Standout Track: No. 4, “Queen,” a powerful tribute to women from D.C. R&B artist Raheem DeVaughn. The singer’s fifth album, Love Sex Passion, debuted atop the Billboard R&B Albums chart last month, supplying fans with a plethora of bedroom anthems. But standing out among songs with suggestive titles like “Black Ice Cream,” “Miss Your Sex,” and “Strip” is the empowering “Queen,” where DeVaughn thanks women for their support and strength over subtle, piano-driven production from Chucky Thompson.
Musical Motivation: Fittingly, “Queen” was inspired by the Queen of Soul herself, Aretha Franklin. “She was a big fan of [my 2008 track] ‘Woman,’ and she asked if I could do something similar for her,” DeVaughn says. After the legend fell ill, DeVaughn ended up re-recording the song as a challenge to himself. “One day I was [listening to records] I had in the vault. That song came on, and I said I was going to try and do a male version of it just to see how it came out.” The end result? Some- thing Franklin would certainly champion.
A Deeper Love: DeVaughn, the self-crowned “Love King,” is obsessed with affection—and it extends beyond physical love. “Queen” is about gratitude. “As far as calling myself the ‘Love King,’ it wasn’t to say I’m the king of the bedroom or anything like that,” DeVaughn says. “I can do a politically charged song or a record that’s made to make women feel beautiful. That’s the best kind of love.” In a music industry replete with songs that cast women in a negative light, DeVaughn maintains that showing respect and appreciation is crucial: “That’s using your gift for the greater good.”
Stream “Queen” after the jump.