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Hailing from the nation’s capital, Raheem Devaughn returns with his thirds studio album The Love and War Masterpeace.

This soulful singer has a beautiful voice that arguably isn’t as revered as it should be. His 2005 debut The Love Experience garnered him a fan following of his soulful ballads. Keeping the buzz alive in classic modern day style, in between dropping another album he delved into mixtapes, delivering seven remixing songs old and new in a way only he can.

With The Love And War Masterpeace Devaughn shows his diversity and a little something extra. It’s hard to ignore the political ties to the project. An unexpected guest indeed, Dr. Cornel West provides a series of interludes promoting love and co-signing his “Dear brother Raheem Devaughn’s” efforts.

The lead single “Bulletproof” was a good choice; catchy and clean enough for radio with help from Ludacris for an old school feel.

A Raheem album wouldn’t be complete without touts of sexual prowess and passion, both of which fans have come to know and welcome.

There’s “B.O.B.” where the lover taunts that he’s more effective than a woman’s other means of seduction which according to him can’t “Grip your waist and tell you how good you taste”—Things that make you go hmmm. (In a good way)

Microphone is drenched in innuendo as the tricky wordplay artist reflects on his lady friend belting out tunes on his….ahem…microphone a la “Mic Check 1, 2.”

The standout track for the project however is “Nobody Wins A War”, over 7 minutes of music with Bilal, Jill Scott, Anthony Hamilton, Algebra, Chrisette Michelle, Shelby Johnson, Ledisi, Citizen Cope, Dwele, Chico DeBarge and Rudy Currence.

While it sounds it would be chaotic, the well orchestrated song rings of Devaughn’s version of “We Are The World.” Filled with political undertones as the singers unite for the heavy chorus taunting, “Nobody wins a war”—easily providing the peace added into the album’s title. Highlight: Hearing a passionate Jill Scott spout off some hot spoken word aimed at the government at the end:

“Your pride is maniacal… send OUR children to murder human beings….”

What makes this album so likeable is how easily he goes from being the valiant lover to a vigilante for peace. The balance is effective and not lost on those willing to lend a listening ear.

Regarded in my opinion as an underdog, if Raheem can keep putting together albums like this then surely he’ll end up in one of the top spots he deserves.

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