V Exclusive: Ne-Yo On Why He's Done With Euro-Pop, Debuting His Bad Boy Side and The Weeknd Craze

More than likely you've spent the last year swaying along to the curse-crammed harmonies of R&B's reigning assholes, but is radio still feigning for a gentleman's touch? VIBE caught up with Ne-Yothe #16 pick in our 21 Most Important Black Artists Alive (Under 40!) list—to see how he's adjusting to the darker side of R&B, where he went wrong with his last album and why he's thinking about swapping his fedora with a fitted.—John Kennedy 

VIBE: If your 2008 album represented Year Of The Gentleman, 2011 is definitely “Year of the Asshole,” in terms of R&B. What do you think of the wave of explicit R&B that’s popular now? 
Ne-Yo: R&B is traditionally for women, but even women will tell you the nice guy can get annoying after a little while. They want the nigga that's going to grab you by the back of your head every now and then. The dude that's going to bring you flowers just because, then fuck the shit out of you. It's just the balance of the two, or a guy that knows how to do both—that's the void right there. Me, I'm the gentleman, I'm for the ladies. And then you have the other side where the name of the song is "Bitch." So somebody's toeing the line between the two, maybe that's where I need to come in with this next album.

Word. In a lot of ways, Frank Ocean and The Weeknd represent that polar opposite of your style.
I haven't heard a lot of Frank Ocean's stuff.  I dig “Novacane,” I like his storytelling. Somebody just recently put me up on The Weeknd. I like his vibe; he's definitely one of those cats that might curse you out on a record, but he's going to sing, so you almost don't even notice that he just cursed you out. I dig it though. It's—for lack of a better word—definitely music you fuck to, not make love. Even in that, he has some very honest songs. He says “Tell me you love me…I know you don't love me,” talking to this stripper chick. I feel him on that. Like you need this money; you're going to treat me like you love me, that's what I want. That's some real shit.

Are you going to lean toward a more bad boy image?
To a degree. I can only be so rough and tumble; that's just not really my personality. But at the same time, I know how to live in that gray area, be a nigga that knows how and when to be both. So, yeah, I'm in the process of trying to put together an album that speaks from the mentality of Mr. Gray.

Most important is that it’s honest.
People always want to hear a story, but it's not always boy meets girl, falls in love and lives happily ever after. That's not reality. Reality is boy meets girl, boy might have a baby mama who's crazy, so on and so forth. People are more into reality than fantasy when it comes to R&B nowadays and I ain't mad at that. Putting together this new album has definitely been a journey. With my last album not doing as well as the previous three, it gave me time to sit back and look at the image I portray and what I put out there. I felt like people were looking at me like he's too fucking nice, it has to be fake. Nobody's that damn nice all the time. Every now and then you want to curse somebody out or slap the shit out of somebody. And nobody's ever seen that side of me. I call myself protecting my fans [by] not showing that side, because it's not a pretty side. You'll definitely see a side of me on this album no one has seen before. People are either going to love it, hate it or not going to be ready for it. I'll be back in September.

Would you consider doing another concept album like Libra Scale?
I would, but I wouldn't do it the way that I did Libra Scale; I would do it the way [Michael Jackson] did Thriller. The genius of Thriller is there’s a 10 minute video for “Thriller,” but the rest of the album is just good music. It wasn't a continuation of trying to stretch this story across a whole album, which is the mistake I feel I made on Libra Scale. You'll lose a motherfucker's attention real fast. So were I to do another concept album it would be a little more to the point.

 As long as it’s not a Euro-Pop album…


From the Web

More on Vibe

Dave Chappelle Personally Provides Tickets To Couple Who Were Scammed On Craigslist

One couple's Valentine's Day was made thanks to Dave Chappelle after they were scammed out of $500 dollars on Craigslist trying to buy the tickets to see the comedian.

Diedra and Eddie Dickens story was brought to light by WBTV on Wednesday (Feb. 13) when the couple shared how they were robbed online. In an effort to surprise her husband for Valentine's Day, Diedra attempted to buy tickets to see Chappelle on Valentine's Day after hearing he would perform in their hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina. After she was unable to find tickets on Ticketmaster, she tried Craigslist where she found a perfect match for her and her husband, who would've needed a wheelchair accessible seat.

“They were seats one through four so those would be great because I could put my husband in seat one at the end of an aisle and that kind of good stuff,” she said.

But after sending $500 via Apple Pay to the seller, she never heard back. Diedra filed a police report after she was unable to get in touch with the seller.

“I was having good faith and it cost me $500,” she said. “You have no empathy or goodness, or I don’t know, maybe no soul."

After their story was shared on the local news, Chappelle's team caught wind of what happened and decided to surprise the couple on Thursday (Feb. 14), who decided to have dinner with friends.

Last night we told you this Charlotte couple was scammed out of hundreds of dollars trying to buy @DaveChappelle tickets on Craigslist. Tonight we were there as DAVE HIMSELF hand-delivered the group tickets! Awesome! @WBTV_News

— Alex Giles WBTV (@AlexGilesNews) February 15, 2019

Shocked and amazed, the couple was thrilled to meet the comedy legend who hand-delivered real tickets to his show. He chatted and took pictures with the couple while sharing the importance of buying tickets from credible platforms.

"Someone on my team called me, actually last night, and told me about this situation and we thought it'd be fun to do that for someone for Valentine's Day," he said to WBTV, who helped him find the couple. "I didn't expect to be on the news doing it but I'm glad, that's good. It's good that people know to always get your tickets from reliable sources and take every opportunity that's presented to you to be kind, especially if it's something that's easy to do."

Here’s a portion of our interview with @DaveChappelle. Great quote - “Take any opportunity that’s presented to you to be kind, especially if it’s something easy to do.” @WBTV_News

— Alex Giles WBTV (@AlexGilesNews) February 15, 2019

Check out the good deed above.

Continue Reading

Animated Music Video XXXTentacion's "Sauce!" Is Released

A video for XXXTentacion's "Sauce!" has been released with animated flair.

Directed and animated by Tristian Zammit, the video blends various styles of anime with images of the rapper floating in the air. The song stems from the late rapper's latest posthumous release, XXXTentacion Presents: Members Only, Vol. 4. The project features friends and supporters of the rapper like Ski Mask the Slum God and affiliates Flyboy Tarantino, Kid Trunks, Tankhead, Bass Santana and more.

His affiliates are currently on a Members Only vs. The World tour, kicking off last month in California and bowing in Boston March 10.


View this post on Instagram



A post shared by “Moon” (@yungboitrunks) on Jan 1, 2019 at 5:00pm PST

This is XXXTentacion's second posthumous release since his death in June 2018. Skins was released with fans taking the album to the top of the Billboard charts, moving 132,000 equivalent albums. His tangled history with domestic violence has continued to play a part in the young rapper's legacy. At the Grammys, the 20-year-old's name wasn't included in the "In Memoriam" segment over his history of domestic violence.

Sources confirmed the reason to Variety while Academy president Neil Portnow previously shared thoughts on the possibility that XXXTentacion would or would not be included. The rapper's name was however on the longer list of late musicians on the Grammys website.

“I will tell you it’s a daunting challenge,” said Portnow. “We track those that we lose in our industry in any given year and then we have a process by which we go through it. Our on-air in memoriam — we’re lucky if we wind up [featuring] 10 to 15 percent of those we lose. Because it’s always hard choices. All of that is to say, I don’t have any answers for you now, but obviously, artists who were prominent and well-known by the public are people who are recognized and we’ll just wind up having to see how it plays out.”

Continue Reading
Getty Images

Childish Gambino Announces New European Tour Dates With H.E.R.

Childish Gambino has added a handful of international dates to his "This Is America" tour with fellow Grammy-award-winning singer H.E.R.

Announced through his creative agency and management team wolf + rothstein on Instagram Friday (Feb. 15), the dates will be a delight to fans in Paris and London. Gambino and H.E.R. will perform at the London's O2 Arena March 24 and March 25 and will reach Paris' AccorHotels Arena March 27. The announcement comes fresh off of the artists' big wins at the 2019 Grammys.

Gambino took home four gramophones including Best Music Video for "This Is America" as well as Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Rap/Sung Performance. He also made history as "This Is America" was the first rap record to take home Record of the Year.

H.E.R.'s debut at the Grammys was just as bright as the VIBE cover star took home Best R&B Album for her eponymous double-EP. She also took home an award for Best R&B Performance with Daniel Ceasar for their lovely duet, "Best Part."

Speaking with VIBE, H.E.R. dropped a few hints about an upcoming European tour and plans to release her debut studio album.

“I’m so thankful for all the stuff that happened in 2018 and now 2019 is even crazier,” she said. “There’s so much going on, so many places that I’ll be going to that I haven’t seen, but I’m definitely going to drop an official album, a real album because the projects that I dropped weren’t even official. They were just EPs and it’s about elevation this year.”

Meanwhile, Gambino shared a piece of new music during his new Google Pixel 3 ad titled, "Human Sacrifice." The ad feature's the platform's latest "Playmoji" creation with Gambino dancing off against his.

Check out the tour announcement below and cop tickets here.

Continue Reading

Top Stories