating pictures of Haitians covered in crumbles of a 7.0 earthquake. In the foreground, at stage right, a painter named Picasso is capturing an

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abstract of the scene. Backstage is D.C. Councilmember Harry Thomas, Jr.; Hip Hop Caucus President, Reverend Yearwood; and a collective of other DMV [D.C., Maryland, Virginia] artists: Tabi Bonney and the Beat Ya Feet Kingz (of Americas Best Dance Crew fame); the Studio 43 fellas led by Uptown XO; Wale, the headliner of the night. It’s the DMV Helps Haiti benefit concert and all of the proceeds are going to Yele Haiti Foundation, an NGO founded by Haitian-born musician, Wyclef Jean. “Being one of the OGs in the area, I’m trying to show my support,” Raheem 

Now, on the cusp of his third official studio album and with interest especially piqued in the DMV musical scene, he’s primed to become as legendary as those to whom he’s been compared (Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye). The Love & War Masterpeace is expected in March as a double CD, one part intimate love, one part societal love, and featuring Damien Marley, 368 Music Group’s Phil Ade; and narration by Dr. Cornel West. Yes, Raheem goes deep. “You better pray to the most high or whoever you praise/Politicians can’t help you, they puppets to slaves,” he sings on the album’s lead single, “Bulletproof”

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featuring Ludacris. Raheem explained, “We’re living in a time of spiritual war...this ain’t no time to be sugar-coating nothing, you know what I’m saying? Either you’re helping the situation or you’re not.” He added, “On one joint [Dr. West] said, ‘We’re all trying to master that peace internally.’ Part of that is just accepting the most beautiful things in life are the simplest things–the leaves changing colors in autumn, or time with your kids.” J

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entertainment ain’t no time to be sugar- coating nothing, you know what i’m saying? the two-time Grammy Award-nominated self- proclaimed r&a...