Raheem DeVaughn: The R&B Hippie Grinds On
Music has always been my passion states the self proclaimed R&B Hippie, Raheem DeVaughn. Having seven mix-tapes under his belt and a third album The Love & War MasterPeace slated for a November release, expect to experience music that gives you the feeling of the goodol days. With a sprinkle of a 70s vibe, and the channeling of Marvin Gaye on the first single Bullet Proof featuring Ludacris , Raheem DeVaughn bridges the gap for the political and social issues that we encounter in society as a whole.
From our discussion on topics ranging from Twitter, Hip Hop, and sneaking to listen to Prince albums back in the day, Raheem DeVaughn proves that his grind is parallel to his music; authentic.
AllHipHop.com: So you signed with Jive in 2002 how do you feel the industry has changed since then?
Raheem DeVaughn: Im kinda like the last of the Mohicans. Getting signed the way I did and the deal structure that I had when I got signed, the 360 deals werent in place. They werent thinking about all the different ways technology and social network sites help. I think music is constantly changing, Im just enjoying being apart of the change.
AllHipHop.com: Who were some of your musical influences growing up?
Raheem DeVaughn: Definitely Marvin Gaye, Bob Marley, Curtis Mayfield, Earth Wind and Fire to name a few, just a lot of different artist growing up. Im a big Prince fan, I wasnt supposed to be listening to that though, I still managed to find my way into it.
AllHipHop.com: Mo Betta is my favorite songs by you, you reference love a lot in your songs Why?
Raheem DeVaughn: Im a modern age Hippie you know, thats pretty much my theme. Its not just about the sappy, lovey dovey love, but love for yourself, love for your hood. So thats where Im at with it.
AllHipHop.com : How do you feel about One-Hit Wonders?
Raheem DeVaughn: Everybody in this world has their place. Im not a One-Hit Wonder, I never plan to be. Its easy to not appreciate something that is just handed to you versus having to work for it, you will cherish it and appreciate it a lot more.
AllHipHop.com: Which artist are you listening to nowadays?
Raheem DeVaughn: Not to be vain, but myself. Im just listening to and mixing my album. Im in Atlanta listening to a lot of mix tapes. I just relocated to Atlanta for a little period of time, just to get knee deep and do a lot of cameo appearances and co-writing with different producers.
AllHipHop.com: How do you feel when you are compared to other artists as well as the Greats?
Raheem DeVaughn: Its all how you look at the glass, its either half full or half empty. But the Greats like Marvin Gaye and The Princes I think you can never be compared to them because they have already done it. I can never do what theyve done. So Im just trying to keep the torch burning for my generation , and leave something behind some music of substance.
AllHipHop.com: Have you ever heard a song and said to yourself I wish I wrote that?
Raheem DeVaughn: Prince 1999, it was ingenious. It was written way before its time, and when 1999 came it was like I talked about this already!
AllHipHop.com: You have collaborated with Beanie Sigel, Ludacris, and most recently Ghostface on the Baby track. How do these come about? Do you seek them? Or vice versa?
Raheem DeVaughn: It usually just happens. You will run into cats that will be like Yo lets work together some cats follow through, some dont. Its an honor to transcend all different genres of music.
AllHipHop.com: I listened to the single Bullet Proof, I felt it had an Old School vibe yet was socially conscious at the same time. Tell me about the idea behind that track, and The Love & War : The MasterPeace album.
Raheem DeVaughn: Its a need for it. Somebodys gotta have the balls to talk about something other than what you hear, it gets monotonous. Im gonna give you the balance, its about being creative and artistic. On the album I got Damien Marley, Wale, Luda, and Bun B. Its a double disk CD. No official release date but the month is November. Huge tour coming in 2010 being slotted out, no less than 40 cities.
AllHipHop.com: This has been a Historic year for African Americas with the election of our new President. How has that affected you as an individual? As an artist??
Raheem DeVaughn: Its great. It just got my thinking cap on. To just coincide with message where Obama is concerned, thats where Im at politically and musically. A lot of the songs on The Love & War: The MasterPeace , were previously recorded before he was in office.
AllHipHop.com: How do you feel about the current state of music? Do you feel its getting worse or better?
Raheem DeVaughn: Its getting worse, but its filtering itself out, and when I say that I mean all the bulls*** is getting weeded out. What you gonna see in the next couple of years is a transition of the last of the Mohicans , separating the men from the boys. Take Raekwons album for example, its the #1 joint on I-Tunes selling right now. Everybody is buzzing that its a REAL Hip Hop album. So you will see a transition in a few years.
AllHipHop.com: Do you feel that the internet has been an asset to you as an artist? With MySpace, YouTube, and most recently Twitter how has that helped your brand?
Raheem DeVaughn: I just got on that whole thing (not to sound ignorant) but just understanding the power of the internet, I wasnt that type of person. Im more hands on, in the streets. Come see me in the lobby after the show, lets meet and greet,. You buy some mix tapes, Ill sign them. But now Im on the whole internet kick, its like killing two birds with one stone. So I try to use it to the best of my ability. Im on the U-Steam now I get my Twitter on.
AllHipHop.com: Usually artist branch out into other ventures such as acting, clothing, and product endorsement, do you see yourself doing this?
Raheem DeVaughn: Yeah, I started 368 Music Group, its an Indie/Hip Hop label. Phil Ade is the first off the roster. Hes got a good buzz going I see him blowing up in the next year or two. Im going to be one of the official spokespersons for The Center of Disease Control. The focus is on HIV and Aids, both nationally and globally. The two other faces of the campaign are Magic Johnson and Jamie Fox, so Im looking forward to that. Im working on Non-Profits, Live to Give Foundation. Its just giving back time, not just musically but physically.
AllHipHop.com: So whats next?
Raheem DeVaughn: The top of the world! (Laughing) it cant get worse, it can only get better. Third album ( double disk) , reinventing myself. Working with my artist Phil Ade and him blowing up, films, just grinding and seeing it all evolve.