Radical Raheem

Music celebrities including Kanye West and Russell Simmons support the Occupy movement, but R&B singer and Prince George’s County native Raheem DeVaughn has taken it to the next level and has actually been arrested for occupying something. DeVaughn, with Princeton professor Cornel West and 17 others, was detained in D.C. on Oct. 16 for gathering on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court and refusing to leave.

DeVaughn’s response to that incident is his new “Freedom Fighter” mixtape, which can be downloaded for free at 368musicgroup.bandcamp.com. The revolutionary rhetoric is loud, as when DeVaughn sings, “It’s hard to watch the throne/when I’m watching the clock/I got a vest at the crib/and a loaded Glock,” on the track “My Plea.” But the collection is sonically strong and features contributions from Damian Marley, Bun B, Jill Scott and more.

The 36-year-old “R&B Hippie Neo-Soul Rock Star” has always been a creative self-promoter, efforts that now include a weekly Internet radio show on Blis.fm. But unlike when most celebs big-up the “99 Percent,” DeVaughn’s “Freedom Fighter” sounds like more than a PR move.

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Clinton Yates · November 14, 2011