Pardon The Introduction: R&B Newcomer Trevanté Is Coming For Justin Bieber's Crown

Teen crooners are not created equal. Many are around to clog up the saturation, while few really own the glow and glory. Ladies er, girls meet your new 2011 crush, 17-year-old charmer Trevanté. Consider this a formal introduction to the falsetto-heavy mini Trey Songz, but know this up-and-coming R&B crooner is far from a rookie. While plenty of us were dashing after the ice cream truck at age 11, Trev was busy inking his first record deal and sharing the tweens-gone-wild stage with Bow Wow, B5 and Keke Palmer. Now, with a more lucrative deal through Imani Entertainment Group/Interscope Records, the ATL transplant is in the midst of prepping his sweet debut I Am Trevanté, due later this year. Get familiar. —Keenan Higgins

VIBE: You did the FYE tour when you were 13-years-old. What did you learn from Bow Wow and B5, who were big acts at the time?
Trevante: I admired B5’s stage presence, along with Bow Wow, and how they worked the staged and interacted with their fans. I was 11, and I thought I was a young MJ [Laughs]. I would pull up my shirt, although I had a “3 pack” at the time. They would scratch me up grabbing for me.

Your inspirations range from MJ and Bobby Brown to NSYNC and the Backstreet Boys, all of which have been in boy bands at some point in their career. Why did you decide to start out solo and not be the leader of a group and branch off from there?
That’s a good question. I was definitely influenced by a lot of boy bands, and funny enough I used to pretend in the mirror that I was the leader of a big boy group. I had my brush and I would sing and dance around [Laughs]. But the main focus was just getting me and my voice out there and showing people what I could bring individually. But I definitely wouldn’t put off doing music down the line with like 3 other guys and making music. But for now, I’m just focusing on my solo.

Funny enough, before I saw the pictures on your website and had only heard your music, I said to myself ‘This kid definitely has a bit of a El Debarge sound to his voice’. Then I saw on your page that you actually met him. How did it feel getting a cosign from somebody on his level?
Thank you. I appreciate that compliment because I look up to him so much. Actually, he held me when I was a baby. He and my mom knew each other back when we were living in Houston and he was living in Houston. When I first met him, he walked in the studio and I was literally speechless. I was at a loss for words. He complimented my music and also said that we had similarities in our voices, and I took it as the biggest compliment. To have a legend saying these things, to me, was like the greatest thing. 

So going into your image, Mario cut his braids and got a positive response, then Trey Songz cut his braids and got a positive response, and even Ludacris joked that they gave him a Grammy because he cut his braids in his Grammy acceptance speech. Do you see a barber chair in the near future?
No! I can’t do it! [Laughs] It’s funny that you mentioned Mario, because I grew up listening and being inspired by his music. And when he cut his braids I was like ‘NO!’. But yeah, I’m not cutting them off. Maybe when I get older, in a few years or so. But the girls love it, and I love the ladies!

Who is your ideal collaboration musically?
Rihanna. I love Rihanna. Also Lady GaGa and just--I want to make different, good music. But Rihanna is definitely number one.

How complete is your debut album?
It’s done! I’m ready to go!

Ok cool. So what sound can we expect from the forthcoming album?
I call it jukebox music. Like when you go to a jukebox, you get a variety of music options. You get Pop, R&B, all of that. So that’s what I want to bring to my music. A little bit of everything.

Check out Trevante's first single "Be My Girl" below:

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Jordan Peele’s ‘Us’ Is Expected To Make $64 Million Opening Weekend

Thanks to Us, Jordan Peele has another blockbuster on his hands. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the highly-anticipated horror flick starring Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Shahadi Wright Joseph and Evan Alex, is expected to have a $64 million opening weekend at the domestic box office.

Peele’s sophomore horror film earned an impressive $7.4 million on Thursday (March 21) night previews, and is forecasted to take in about $27 million from Friday sales. The film is also on pace to knock Captain Marvel out of the No. 1 spot at the box office.

Once final numbers are tallied, Us will likely snatch the third-best opening weekend record for an R-rated horror film behind It, which brought in a whopping $123.4 million, followed by Halloween’s $76.2 million opening weekend last year.

Aside from rave reviews and a genius promo run that included simultaneous screenings in major media markets, Us earned a 95 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

The film, set in the mid-1980s centers around a family of four who set off on a vacation that finds them confronting some familiar faces.

Peele recently spoke to VIBE about casting Duke (our April 2019 cover star) in the role of patriarch, Gabe Wilson. “I have to have somebody voice what the audience was saying,” he said. “In the case of Get Out, it’s Rod, like, ‘How have you not left yet?’ [In Us], Winston is largely that voice. There’s one moment where Lupita [Nyong’o] takes a step into the unknown, where black people [will think], ‘I don’t know.’ But to have Winston say, ‘Aaaand she left. Your mother just walked out of the car.’ That’s all we need.”

Duke also opened up about the intricacies of his character. “His function isn’t to see through the veil. His function is to tell the absolute truth how he sees it,” explained the 32-year-old actor. “He’s sometimes there to say the things that other people don’t want to say, but he’s also there to make fun of things to keep it from not getting too heavy, even though it’s real. That was my job. [Peele] respected that. I like to lean into functions. If I’m going to be your antagonist, I’m gonna really push you. If I’m gonna be your clown, funny guy, I’m gonna do that.”

Click here to read VIBE’s April 2019 cover story.

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Cardi B Explains Why She Wants To Trademark “Okurrr”

Cardi B hopes to secure as many “bags” as possible. In response to backlash and burning questions surrounding her decision to file to trademark “okurrr,” the 26-year-old rapper took to social media Friday (March 22) to defend her latest money move.

Since people tend to ask Bardi to use what has become her signature catch phrase, she figured that it was time to cash in. “You think I ain’t gonna’ profit off this sh*t? B*tch white folks do it all the motherf**king time,” she said. “So you gon’ be mad at me ‘cuz I want to get some motherf**king money?

“While I’m still hear I’ma secure all the fucking bags,” Cardi continued before adding that there are a “lot of ways to get rich” in 2019.

The Bronx native caught heat for wanting to trademark the word because she wasn’t the first to say “okurrr.” Cardi already revealed that she started using it after she heard Khloe Kardashian saying it, but the word was originally popularized in drag culture -- most notably by Rupaul’s Drage Race contestant Laganja Estranja, in 2014.

However, Rupaul attributed the word to Broadway actress, Laura Bell Bundy, who used it in YouTube skits dating back to 2010. In the skits, Bundy pretends to be a hairdresser named “Shocantelle Brown.”

Although Bundy caught criticism for her little character, which was deemed racist, she typically gets credit for bringing “okrrr” (different spelling) to the internet a full decade before Cardi made it mainstream.

No matter the origin, it looks like Cardi will be the only one profiting off of “okurrr.”


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#CardiB on why she decided to trademark “Okurr”

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Kanye West, EMI Working Towards Private Settlement

Kanye West and EMI could be close to settling their legal drama. Each party filed documents requesting a stay of the case to “explore the potential for a resolution,” The Blast reports.

West sued EMI in an effort to “gain freedom” from his contract, and to own his publishing. In the lawsuit, ‘Ye argued that his contract ended in 2010 under California law, which bars entertainers from being tethered to an agreement for more than seven years. The multi-Grammy winner, who signed the deal back in 2003, also accused the company of slavery because the contract doesn’t allow him to retire.

“Even if the contract were not lopsided in EMI’s favor (it is), even if its terms valued Mr. West’s artistic contributions in line with the spectacular success he has achieved for EMI (they do not), and even if EMI had not underpaid Mr. West what it owes him (EMI has), he would be entitled to be set free from its bonds,” the lawsuit reads.

EMI hit back with a countersuit filed in New York, instead of California. The suit pointed out that the 41-year-old rapper signed multiple contract extensions, in addition to accepting millions in advances.

According to The Blast, West and EMI now feel that putting a hold on the legal proceedings will be beneficial to both sides “and the Court by enabling the parties to engage in meaningful discussions in an attempt to resolve this action without having to incur the burden and expense of litigation and motion practice.”

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