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Ro James Discusses Upcoming EP And Working With Miguel

Tattoos, note-worthy resume, D'Angelo comparisons and a bad-boy persona. All seem to be the formula for another R&B commodore but with Ro James, it's just different.

For starters, in between serenading the crowd with singles such as "Adidas" and "Pledge Allegiance" at New York's Canal Room in March, Ro takes a few swigs from a Jack Daniels Bottle. A native New Yorker, the singer birthed as Ronnie James said he began his music career like most great singers: in church.

With his father a preachy pastor, James said he would be forced to sing the gospel. “He always tried to make us sing and I would hate it,” he recalls.

Drawing inspiration from Donny Hathaway to Johnny Cash, James’ sound breaks genre barriers, describing his own sound as "rock n’ soul." His biggest inspiration, though, is Prince. “He wasn’t afraid and he didn’t have a lot of boundaries," Ro said. "He did what he wanted to do and he built a lane for himself, combining a lot of things.”

The admiration for the "Purple Rain" singer is also common ground Ro shares with another R&B rebel, Miguel. Ro's pen game landed him a by-line on Mig's sophomore effort Kaleidoscope Dream, co-writing the sensual tracks “Use Me” with the “Do You.” The writing process didn’t intimidate James because he says they’re close bros.

“Wow,” Ro began when asked how he and Miguel met. It began on MySpace where Miguel expressed interest one of his songs in one of James’ songs and one of his friends named Kesh. “He hit me up like, ‘Yo, I like your music. So tell me more about Kesh’ and from that we just connected and grew,” James said.

While scribing “Use Me,” Ro said he learned to be free in his writing and became a fan organically. “I grew to love his music and he loved mine. We just stayed in contact until where we’re at now.”

Now, James is readying his EP Coke, Jack & Cadillacs, a three-part album that portrays Coke as a woman, Jack [Daniels] as himself (“smooth but it’s rugged at the same time”) and Cadillacs hosting “music that you can just ride out to.”

The project tells the story of James’ first love at 19 and how coming together eventually tore them apart. “Every thing, every song is about something that actually happened,” James said. “I drew inspiration from my own life and the things that I’ve been through.”

With a musical bomb of genres, James wants listeners to “love again" with his EP.

"I want them to feel the soul, the emotion and the honesty," he said. “I’m just ready to share.”

Photo Credit: Finallybrave

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Bobby Brown Reacts To King Of R&B Debate, Challenges Jacquees To A “Battle”

Jacquees may have found the perfect way to keep R&B fans riled up. The 24-year-old Atlanta crooner had the internet in a heated debate after he feverishly proclaimed himself the “new king” of R&B, and it looks like his words caught Bobby Brown's attention.

Brown, who humbly proclaimed himself an outgoing king of the genre, weighed in on the throne debate by challenging Jacquees to a live music battle. “If you want the title, battle me,” Brown told TMZ on Monday (Dec. 17).

“I really didn’t want to talk about it,” added Brown. “But I’ve been seeing it on Instagram and social media.”

The 49-year-old  singer went on to drop a few names of artists that he feels are more deserving of the crown, like Chris Brown and Usher. Brown also made it clear that Jacquees has a lot of work to do before he can fall in the same category as his R&B predecessors. “He’s not even recognizable. I don't even know his music.”

Check out Brown's full comments on Jacquees in the video below.

READ MORE: Jacquees Denounces Keith Sweat As The King Of R&B In Awkward Exchange

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TLC's Chilli Praises Cardi B For How She's Dealing With Offset Break Up

TLC's Chilli is sending love and light to Cardi B amid the rapper's recent break up with Offset. In a new interview with People, Chilli praised the rapper for handling her public situation much better than she handled her break up with Usher in 2003.

"I have gone through a public breakup, and it is not easy," Chilli, whose real name is Rozanda Thomas, said referring to her split from Usher. "When strangers know your business and want to chime in while you’re still dealing with the pain yourself, it’s difficult. Breakups are hard on anyone, but can you imagine if strangers knew your business? It’s rough."

Thomas also claimed that Cardi was "braver" than she was as she "just sort of shut down" when her two-year relationship to the R&B crooner ended. "I am proud of her for being strong and standing up for herself during a time that is obviously a very hurtful one," she continued. "She has a strong sense of self. That’s why fans have connected with her this way. She talks about her highs and lows; she is fearless."

Later in the interview, Chilli suggested that she would be open to working with Cardi on new music. "I don’t usually like to collaborate with females, and the reason why is because of Lisa," she added. "That is just a little weird for me, personally. But I think with Cardi B, she is an exception to the rule. TLC and Cardi B all day long. We’ve gotten a lot of love from Cardi. It’s really an honor."

READ MORE: Offset's Father Calls Out Cardi B In Lengthy Facebook Post

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Childish Gambino Reveals Father's Death During Concert Tribute

Childish Gambino wrapped his This Is America Tour in Los Angeles on Monday (Dec. 17) with a special tribute to his father, Donald Glover Sr. The multi-talented artist revealed that his dad passed away a couple of weeks ago, and commemorated his life by previewing a new single.

"I lost my father a couple weeks ago," he announced in a video that was posted on Reddit. "I wanted to play him some of the new songs, but he didn't want to hear them, because he was like, 'I know they're going to be great.'"

He added: "I'm not saying that to talk about music — I say that to talk about trust. That's what love is. I hope you guys get to feel that kind of love."

He later previewed one of the songs he wanted to share with his dad, as seen in a video a fan posted on Twitter. The song sounds like an uptempo tune with heavy horn instrumentals.

The announcement comes shortly after Gambino returned to the stage after suffering from a foot injury. Ahead of the tour, the "Feels Like Summer" rapper also announced that his next album would be his last project under the moniker Childish Gambino. It's unclear if the new track will appear on the final album.

Check out Gambino's tribute to his father in the video below.

@donaldglover unreleased song #ChildishGambino #ThisIsAmerica #thisisamericatour pic.twitter.com/ToGHrAnApo

— Alexis Andrade (@alexisarealtor) December 15, 2018

READ MORE: Decoding Childish Gambino's Stunning "This Is America" Visual

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