The son of jazz cellist Abdul Wadud, Raheem DeVaughn kicked his career into gear after initiating a series of independent releases, aided in part by the cash reward earned from winning a talent contest. Jive became interested, signed him, and released The Love Experience in 2005. The album peaked within the Top 50 of the Billboard 200 album chart, with the singles "You" and "Guess Who Loves You More". Love Behind the Melody followed in January 2008. Its first single, "Woman," was his biggest hit yet and was nominated for a 2008 Grammy in the category of Best Male R&B Vocal Performance. A year later, "Customer" was nominated for Best R&B Song. The late-2009 single "Bulletproof," featuring Ludacris, DeVaughn's The Love & War MasterPeace -- featuring much more socially conscious material than the average contemporary R&B release -- surfaced in March 2010, debuted at number nine on the Billboard 200, and received a Grammy nomination for Best R&B Album. His fourth album, A Place Called Love Land was released in September 2013.
Wes Felton knows that poems often make the best songs. His hip-hop rhapsodies paint vivid images that engage, and sometimes unnerve listeners. There's no element of originality, or surprise, or spontaneity. The only thing I try to consciously do with music...is try to figure out ways to push the buttons. And of course, he writes lots and lots of stories about lovefalling in it, getting over it, and making it work. Rather than the sappy, clich-ridden variety, Felton's songs address the complexities of love in real life. On the track Love is Somethin More from his 2002 CD Soul Sonnets he admonishes, Love is somethin more/Than love songs, love poems, and temporary highs. People are taking his music to heart. I get very specific comments in terms of the individual, Wes says of his fans reactions, which range from you saved my marriage and you helped me get over a divorce.