V Exclusive: Patra on Her Absence, New Music, & Female Sexuality in Reggae

Time has aged Patra like a fine wine. The Queen of the Pack shocked headlines last summer after an appearance at an Essence Magazine party, and from then on has been hard at work prepping her comeback with a new team, a new album, and a fresh outlook.

Thanking MTV’s Sway amongst others, for the boost in the right direction after her absence, the reggae goddess dropped a new single this month, entitled, “Come Ova” featuring Delus, and is expected to release the video as well as her fifth studio album, Patra: The Continuation soon after. Promising to deliver nothing but the sexiness, Patra hopes her fans will feel like she never left.

In an exclusive interview with VIBE, Patra discussed her absence, new music, her opinion of Tupac at Coachella, and describes how she manages to preserve the sexy.

VIBE: You shocked headlines last summer after a photo popped up of you partying in New York. So, I think the first question on everyone’s mind is where have you been?
PATRA: Yeah, what happened was I was taking a break, to get my career on track. It’s very simple. I just wanted to be in control, finish my education, and just to be happy, that’s basically it. There’s nothing really dramatic to discuss. I just needed to take that break to get myself and things together in order to be in control of my own business. To me that is the most refreshing thing I was able to accomplish from my absence from the scene is to be in control of my stuff.

You’re prepping to release new music under a new partnership with LGN Entertainment. How’d that come about?
When I got to New York, I’m there getting everything together musically. I’m doing radio shows and all that. Rich Nice and Sway from MTV were the guys that were helping me while I was in New York. However, pertaining to the deal and my ability to partnerships with these guys came through Don Harper. Don Harper is someone that I’ve known, and it’s funny because he had reached out in different ways, not about the business, but just to see when I was coming back out because he had heard all these stuff going on and then I let him know that I would love him on board. I had other stuff on the table, but what they had to offer me was the best from all the other stuff that was one the table because it allowed me to retain control and to make sure everything has the right attention that it needs with all of the craziness that’s going on.

You’re dropping a new single in June, “Come Ova”, can we expect an album to follow through soon after?
Oh most definitely! I can even give you the name of the album now. Last week, I could not. I decided to keep it simple and name it Patra: The Continuation. Because actually, I didn’t go anywhere, I was just focusing on getting stuff straightened out and I just want to continue where I left off and try to be even better. And of course the single that’s coming out isn’t just me on the single. It’s me and Delus. He also collaborated with me. I also want to give much respect to the producer, Damian Gayle, he’s a good friend of mine, he’s the one who produced this and he’s responsible to make sure this whole world can have that dancehall flavor as well as a crossover appeal to it. This record will be the record for the summer. Trust me. We’re shooting the video in a couple of days. It’s going to be the sexiest video for the summer!

Who else are you planning to work with on your album?
Since, it’s been so long, I’m just trying to make everything right. I’m not trying to look for collaboration at this moment, pertaining to who’s on the album. Right now, for me, it’s just a moment of connecting with my fans and getting back out there. My message to share as a person and a woman is to share all of my experiences and the essence of being back. I have to just focus on me at this point.

As self proclaimed, ‘Queen of the Pack’, can we expect the same type of raw style from you or have you switched things up?
All I can say is it’s a brand new work. It even turn-up more than Queen of the Pack was. But, I always give respect all the time to Queen of the Pack, but there’s nothing that compares to Queen of the Pack than to what I’m doing now. I’ve grown lyrically, but most importantly as a woman, free to express. So, just doing that with the art, it just come around, and not to mention just working with the best producers. It’s always going to be about sex with me, nothing political. I’m just focusing on being sexy all the time. That’s all I’m doing right now. Just being sexy, chopping up the charts and everything. I just want to feel good! I love what I do, and I’m excited to be back. And of course, the original dance queen come back!

How are you able to distinguish between embracing your sexuality as a woman than in a way that is intended to sell your music?
It’s a natural thing. I’m a Jamaican woman from the island. That’s the lifestyle for us. We intertwine both. Caribbean people, we work hard, we play hard. So, to intertwine both for me is fun! I don’t want my job to become a job. I want my job to be something that I appreciate and love. So, I can say I’m going to my job for several hours then come home and feel good. I want to go on stage for an hour, an hour and a half, mash it up and leave and make people feel good. I’m that type of person. I’m very sensual, yet private, and I express it through my music. I think artists have their standard, and I think love, respect, and all these things are important. It’s not something I get up and do on the fly, it’s a natural thing.

How do you feel about the direction reggae music has been going in lately? Is it something you’re proud of?
I’m very proud of what’s going on in the dancehall and reggae atmosphere. Reggae music is one of the most powerful forms of music whether you get it or not. Reggae music is the type of music in the world that everyone emulates when they’re trying to do something. It’s because of the soul and the depth. Dancehall music right now, is the thing that keeps everyone jiggling and going because it’s wild and crazy. The artists are the ones who are fueling everybody. It’s a combination of both. I could have not have been more excited and delighted. I remember when I came out, not a lot of reggae artists were gaining that international appeal. But, now that the game has changed from all of these big monopolies, everyone has some form of the reggae/dancehall industry. If I don’t hear at least one reggae or dancehall record a day, my day doesn’t start. So, I’m proud of it.

What do you feel you can bring to table musically in this day in age?
When you have old school artists like me, you can evolve and change. I haven’t evolved, but I’ve evolved in terms of my company, but I’m not changing anything. I haven’t seen a change really. I think everybody is doing what they’re doing. I’m just blessed to be doing what I’m doing and taking reggae music to a whole other level. There’s nothing for me to compare myself to. There’s nobody doing what I’m doing right now as a woman from the reggae Jamaican side. There’s nothing for me to think about because I’m a Jamaican artist. I’m always doing crossover music in reggae, but that’s my culture. There’s nothing for me to think about than to just keep my music to the world. I’m not trying to catch up what’s going on, because most my albums are built from scratch. I think this is my best work ever. My vocal has grown and my attitude has changed as far as what I think of people.

Making that ‘crossover music’ allowed you to connect with the U.S. market.
I really have to give respect to the American people. My Jamaican people have really supported me, but when I went to America, it was like---I don’t want to say it was easy and simple, because it wasn’t. I have to give respect to Shabba Ranks because as you know, he was the one who I was touring with at the time. But, then I went Gold, so I had to go and do my own thing. But, the American people, when it comes to the Billboard charts, it was remarkable, MTV, BET, everybody.

You were pretty close to Tupac when you made your U.S. debut. What did you think about his hologram appearance at Coachella earlier this spring?
It’s so funny that you ask me that, because I feel when a person passes, you should just let them be. These are personal feelings because of how Tupac treated me and respected me as a person the few times we hung out, then showed up on my video set. I feel like when he passed, he needs to pass and rest. This is just a personal belief. Same with Biggie Smalls and stuff like that. It could work both ways. I was shocked when people started to send me the link to my personal email. That’s when everything started coming back. When I decided to take a break, two of my friends just died, Tupac and Biggie. I was the one who gave Biggie, the last Source Award interview at Madison Square Garden. So, there are so many things. It’s just weird and for me, it was just private. I wonder when I pass, will people do the same thing to me. That’s weird. That’s just my personal opinion about it.

What do you want your fans to gain from your return back to music?
They will gain the ability to love themselves and to just relax. That’s basically it. Not only that, but to also to work hard if you’re a woman to achieve your goals. You don’t need to let the advice of one to see what your true values are. It’s the simple things that you’ve done as an individual that make you who you are. Sometimes we just like to get our hair and nails done to get sexy, even if we’re not going there. It’s the simplest thing, as a woman, that we do to make us feel that word, how to love yourself, be confident, how to express yourself, physically, emotional, mentally. This album is driven on that, and that’s why it’s called the continuation; and of course, the fellas love it for a different reason. But, for the ladies, they’ll be able to understand it and as a result, become more vocal.

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Rihanna Speaks On Upcoming Album In 'British Vogue' Cover Story

Rihanna’s resume is stacked with many “firsts” from chart topping singles to fast-selling albums to her awards collection. Now, another first is on the horizon for the world-renowned artist by being the first person to wear a durag on the cover of British Vogue.

For the publication’s May 2020 issue, the “Needed Me” singer discussed how she balances her many businesses alongside her personal desires, and provided a brief update on her forthcoming album. Although there’s no release date, the 32-year-old artist is working around the clock to get the project to the masses. “I can’t say when I’m going to drop,” she said. “But I am very aggressively working on music.”

What's already been stated is that the album is influenced by reggae but Rihanna noted that she's staying away from her albums being looked at as themes. “There are no rules. There’s no format. There’s just good music, and if I feel it, I’m putting it out,” she said. Rihanna later shared with journalist Afua Hirsch that at this stage in her career, “I feel like I have no boundaries. I’ve done everything—I’ve done all the hits, I’ve tried every genre—now I’m just, I’m wide open. I can make anything that I want.”

Outside of the music, Rihanna is working on Fenty Skin. It's no secret that the skincare industry is a lucrative one but for the mogul, it's something that'll take a lot of fine-tuning for her line to be a success. “Skincare, it’s the truth. It either works or it doesn’t," she said. "There’s nowhere to hide.”

Read the full story here.


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Gang back in da Stu!! @Edward_Enninful and I are back at it again with @StevenKleinStudio for the May 2020 cover of @BritishVogue 🥰✊🏿 available Friday, April 3rd! . Wearing all @Burberry by @RiccardoTisci17, and a custom @StephenJonesMillinery durag. Photographed by @StevenKleinStudio and styled by @Edward_Enninful, with hair by @YusefHairNYC and @NaphiisBeautifulHair, make-up by @IsamayaFfrench using @FentyBeauty and nails by @RedHotNails. With thanks to @JillDemling.

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TRUTH. @BritishVogue @StevenKleinStudio @Edward_Enninful

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Stephon Marbury Plans To Provide Masks From China For New York City’s Healthcare Workers

Stephon Marbury is making major moves to help his home-state. According to the New York Post, the former Knicks player is working with a supplier in China that’s ready to ship 10 million N95 masks to healthcare workers in NYC. The Coney Island native reached out to Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams to gain legislative support so that a number of nurses, doctors, and first responders working to contain the COVID-19 virus can benefit from the protective gear.

In a statement provided to NBC New York, Marbury said he’s lost a cousin to COVID-19 and that his “family is dealing with a very difficult time.” In New York City, the death toll is 1,218. There are over 66,000 cases within the state, ABC News reports. As a result, Gov. Andrew Cuomo extended a work-from-home order for non-essential workers to April 15.

The Post states Adams has reached out to Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Cuomo's offices but shared no decision has been made as of yet. “We’ve been communicating back and forth with the city and state, and for some reason they are saying they don’t need any more masks, but the hospitals are saying they do," Adams said. In response, Jill Montag, spokesperson for the Department of Health said state officials are interested in ironing out the details of obtaining the masks.

On Instagram, Marbury stressed the importance of keeping yourself self and following orders that remain beneficial for your health. “The quarantine has purpose so we can help the infected and protect the healthy. The virus is the invisible killer. It has no heart or compassion as we’re all exposed. I too have family members exposed to this virus,” Marbury wrote. “No one is exempt as we see people of all stature infected by this virus. The only way to move pass this is through it together. We can do this by staying home until we create a solution that everyone can conform and perform well to. Positive energy laughter, prayer, meditation are some of the rules we can follow.”

Marbury now works as a coach in China for the Beijing Royal Fighters. He once placed for various teams in the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) after his NBA-career run stateside came to an end in 2009 with the Boston Celtics.


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This is the new normal in the life. We have to adjust and adapt quickly in our lives. Wearing a mask is so important during this #coronavirus pandemic if we must be out and about. The quarantine has purpose so we can help the infected and protect the healthy. The virus is the invisible killer. It has no heart or compassion as we’re all exposed. I too have family members exposed to this virus. No one is exempt as we see people of all statue infected by this virus. The only way to move pass this is through it together. We can do this by staying home until we create a solution that everyone can conform and perform well to. Positive energy laughter, prayer 🙏🏾, meditation are some of the rules we can follow. Quick to listen and slow to speak to each other will help us communicate better to each other. This will give us strength and hope during a time we never experienced in time to grow together as 1. Keep growing and loving during this uncomfortable time. You define who you are when you create comfort in a uncomfortable state. Stay great in this space and keep pushing!!! #loveislove

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Here Are All The Hits Played During Ne-Yo And Johntà Austin's Epic R&B Battle

Over the weekend, music aficionados were gifted producer battles from the best in the business. In addition to The Dream and Sean "The Pen" Garrett's wild head to head, Ne-Yo and Johntà Austin's standoff was one for the books.

The gentlemen squared up on Instagram Live Sunday (March 29) after much fanfare. The rules were simple–Show up sober, play 2. 25 songs apiece, no unreleased music, the songs can be from any genre and the time limit would be up to 90 seconds for each song.

Soon, the battle kicked off with sentimental tracks like "Unfaithful" by Rihanna and "I Miss You" by the late Aaliyah. As spectators like Usher, Tyrese, 9th Wonder, Diddy, Tinashe, Snoh Aalegra, Eric Bellinger, Brian Michael-Cox and more entered the chat, the songs got bigger and better.

Rounds 3 and 4 saw the big guns come out. Austin played tracks from Aaliyah and Chris Brown with Ne-Yo playing his own songs and hits from Beyonce. "When all else fails, you got to bet on yourself" he hilariously said before playing his 2008 hit, "Miss Independent."

The final round left fans in a frenzy as Austin played Mariah Carey's "We Belong Together" and Ne-Yo ending with "Irreplaceable" by Beyonce. The entire match was a delight as both men praised each other for their pen game.

Superproducers Swizz Beats and Timbaland helped kicked off the current trend last week when they gave fans part 2 of their 2018 match. We also got to see a match between Boi-1da and HitBoy over the weekend with an unleased track with Roddy Rich and Drake.

But Sunday's battle was all about R&B, specifically tracks from the aughts that are often sampled today. Most fans and spectators landed at a draw for the battle as it was just too hard to land on a winner.

See the full list of tracks dished out below.


Round One

Johntà - "Get Gone" by Ideal (1999)

Ne-Yo- "That Girl" by Marques Houston (2003)

Johntà- "I Miss You" by Aaliyah (2002)

Ne-Yo- "Unfaithful" by Rihanna (2006)

Johntà- "Like That" by Mariah Carey, Fatman Scoop and Jermaine Dupri (2005)

Ne-Yo- "Knock You Down" by Keri Hilson featuring Ne-Yo (2009)

Johntà- "Don't" by Bryson Tiller (2014)

Ne-Yo- "She Got Her Own" by Jamie Foxx, Ne-Yo and Fabolous (2009)

Round Two

Johntà- "Stingy" by Ginuwine (2002)

Ne-Yo- "Own It" by Mack Wilds (2013)

Johntà- "Yo! (Excuse Me, Miss) by Chris Brown (2006)

Ne-Yo- "Stay" by Ne-Yo featuring Peedi Peedi (2006)

Johntà- "Don't Forget About Us" by Mariah Carey (2005)

Ne-Yo- "Spotlight" by Jennifer Hudson (2005)

Johntà- "Just Be A Man About It" by Toni Braxton (2000)

Ne-Yo- "Do You" by Ne-Yo (2007)

Round Three

Johntà- "Shortie Like Mine" by Bow Wow featuring Chris Brown and Johntà Austin (2006)

Ne-Yo- "Bust It Baby Pt. 2)" by Plies featuring Ne-Yo (2008)

Johntà- "Need A Girl" by Trey Songz (2009)

Ne-Yo- "Go On Girl" by Ne-Yo (2007)

Johntà- "Sweet Lady" by Tyrese (1998)

Ne-Yo- "Make Me Better" by Fabolous featuring Ne-Yo (2007)

Johntà- "Like You" by Bow Wow featuring Ciara (2005)

Ne-Yo- "Leave You Alone" Jeezy featuring Ne-Yo (2011)

Round Four

Johntà- "With You" by Chris Brown (2007)

Ne-Yo- "So Sick" by Ne-Yo (2005)

Johntà- "Shake It Off" by Mariah Carey (2005)

Ne-Yo- "Take A Bow" by Rihanna (2008)

Johntà- "Can't Help But Wait" (2007)

Ne-Yo- "Sexy Love" (2005)

Johntà- "I Don't Wanna" by Aaliyah (1999)

Ne-Yo- "Flaws and All" by Beyonce (2006)

Round Five

Johntà- "Come Over" by Aaliyah (2003)

Ne-Yo- "Miss Independent" (2008)

Johntà- "Poppin'" by Chris Brown (2007)

Ne-Yo- "Mirror" by Ne-Yo (2006)

Johntà- "Be Without You" by Mary J. Blige (2005)

Ne-Yo- "Let Me Love You" by Mario (2004)

Johntà- "We Belong Together" by Mariah Carey (2004)

Ne-Yo- "Irreplaceable" by Beyonce (2006)

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