Before Grammy-nominated recording artist Raheem DeVaughn became a solo R&B artist, the singer and his poet collaborator, Wes Felton, set DC ablaze with their group, The CrossRhodes.
A few months ago, they released their single “Footprints on the Moon,” now they’ve dropped their entire mixtape The Great Debate: Vol. 1.
In the group’s manifesto, they explain about the project and their logo (above):
“The intersection of our vision, dreams, beliefs and reality. We are taking back the lineage of what they have stolen. We also acknowledge our immediate ancestors who used the Rhodes piano to create soul music.
Our logo captures the intersection of 4 elements of life for what it means to be human, men, Black, fathers, lovers, believers in God and artists.
1.The gun reflects the fact that we see our art and community at the CrossRhodes of both the living and dying by the gun which is reflected in both the growing BLM movement about violence against our community and the continued work we have to do about the violence we inflict on each other in our community.
2.The heart reflects the love which is at the root of our music and the movement we are building as men who love, feel, care and struggle.
3.The fist reflects the beauty and power of our commitment to our struggle. We understand that we come from a long tradition of elder and ancestor artists. A legacy which we have an obligation to continue, transform, and pass on to the next generation.
4.The microphone reflects our art, culture and music which when crossed with love and consciousness is what can use to teach, heal and rebuild our community.
– Minister of Domestic and International Information of The CrossRhodes”
If you like socially-aware lyrics, soul music, and hip-hop with a message, this is the project for you; it addresses recent events all the way up to the final Presidential debate. On most of the project, DeVaughn takes the soulful hooks while Felton takes to the verses with thought-provoking truths. To wrap the mixtape up, they even flip the patriotic song “America The Beautiful” and the national anthem on the final track “America.”