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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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HBCUs Got To Watch Beyonce's 'Homecoming' At Exclusive Screenings

Thanks to Beyonce and the good people at Netflix, HBCUs were able to watch the artist’s highly-anticipated release of her documentary, Homecoming, at advanced, on-campus screenings.

“Homecoming is nothing but fun, laughs, and amazingness,” one fan in attendance said in a video of the various screenings. They took place at Howard University, Morehouse College, Spelman College and Texas Southern University.

"More than anything it uplifted HBCUs and it empowered HBCUs,” another fan continued in the brief clip.

During the documentary, which was released on Wednesday (April 17), Beyonce discusses her appreciation of HBCUs, stating in the doc, “there is something incredibly important about the HBCU experience that must be celebrated and protected.”

See some reactions from students at these HBCUs below.

"More than anything it uplifted HBCUs and it empowered HBCUs."

Last night, #BeyoncéHomecoming took over @SpelmanCollege, @Morehouse, @TexasSouthern, and @HowardU. pic.twitter.com/CnzsIMAqHh — Strong Black Lead (@strongblacklead) April 17, 2019

The line is lit as we anticipate the doors opening for our exclusive, early campus @Netflix screening of #Homecoming, a film by Beyoncé. pic.twitter.com/WUTBykukD8

— Howard University (@HowardU) April 17, 2019

Beyonce showing love to other hbcu’s besides spelman, Howard & morehouse is why she’s the goat

— ManiLou💛 (@y0urfav3emani) April 17, 2019

Beyoncé wore, and more importantly OWNS Morehouse gear. that’s it, that’s the tweet.

— capricorn hoodrat (@notoriouslang) April 17, 2019

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Go Girl: Wendy Williams Is Getting Hit Up About Dates Post-Divorce

Wendy Williams hasn’t outright discussed the recent news regarding her impending divorce from her husband of 22 years, Kevin Hunter. She did, however, discuss that the date inquiries have been coming in strong.

During the “Hot Topics” segment of her self-titled talk show on Wednesday (April 17), Ms. Williams said that she was getting distracted while reading because her phone was buzzing off the hook with inquiries regarding interested, potential dates.

“I was minding my own business… All of a sudden, my cell phone rings and it's DJ Boof asking me out for dinner," she says to her audience. DJ Boof is her in-house DJ, and the camera cuts to him smiling.

"Then, I get back to reading my book and my phone rings again. No, it wasn't Boof. It was Charlamagne [Tha God]!” she revealed. “Charlamagne wanted to take me for dinner. So he says the night, and he says the time and I said 'I can't go because I'm going out with Boof for dinner. So Charlamagne says, ‘well, I know Boof, why don’t we both take you out?’”

Williams’ estranged husband discussed his transgressions in a statement to PEOPLE, saying “I am not proud of my recent actions and take full accountability and apologize to my wife, my family and her amazing fans. I am going through a time of self-reflection and am trying to right some wrongs.”

It appears that Wendy will be moving on just fine. Check out the clip below.

 

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Meanwhile on @wendyshow...

A post shared by The Breakfast Club (@breakfastclubam) on Apr 17, 2019 at 9:40am PDT

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Joey Bada$$ Wishes Nipsey Hussle Was Celebrated More When He Was Alive

Joey Bada$$ visited Ebro’s Beats 1 radio show, where he discussed the recent passing of rapper Nipsey Hussle. The outpouring of support for the 33-year-old’s musical and charitable legacies has been amazing to witness. However, Joey states that he wishes people celebrated the Victory Lap musician as hard as they are now, but while he was able to see his impact.

"Nobody thought we would lose Nipsey Hussle,” he told Ebro during Tuesday’s show (April 16). “He was one of those people that we thought we would have forever. As soon as we lose a person like that, everybody want to jump on the bandwagon. He should have been able to see the fruits of his labor... We gotta show love, we gotta spread love.”

The All-Amerikkkan Bada$$ MC said that people need to practice showing appreciation for the people in their life and who they come across, so that they are able to see their impact while they are here.

“It’s extremely important that you show appreciation for your favorite artists, your favorite people, your favorite friends, your favorite family members, whatever,” he continued. “It’s just extremely important you never waste those moments, you always appreciate them. Like you said, any moment it can go like that.”

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