Every once in a while you
hear a singer that makes you stop what you're doing and take notice
and a few years ago that happened with me. The singer was then
in a duo group called CrossRhodes
and in case you're not aware of whom I'm talking about - it's
the young cat by the name of Raheem DeVaughn.
A Beltville Maryland native,
DeVaughn's story begins with his mother's vinyl collection. "I
always loved music so I would sneak into her record collection
when she wasn't around and play her stuff," he says "Music
was just always around me. I can remember at a very young age,
standing in my mother's living room, listening to music and saying
to myself, 'I'm going to be an entertainer.' It was that simple
for me. I think I just always knew." Although his parents
were not together, his father, the talented jazz musician
Abdul Wadud, was a big influence as well.
With the grit between his
teeth he took the next step and started to hone his craft. He
had always known that his forte would lie in music and it was
none so evident than when entering his first talent show contest
in Washington DC, he won it and the top prize of $2000.
At this time he was in college
at Coppin State and it was around this time that he started to
do his own demos and his now legendary 'mixtapes'. He would hook
up with friends from around the way to form the group and label/website
UrbanAve31.com where he and
vocalist Tennyson Richards
and producer/mc/dj Omar 'Mr.
Who?' Retnu serve
as the founding members.
And even though as a duo,
CrossRhodes didn't garner
the recognition they deserved, they have a loyal fanbase and still
co-exist with a new album in the works for release later this
year. Speaking of release, this latest effort is from his debut
major label release 'The Love Experience'
With the determination of
a true scholar, Raheem really brings his work to the forefront
and it shows in this delightful piece of neo/soul R&B music.
Blending the rhythm overtones of the 70s with todays technology
is nothing new but the vocal baritone of Raheem is as it's not
the norm you'll hear that's floating about but rather brash and
yet soothing all in the same fluid motion. 'Guess
who loves you more' should
be on every urban and contemperary radio station playlist across
the country (whether it happens remains to be seen)
This record is really one
for the masses and has the potential to be the big break out hit
for him. Definitely one to look out for next year as the album
is slated to drop later next year. A worthy TY-D
pick indeed - period
Listen to Raheem
DeVaughn - 'Guess who loves you more'