DeVaughn’s self-christened nicknames tend to fall flat, but he did strike gold when he began to call himself “Radio Raheem” on his Blis.FM online radio show. For one, a borrowed name jives well with the nature of his music, which is little more than a pastiche of Curtis, Marvin, Kells and Prince, with some hip-hop beats and bravado thrown on top. What’s more, the Radio Raheem name confirms his status as an r&b everyman, a persona drawn with bold, brassy lines whose lack of subtlety—“Customer,” anyone?—makes him a wonderful voice and gatekeeper for his contemporary r&b peers. He’s great over the air, and onstage he is the sort of artist you might want to kick it with when the only polish you need is some elbow grease.
Sun., Aug. 4, 3 p.m., 2013
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 24, 2013