Did 50 call when the photo of you and Chelsea Handler hit the Internet?
He just laughed. It was no big deal, it was just a picture. I talked to 50 beforehand, and told him that I was just coming to meet her. I can’t help what the people/blogs say—that’s their job to create stories. Chelsea is cool as hell and it was nothing more than that.
Being a male R&B artist these days also means having to be a sex symbol, but you haven’t really been romantically linked to anyone. Based off your music, I can see you leaning towards Keri Hilson or like a Ciara…
Actually, I’ve always been a fan of Ciara, not that I’m not of Keri. But I watched the “Ride” video like ten times the first day [laughs]. She probably kept the whole budget from that video because there wasn’t much to it. It was her—very simple, very sexy. She to me is like the modern day Janet Jackson but on another level. Keri Hilson I have always been a fan of hers, too.
What about Nicki? She’s killing it right now.
When I look for a woman, I look for one that’s real—that’s keeping it 100. I rather someone know that they’re sexy and not show it. Nothing against Nicki Minaj, I think she’s a dope lyricist and her body is perfect, along with a dope personality. But I’m more into a woman who’s not so much into the spotlight. A lady that knows she’s fine and sexy but doesn’t really have to show it off. Nicki Minaj is cool, Ciara is more of a conservative, she knows she’s sexy and the way she carries herself probably is more of what I would lean towards.
So what else can we look forward to from you this year?
I’m scheduled to go overseas on another European tour. But this year I definitely look forward to taking my career to the next level and keep expanding my brand, whether it’s movies or merchandising. After talking to 50, I’ve learned that’s the key to this.
When are we going to hear something with you and your Chi-Town brethren Kanye and Common?
[Laughs] Man, I can only hope it’s real soon.
Have you had the chance to meet Kanye?
I’ve met just about everyone on Def Jam except Kanye West and Mariah Carey. When College Dropout came out I was so inspired. I think that’s his best album to date, even though I’m a fan of his latest work and all his albums. I had a lot of hip-hop style sampled beats back in the day and people would come through my apartment and say ‘you need to hook up with Kanye.’ I heard that a lot. I look forward to the day I can meet with him, hopefully even collab. Do it for the Chi!