Is there anything better than Rhythm and Blues. Who amongst us has never thrown on an R&B joint whenever with a shorty? No candles. No wine. Maybe even no dinner (that’s grimey though). Sometimes just the soothing melodies coming out of your speakers can make a woman throw her inhibitions to the wind long enough for a man to make his move and leave her with a sh*tload of regrets later on. Some women don’t even need R&B music to get open. They just need to be in a car that electronic windows and one working speaker, but that’s neither here nor there. Regardless to whom or what, R&B is a dying art what with Auto-Tune taking over, so you have to tip your hat to singers brave enough to put their heart and soul on a track without electronic help.

Enter Raheem DeVaughn. I’ve been a fan of homie since he dropped The Love Experience and his latest project, The Art Of Noise shows and proves that when this man isn’t channeling the spirit of Kirk Franklin on spiritual motivational songs like “So Amazing” and “God Speed” then he still has what it takes to give baby making a soundtrack to groove to. The way he puts his soprano to work on “Night And Day” will have you and your partner feeling what Shakespeare refers to as “Death” from dusk till dawn. That is if you’re tantric with yours anyway. And “Cocaine Dreams” serves as a warning of how sour the game can be and the costs you’ll end up paying. Sort of like a ’09 “Devil’s Pie” (that was and still is my joint!)

But as much as I appreciate this man’s talent, the mixtape as a whole was disappointing to me. When he’s carving out joints like “Pieces of Clay” and “Hennessy Joint”, I can almost hear those Victoria Secret panties lightly brushing against the floor (Kellz and Anthony Mason probably hear Power Puff Girls underwear), and I remember why I’m a fan. But the problem here was the production choice was suspect. They just didn’t mesh well with his melodic style at all. “Object Of Affection” was simply terrible what with its Clipse sounding beat. And when he tried to get a rhythm going on his club efforts like “Club Hop,” and “Body Rock” or eccentric attempts like “Beat It Up” he fell flat on his face like Fidel Castro after his ‘04 speech. These songs did nothing for him but make him sound more like an singer trying to make noise than an artist establishing himself. I just hope that his next album will help the homies get laid and not hazed.-The Infamous O

Hottest Joint: “Night and Day”

Weakest Joint: “Object of Affection”