MMG’s resident crooner already has a full clip of bangers. Add his B2k cuts that caused sheer pandemonium to his platinum-selling solo records and you’ve got a bonafide R&B king. (One that, yes, a lot of people forget had a throne.)
Now back to steal (and break) women’s hearts, Omarion–or Maybach O–checks in with Vixen for some preliminary talk about his upcoming album, how he spots groupies at the club and why “it’s only right” that Jhené Aiko lace his new project. — Niki McGloster
VIBE Vixen: Okay, so your life is crazy but you did manage to settle a bit and find a girlfriend. Tell me how you decipher between a woman you want to take seriously and a groupie?
Omarion: It’s important how the relationship starts: the place that you meet, the setting, the class of friends they have, the homies you’re with. All of that sets the tempo. You can tell when a woman’s a woman [because] no matter what setting, she knows how to handle herself. The club is a really good example because it’s a lot going on. Any girl that looks nice, 9 times out of 10, there’s going to be a million dudes flocking her, and she handles it. A “bottle rat,” chicks that go to the club but they can’t pay for their own drink, they got in for free so they want to act super friendly with you to drink up all your shit. If I’m in club setting, I would pay attention to if they want to stick around or they ask to stick around like, “Hey do you mind if me and my girls kick it with y’all?”
In a respectable way?
Yeah. Those are the kind of chicks that go out to have a good time, and if they’re vibin,’ they’re vibin.’ If they’re not, they’ll do their thing. But you won’t see them at every other guy’s table.
Guys get caught up in that too. So tell me, what is your understanding of the power of a woman?
It’s the ability to change things. I remember a friend of mine got shot and he called me. I was stressing. My cousin came to me while we were talking on the phone. She just started rubbing my shoulders and I totally forgot what I was mad about. She calmed me all the way down and I was good. Women have that power. I don’t know what to call it, but it’s that power, that nurturing power. The ability to change the situation by nurturing you. The encouragement, the nourishment, a woman just knows how to do that.
What is the greatest thing you learned from a woman?
Patience. Women are emotional and it takes men to learn this about women. I just happened to be raised by all women so I got some of the pieces earlier in my life, but patience is a big part with the woman because you guys change so much. How you feel at 20 is different than at 14, and when you get your period, you act different. The greatest thing I learned from a woman was patience and sensitivity because you can’t always be tough. You have to have some sensitivity when dealing with a woman and her concerns, and things she goes through.
VV: How do you think women will respond to you now opposed to the B2K days, or when you first started dropping your solo projects?
O: My fans that have stuck with me since that time up until now have experienced life the way that I have experienced life. Either you get better or worse with it, but whatever it is, it’s progressiveness. We’ve experienced love and love lost. The difference for me would be my approach [to music] and being able to speak with them since we’ve kind of grew up together, just in a more mature fashion.
Do you think you’ll build a stronger connection with this new album that’s coming?
I don’t want to say stronger. I think my words are clearer. They can understand where I’m coming from.
You’ve mentioned wanting to bring authentic R&B and performance back. Explain that a little bit further. Will your album sound like an evolution of Care Package or will there be some other sounds that you’ll experiment with?
It’ll be great music. I don’t want to say it’ll be an extension of Care Package because it was great, but I’m always pushing to try new things and do it bigger and better. I will say that sonically, it will be a part two, a continuation.
Now, you’ve worked with Jhené Aiko previously. Are you incorporating her into your new music?
The reason why I do collaborations is not just because I’m a fan of certain people’s music but because I feel like there’s a connection with my music and their music. With Jhene being a part of my family and us doing this as long as we’ve done it, it’s only right. There are moments where we’ve sat in the house and I play the piano and we’ll harmonize songs. People never seen that.