Apollo Brown is best known for crafting blistering, boom bap beats. But he also has a distinct affinity for soul music, which inspired him to try something a bit more romantic for his latest project. If you’re a hip-hop producer looking to make an album about love, who better to link up with than The Love King himself, Raheem DeVaughn. Now, after tempting us with singles “When A Man,” “Zaddy” and “I Still Love You,” the talented duo has released their album Lovesick.
While inspired by all things amorous, a press release reveals that the collaborative collection is deeper than dreamy ballads or GTD anthems (though it includes both). “Soul is more than a sound. It is a timeless idea and an immortal condition. It can’t be borrowed or traded, bequeathed or imitated (no matter how much they try). Soul isn’t the blues, but the best blues has soul. Hip-hop isn’t soul, but it’s the most fundamental component of its DNA. R&B is the genre, but soul is the yearning, the lust, the regret. Without soul, love is merely sex. With it, you get something like Lovesick.”
Brown produced and arranged the entire album, so there’s no shortage of head nod-inducing arrangements, whether built on sampled loops or original beats. DMV-bred singer Becky Cane plus emcees Skyzoo, Westside Boogie and 3D Na’Tee further enhance the album with memorable cameos. However, the heavy lifting (vocally speaking, at least) rests on Raheem’s shoulders. His soul-drenched vocals are equally smooth, seductive and sincere, with songs like “If You’re The One,” “Broken Pieces” and “Everything Baby” proving that he’s mastered the art of woo. But lest you forget he’s not afraid to let his freak flag fly, songs like “Honey,” “Rick James” and “On Top” provide more than enough heat to incite an inferno.
Preview Lovesick below, but be sure to support Apollo and Raheem by purchasing a copy for your permanent collection.