Raheem DeVaughn has been in the music industry for over 15 years. The Newark, New Jersey native is the son of jazz cellist Abdul Wadud. So, it is no surprise that the three-time Grammy-nominated artist would not be blessed with talent. He uses his music as a movement to conjure up change and emanate love with his heartfelt voice to his fans. Recently, DeVaughn has been an advocate for the community by encouraging black voters to go to the poll for the elections. As well as spotlighting those who have lost their lives from police brutality. The “Love King” embodies everything that is love from his discography to his non-profit organization, Love Life Foundation. DeVaughn unveiled his eighth studio album, “What a Time to Be in Love”, a body of protest songs and love anthems where he effortlessly floats on melodic and harmonic sounds. His album was truly needed during a time where the black community did not feel loved.
Q: You have done a lot for the black community that a lot of people may not know about and you have used your platform to speak about social justice. With events that happened last year and what transpired at capitol hill, how have you managed to remain positive?
Raheem: Positivity is a mindset from allowing myself to either be consumed or not keep my attendance up is, is more so to be, not to be fearful. Be aware of what is going on, but do not be fearful, be mindfully aware. Stay focused on understanding that this is a time for us to reach a higher level of like, consciousness and patience. Patience and reinvent us as black business owners, entrepreneurs, and we do not have to. We do not have to seek validation and a race of people or a group or a group of individuals who do not believe or support or for what we, what we stand for, and the things we demand and deserve. We like to ask for that, right? It is our right and it is our right to exercise it. When certain things happen in this country on this planet it is our right to rally and create the war cry and bring attention to it, too. We talked about canceling culture a lot of times, like canceling the activity. Whether it is a corporation or a business, a group of individuals, whatever. We have that right; we got that power. So, for me, it is just recognizing how power is exercised. That is what it is about. Everything that comes with that, so once you understand that it is like the sky’s the limit. The world is going to continue to change. You can either be part of that change, or you can be a victim of that change. For me, I am no longer claiming or accepting us to be victims or anything. Besides the obvious, we speak about police brutality or things of that nature, we got ways to address that and to deal with that. So that is my position.
Q: Tells us more about the recent contributions your Love Life Foundation has done in the community.
Raheem: Last year, with COVID hitting, we were served to the essential workers and first responders. Preparing home-cooked meals for them, those who had to be away from their families and quarantine and stuff like that, staying at the hotels and working around the clock. We lightened the load and added food, meals prepared for them, and dropped them off at the local hospitals here. As well as different locations throughout the city surrounding areas.
Q: You also spoke about the importance of voting in the state of Georgia on your network DMG. Before that, you were a part of the Biden-Harris Shop Talks to encourage Black Voters in Philadelphia. How did you get in contact with their camp to experience this moment?
Raheem: They got into contact with me, I guess my region, but more importantly the fact that, my love for community, for people and for what is right. I said, “I would love to be a part, but do know, I’m sorry, I’m part of that same group of individuals that believes about accountability. Although they are not in office yet, we wait and see what is going to happen. When they get in office, it is going to be about accountability, you got our vote, now it is time to go to work, and not just be a service to us, as black folks, but to ensure that the things that need to happen in this country turn around. New policies, new laws, and a new time.
Q: You released the first single “Marvin Used to Say” off your new album, why did you feel that it was important to drop this song, in particular?
Raheem: Oh, man! I felt like it was important because it would be 50 years, this year, “What’s Going On” album came out. It made a lot of accomplishments, leaps and bounds, as a race of people, but as human beings. There is still a lot of work to be done, and it is something about this vicious cycle or like this purgatory that we seem to be in or allow ourselves to be in. Once you understand how powerful you are, and who you are, you can kind of deal with things differently. They do not move you the same way. I think this time is about, and I think that is what we learned during this COVID for us as a race of people and who we are. Plus, I think a lot of conversations that maybe should have been happening are now happening. From interviews like this to Instagram and Twitter to social media like clubhouse. Some of the rooms are just so powerful and the information being provided in the views, and you can start to realize not just how you think but how the world thinks. Also, how bright, brilliant minds can have the same bright, brilliant ideas and start to execute and bring forth change.
Q: What are some things you are working on this year to better yourself as a person and a businessman?
Raheem: Just being unapologetic about my business and handling my business. Just me returning on my vibration, recalibrating me. That is working on spirit, mind, body. I have recently decided to be celibate. So, I think that has helped me tremendously! I have changed my diet again; it has helped me tremendously. The sky’s the limit right now. Spiritually, tapping into a lot of music. Making music I realize it is like therapy for me. I got some cool things on the way, putting the finishing touches on a really dope project from a producer in Detroit. That will be coming out on mellow music imprint. It is currently untitled. I anticipate maybe second quarter or first quarter we dropped that still continuously working on and promoting the current album as well. I want to put out a lot of music. I think it would be great for my algorithms. I think it would be great for the fans and I think they want it. It is a microwaves world; you must give the people what they want.