Rico Love Talks Upcoming B-Day Bash, New Projects, and Why He Needs to Be Number 1

Rico Love is a certified hitmaker. In 2011 alone, the multi talented producer has helped craft hit singles for Kelly Rowland ("Motivation") and David Guetta ("Promise" feat. Usher). With his own label Division 1 (Young Chris, Teairra Mari) gaining steam and momentum, the future looks bright for this mogul-on-rise. VIBE's editorial director Datwon Thomas recently spoke with Rico about his December 2nd B-Day Bash in Miami at Club Play, upcoming projects and the producer's drive to be number 1 (Stay tuned for your chance to win two VIP tickets to Rico's birthday celebration).
VIBE: What’s going on for you on December 2nd?
Rico Love: Aww man, the biggest party of the century, my 29th birthday, got Mary J. Blige, got Usher and got Puff Daddy hosting. It’s gonna be epic, an epic affair, ya know? It’s all going down at Club Play in Miami.

Not only have you provided hits for them, but they are now gonna rock your party, how real is that for you?
Man, it’s crazy, it’s like a dream come true. I mean Mary J, Puff and Usher [being] the one putting me on in the business and being a big brother and mentor to me…it’s only right.

Your work ethic comes across strongly on Twitter, you have a saying that “Grown men should be up and doing something constructive before Noon.”
I believe that strongly.

Where do you get those convictions from, as a lot of it seems like self-help tips?
It comes from a lot of friends that I had that wanted to be something but didn’t want to put the work in to be anything. So they end up just with their hands out, so I started noticing the patterns and the trends and knowing the things that was keeping them stagnant. So I put those things out there that if you get up and be about something… The first thing anybody that’s an adult does when they get up in the morning is get dressed.
If you sit around in your pajamas all day, that means you are sleeping. That’s like a metaphor for what you are doing with your life. In your everyday life you are just sitting around waiting for something to happen and you’re never ready. So imagine if you’re a grown man and at 2pm in the afternoon you get a call like, 'Come over here, I got some money for us to go and get,' and you’re like, 'Hold on, I got to get dressed. Give me 20 minutes.' You missed your opportunity, you missed your window and that’s how life is. I try to promote that to all people, females as well. People will sit around and wait. Don’t wait, life will pass you up.

Why do you care to let people know about that? You are a successful producer, you could just go about your way and just make hits.
I feel like that’s why God blessed me and but me in the position that he’s put me in.  He gave me an obligation and as long as I keep doing the right thing, as much as I can, cus nobody is perfect. Sometimes the things that are in my mind may not be as honorable as I’m on, but at the end of the day, more so than not, I try to say something positive, cus that means that God is trusting in my success. When giving the right opportunity you are going to say the right things. It’s something that I thought of while growing up as a kid that God me a blessing, an anointing so I’ve got to make sure I use it wisely.

Another Tweet of yours was “Front row at the Latin Grammy’s”. What was it like having your music transcend your original area of urban pop/R&B music?
It was amazing man, sitting in there not even understanding what anybody was saying, just enjoying the show. When I saw the reaction of the crowd when they were singing my song…it was amazing, epic. I couldn’t believe it. Some of the biggest artists in the world sing my songs. It was like being in a whole ‘nother world, like being in a different country. To see all of those people sing that song to the top of their lungs, crying and singing the lyrics, is a amazing. It’s basically an affirmation that the world is ours man. We can go wherever we want to go.

Another thing that you do well is calling out hits. You’re kind of like the Babe Ruth of songwriting right now. You’re pointing out a hit song, and saying it’s gonna be #1 on the charts.
That’s the only way I play the game, to be the best or be number one. If you don’t notice, I don’t even talk about the records that don’t go #1. There are so many other records that I wrote, I don’t even talk about those. I don’t even mention my #2s. I’m only happy with my #1s. I want to be the best. I make sure that my songs are willing to perform at that level. I call the record company, I stay on their nerves. Like, “why isn’t this working?”

So how do you know which artists would work on Division 1 ?
I decided I wanted to work with artists that could be superstars, and I make the songs that I feel like would make them succeed and work for the radio. At the end of the day, it’s up to them to do their hustle and ground work to make sure they stay relevant and current. I apply the same thing to hit records for I make for others. I stress (to my artists), it’s about the song, after that you’ve to grind. The hit? That’s the easy part, after that, it’s time to put in the work. -Datwon Thomas

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YG Takes The "Stop Snitchin" Rule Back To Slavery Days In New Video

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During his Coachella set, "Stop Snitchin" called out loose lips from the likes of Tekashi 6ix9ine and others, but the official video released today (April 24) pivots in a totally different direction: to slavery. In the slightly comical visual, YG plays one of several slaves who plots to escape the plantation in search of freedom. However, an individual reluctant to flee falls behind on the night in question and, as the song title suggests, rats them out.

Don't expect the video to be any sort of conscious offering—it gets a little weird when he's hanging from a tree—but if you need a chuckle-inducing break from a stressful day, let a dancing, old cloth-wearing YG be your relief.

As you wait for the fast-approaching release of his album, now due on May 3, watch the video for "Stop Snitchin" up top.

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Lil Uzi Vert Returns With "That's A Rack" Music Video: Watch

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Nudity must be the theme of this video. The visuals open with Uzi weaving through rows of naked violinists and cellists. As it progresses, the camera shifts to naked women bathing and posing in blue paint.

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Beyoncé performs onstage during 2018 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival Weekend 1 at the Empire Polo Field on April 14, 2018 in Indio, California.
Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Coachella

Homecoming: The 5 Best Moments Of Beyoncé’s Documentary

Once Beyoncé became the first African-American woman to headline in its nearly 20-year history, we knew Coachella would never the same. To mark the superstar’s historic moment, the 2018 music and arts festival was appropriately dubbed #Beychella and fans went into a frenzy on social media as her illustrious performance was live-streamed by thousands. (Remember when fans recreated her choreographed number to O.T. Genasis’ “Everybody Mad”?)

With a legion of dancers, singers and musicians adorned with gorgeous costumes showcasing custom-made crests, the singer’s whirlwind performance honored black Greek letter organizations, Egyptian queen Nefertiti, and paid homage to historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). Aside from the essence of black musical subgenres like Houston’s chopped and screwed and Washington D.C.’s go-go music, the entertainer performed “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” also known as “The Black National Anthem,” and implemented a dancehall number, sampling the legendary Jamaican DJ and singer, Sister Nancy, to show off the versatility of black culture.

One year after #Beychella’s historic set, the insightful concert film, Homecoming, began streaming on Netflix and unveiled the rigorous months of planning that went into the iconic event. The 2-hour 17-minute documentary highlights Beyoncé’s enviable work ethic and dedication to her craft, proving why this performance will be cemented in popular culture forever. Here are the best moments from Beyoncé’s Homecoming documentary.

The Intentional Blackness

“Instead of me bringing out my flower crown, it was more important that I brought our culture to Coachella.”

Throughout the documentary, Beyoncé made it known that everything and everyone included in the creative process leading up to the annual festival was deliberately chosen. “I personally selected each dancer, every light, the material on the steps, the height of the pyramid, the shape of the pyramid,” says Beyoncé. “Every tiny detail had an intention.” When speaking on black people as a collective the entertainer notes, “The swag is limitless.” Perhaps the most beautiful moments in Homecoming are the shots that focus on the uniqueness of black hair and its versatility. What’s appreciated above all is the singer’s commitment to celebrating the various facets of blackness and detailing why black culture needs to be celebrated on a global scale.

Beyoncé’s Love And Respect For HBCUs

#Beychella — which spanned two consecutive weekends of Coachella’s annual festival — was inspired by elements of HBCU homecomings, so it was no surprise when the singer revealed she always wanted to attend one. “I grew up in Houston, Texas visiting Prairie View. We rehearsed at TSU [Texas Southern University] for many years in Third Ward, and I always dreamed of going to an HBCU. My college was Destiny's Child. My college was traveling around the world and life was my teacher.” Brief vignettes in the film showcased marching bands, drumlines and the majorettes from notable HBCUs that comprise of the black homecoming experience. In the concert flick, one of the dancers affectionately states, “Homecoming for an HBCU is the Super Bowl. It is the Coachella.” However, beyond the outfits that sport a direct resemblance to Greek organizations, Beyoncé communicated an important message that remains a focal point in the film: “There is something incredibly important about the HBCU experience that must be celebrated and protected.”

The Familiar Faces

Despite being joined by hundreds of dancers, musicians and singers on-stage, the entertainer was joined by some familiar faces to share the monumental moment with her. While making a minor appearance in the documentary, her husband and rapper/mogul Jay-Z came out to perform “Deja Vu” with his wife. Next, fans were blessed by the best trio to ever do it as Kelly and Michelle joined the singer with renditions of their hit singles including “Say My Name,” “Soldier,” and more. On top of this star-studded list, Solange Knowles graced the “Beychella” stage and playfully danced with her older sister to the infectious “Get Me Bodied.”

Her Balance Of Being A Mother And A Star

Originally slated to headline the annual festival in 2017, the singer notes that she “got pregnant unexpectedly...and it ended up being twins.” Suffering from preeclampsia, high blood pressure, toxemia and undergoing an emergency C-section, the entertainer candidly details how difficult it was adjusting post-partum and how she had to reconnect with her body after experiencing a traumatizing delivery. “In the beginning, it was so many muscle spasms. Just, internally, my body was not connected. My body was not there.” Rehearsing for a total of 8 months, the singer sacrificed quality time with her children in order to nail the technical elements that came with the preparation for her Coachella set. “I’m limiting myself to no bread, no carbs, no sugar, no dairy, no meat, no fish, no alcohol … and I’m hungry.” Somehow, throughout all of this, she still had to be a mom. “My mind wanted to be with my children,” she says. Perhaps one of the most admirable moments in the film was witnessing Beyoncé’s dedication to her family but also to her craft.

The Wise Words From Black Visionaries

Homecoming opens with a quote from the late, Maya Angelou stating, “If you surrender to the air, you can ride it.” The film includes rich and prophetic quotes from the likes of Alice Walker, Nina Simone, Toni Morrison, and notable Black thinkers, reaffirming Beyoncé’s decision to highlight black culture. The quotes speak to her womanhood and the entertainer’s undeniable strength as a black woman.

Blue Ivy’s Cuteness

Last, but certainly not least, Blue Ivy‘s appearance in the concert film is nothing short of precious. One of the special moments in the documentary zeroes in on the 7-year-old singing to a group of people whilst Beyoncé sweetly feeds the lyrics into her ears. After finishing, Blue says: “I wanna do that again” with Beyoncé replying with “You wanna be like mommy, huh?” Seen throughout Homecoming rehearsing and mirroring Beyoncé’s moves, Blue just might follow in her mother’s footsteps as she gets older.

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