R&B crooner Raheem DeVaughn talks new music and remaining true to his art

Raheem DeVaughn (Photo Credit: Chad Griffith)
Photo credit: Chad Griffith

R&B crooner Raheem DeVaughn has one of the most recognizable voices from the early 2000s. His classic hits include the big bass, jazzy-soul single “Guess Who Loves You More,” his “Bulletproof” collab with Ludacris, the fan favorite “Customer” and of course the ever-popular ode to women, “Woman.” Last year, DeVaughn dropped his fifth studio album, Love Sex Passion. DeVaughn is currently touring the nation with Love Jones the Musical, and continuing to work on a new collaborative project titled Footprints on the Moon with Wes Felton. Check out the interview below to find out what the sensuous singer says about remaining true to his art, what he had to say about today’s R&B and trap soul music, and also his new music project Footprints on the Moon.

Chime in on the comments section, and let us know what you think. Also, you can check out DeVaughn’s newest video of Footprints on the Moon hereRead what else he had to say during his exclusive interview with rolling out below.

You grew up in the ’90s when music was real and meaningful. What do you think about today’s generation of music and trap soul?
I think a lot of the music is misrepresented. I think the genre is misrepresented. I like it. Some of it I support. I have a trap soul artist coming out myself, a female. But, I think it’s misrepresented in terms of how they brand it. It’s a different generation, I can’t really hate on the youngins doing something new because it’s innovative; music changes; the sound changes. What I don’t condone and what I don’t understand is when it became cool to call women b—-es on records in our world. Know what I’m saying? When did we start doing that? It’s kind of like a line drawn in the sand when they talk about R&B cats, we were smooth. We were the ones that were respectable to women. We were trying to get through it, and we got through it poetically, it wasn’t so racy, you know? But the game has changed. When I hear some of these records, I’m just like “whoa, did he just say what I thought he said?”

What’s your take on today’s R&B?
Times change, and as far as R&B and trap soul goes, I think we’re in one of the most ratchet states of music ever. But for a guy like myself who is staying true to the culture of it, and there’s a slew of other artists that are staying true to the culture of it too, as a result we take a hit at radio where we might not get certain airplay. But so, be it. It is what it is, but great music will never die. Just like great music, great Black art never dies. That’s why I’m able to go out here and do the Love Jones Musical and sell out everywhere.

Now, you’ve been known to make some great baby-making music. Were any of your songs about your firsthand experiences?
All of my songs were about my firsthand experiences. Pretty much, I’ve learned how to become my own muse and take situations from my own life and wear them on my sleeve. I know a lot of the time, the music is sexually induced, from what I’m being told anyway. I like to think that everything I do is tastefully done and doesn’t come off necessarily like ratchett or something that tears women down. I like to make tasteful, seductive music.

How important is it for you to stay true to your creativity and the artist that you are?
It’s everything. It’s all that I am. It’s all that I have at the end of the day. In a lot of cases, as artists we’re only as good as the last thing that we put out. In my mind, it’s what I call “the Last Man Standing Philosophy,” it’s already embedded in my mind that I’m going to be the last man standing. That’s how I envision that in my head. They say some people fall off, but I just got it in my mind that I’m never falling off . I might not sell the records that I used to sell, and guess what, nobody is if you’re talking about black music. But know that when I put something out, I’m going to take my time with it and do something that’s positive and worth it . That’s something I’m in charge of, that’s what I’m responsible for. And I got it in my mind already that that’s what it is every time – that I put my best foot forward to go in the studio to make some quality music.

Your album Love, Sex, Passion just came out last year. Can we expect to hear new music from you soon?
You can. You’ll hear new music as early as the soundtrack drops. There’s some business stuff that needs to be worked out, but you’ll hear new music extremely soon. On that tip, my next album — to be frankly honest — is a Black Lives Matter project, and it’s a collaborative effort project. It’s called Footprints on the Moon. It features myself and a brother named Wes Felton who’s a real dope hidden gem from out of the DC area. We call ourselves The Cross Rhodes. So, I’m extremely excited about the Footprints on the Moon album for a number of reasons. One because I can do something that’s cool and not corny. When people hear this album, it’s going to be on a lot of minds. We put in a lot of work and effort into it. Also, the Lyric video is up and running for the first single already out. And the album gets a little racy, raw, uncut, ratchet. It’s very blunt and raw. That’s the place that we’re in right now. It’s real. And I’m also making plans for my album as well. So, I’m not retiring no time soon.

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