Rahsaan Patterson

It is a rare occasion when an artist who is touted as "The Next Big Thing" actually lives up to his or her billing. Rare even when one surpasses expectations. So many factors come into play over the failings of the fallen, but this much is true-not everyone can measure up to the demanding pressures that descend from the double edged sword of celebrity and artistry. So it is with unmitigated joy unto the world that Rahsaan Patterson, trumpeted as having a universe of promise, has defied the odds with his second MCA album "Love In Stereo", a stunning collection of twelve meticulously crafted songs that daringly reach beyond the boundaries of pure soul.

Find out what Essence Magazine had to say about Rahsaan's new album.

Essentially, "Love In Stereo" touches on the joys and hardships that love and relationships often bring. "Men and women are so opposite that sometimes it's hard for us individually to see what makes the other react the way he or she does," Patterson reveals. Introspection continues with "Friend Of Mine" and "It Ain't Love", two aching tales of betrayal and love's seeming imbalance. One night stands sometimes become a necessity, as the lyrics on "The Moment" reveal: Haven't found my soulmate/And while I wait/It gets lonely sometimes/And that'll make you do some crazy things". On the flip, love's positive side is evident on the hopeful "Do You Feel The Way I Do", the socio-gospel infused "The Day", the healing poweers of musicon "Any Other Love", the too-funky "Humor", and the full swing, big band snap of "So Right". A final affirmation of pleasure on the appropriately percolating "Get Here" finds Patterson scatting joyfully with free-whelling abandon at song's end.

The most important song on the new album is "Treat You Like A Queen", which addresses the dangers of physical and emotional abuse directed at everyone. The video was simply shot at a house in need of recontstruction. No dancers, no hot cars, no storylines, save for Rahsaan singing throughout the houses shell as it is symbolically being repaired. "I think most of us have grown up in and around, or had our own abusive relationships. So, my gift, to me, is not only singing and writing songs, but sharing the knowledge that I've agained about myself, about life in general, and about spirituality." To that end, Patterson's artist royalties from the commercial sale of the single will be donated to the Soul Survivors charity, founded by Patterson to help rebuild inner city houses in order to provide temporary shelter to abused women, runaway children, and those in need of mental and physical medical assistance.

"On another level, 'Love In Stereo' is about my existence in this industry," he concludes," It's always a battle. I'm just gateful that whatever I go through in my clouded moments- and there are brief moments-I always come out knowing that I can still sing, I can still write, I can still gig somewhere. Nothing that's on "Love In Stereo" is there because I didn't want it to be, or because I wasn't involved from the birth of it all the way to the end of it. That's how one gets the best out of oneself, to be challenged, to be stimulated by another force." With such stellar offerings found on "Love In Stereo", it must be said that the force was undoubtedly with Rahsaan Patterson.