Bobby Valentino Talks Mixtape With DJ Drama, Plus Nicki Minaj Collabos


Another R&B singer dropping a mixtape? Indeed, on the heels of Chris Brown, Trey Songz, R. Kelly and others, Bobby Valentino will let loose his first official mixtape, 60 Minutes, in the next couple weeks. 

While hard at work on his fourth solo disc, Fly on the Wall—which is 70 percent complete and tentatively due this summer, he said—the former DTP singer decided to drop some street music in the meantime.

The mixtape’s title is based on the popular TV news program.

“That’s kinda the new grind. Mixtapes used to just be for rappers, but now R&B artists gotta do it, too,” Bobby V told VIBE over the phone from an Atlanta studio. “I’ve hosted a lot of mixtapes where I get with the DJ and do the drops and get’ em like two, three exclusive songs. But as far as a mixtape where it’s almost like an album, this is my first time doing that.”

Hosted by DJ Drama and DJ Sense, 60 Minutes finds Bobby V crooning over instrumentals like Jay-Z’s Pharrell-produced “So Ambitious” (Blueprint 3), 8Ball & MJG’s “Space Age Pimpin’” (“Coming up that was real big in the South,” said Valentino) and Jay Electronica’s latest buzz record, “Exhibit C.”

“I got a whole bunch of beats that I love—old beats and new beats—and I have a lot of new records, some that’s gon’ make my album and some that [won’t],” said Valentino, adding that he also experiments with rhyming on the mixtape. “It’s kinda like rap-singing a little bit.”

As for the Nicki Minaj collabo, “Stilettos & T-shirt,” which he released in late February, consider it the lead single off the mixtape. The track was recorded around October 2009 while the singer and Young Money rapper were working on the song, “Sex in Crazy Places,” for Gucci Mane’s album.

“It was me, Nicki and the producer, Fat Boy, kinda vibing in the studio,” recalled Bobby V. “That same night, Fat Boy played a couple more tracks and I heard one that I really liked and Nicki was in there, too, so we did like a true collaboration. She had the fly shoes on, so I was like, ‘Those some crazy stilettos right there.’ We just started talking and that’s how the whole concept came together. That’s why I think the song came out real crazy. ’Cause we were [really] going back and forth.”

Valentino added that, in return, he’s recorded three or four tracks for Nicki’s anticipated debut album.

“Me and Nicki been cool for a while. She’s blowing up now, but we been working together for years,” he said. “I’m not sure which [songs] are going on [the album], but anytime she in the studio or I’m in the studio we always invite each other.” —Clover Hope