R&B is in a real hard place right now. We've seen a plethora of artists fall through the cracks and wither away rapidly. The tunes that entrapped the emotions of men and women alike have dissipated and have transitioned into up-tempo club bangers. In a generation where your traditional R&B artists aren't crooning their hearts away and are forcefully seguing into the rap lane, many have realized that being a singer now comes with a caveat. If you can't sing and dance, or sing and rap, you're pretty much heading towards No Man's Land, unless you're the exception of a Frank Ocean or The Weeknd.
Veterans are no longer relevant in this R&B realm. Many have fought vigorously at maintaining their level of success, but have faltered. One man is fighting for his chance to be back on the forefront. That man is Bobby V.
Arguably one of the most underrated singers in the 2000's, Valentino has etched his footprints in the game with hits like "Slow Down", "Tell Me" and "Anonymous". Five albums in, he finds himself in a different space as a different man. With an album out, entitled Dusk Till Dawn, Bobby V sat down with Ballerstatus to recommend his favorite love-making records for the desperate guys trying to seduce that special lady, if R&B is becoming too rap crazed, smashing prospective women on his bucket list, and finally, his views on whom he had better chemistry with between Tim & Bob or Lil Wayne.
What made you decide to name the album Dusk Till Dawn?
Bobby V: Dusk Till Dawn was inspired by the movie, because it was one of my favorites. Also, my label is called Blue Collar Dreams. The reason it's called Blue Collar Dreams is because I feel I'm a blue collared artist and I have a blue collared mindset. I feel like I have a blue collared mentality. I grind. I work real hard in trying to perfect my craft. That's one reason why I've been able to be around for as long as I have. I work hard. I'm the last person to go sleep and the first person to wake up in the morning. That kind of goes the same with my album, Dusk Till Dawn. You know, my grind is from dusk till dawn. All the time, I'm in the studio, I'm rehearsing, and doing whatever I can to reach out and touch the people.
A lot of fans fell in love with you on your first two albums, those being Bobby Valentino and Special Occasion. Can fans expect to hear that classic Bobby Valentino they were accustomed to or did you go in a new direction?
This is the same man. With me, it's about being consistent with all of my albums. You know, my first two albums came out on Def Jam. So, they got a little bit of more publicity. They got a little bit more push behind it. You know, once I left Def Jam and DTP, I ventured out on my own for my own label. Independently I dropped the Rebirth, which had "Beep Beep" released, and of course, "Mrs. Officer", which was popping around that same time. And, my last album was Fly On The Wall. The lead single off of that was "Words". That was definitely one of the truest R&B singles that I have dropped. "Words" and "Turn the Page" was two of my most R&B records that I have dropped. You know, my albums I definitely keep it R&B. I don't go out and try to do what everybody else is doing. At the end of the day, I like to be comfortable in my own skin. I'm such an R&B lover. I'm not looking to make any major changes.
I spoke to Trey not too long ago and one of the things I touched on was singers shifting over to the rap game. Do you feel that shift serves as a positive or negative to traditional R&B music?
Well, you know, rap is big right now. During the 90's that was when R&B was on the forefront. You know, with anything in life, things change. R&B has kind of dwindled down a little bit. Rap has become more of a mainstream look for radio spins. A lot of rappers, back in the 90's, were probably complaining like "Man, all yall play in the radio is R&B." But now, it's up to the R&B artists to stay true to R&B and stay true to real R&B music, because I feel like this: After the club and after people party -- you know like 3-4 hours after the club -- people wanna go home and make love at the end of the night. Sex ain't going anywhere. People are going to continue to have sex. People are going to continue to make love. R&B music is sort of like a soundtrack for love. As long love and sex doesn't fall off this earth, then R&B won't fall off this earth.
People have said you are one of the most underrated R&B singers in the game. Do you feel that's a fair assessment or are you content with your current positioning right now?
Absolutely. I definitely feel like I'm underrated. I just continue to work. I feel like people are going to get back on the Bobby V train within time, because I put a lot into my music. I believe my music is real quality. A lot of people hear about my music after the fact. You know, they might hear my stuff six months to a year later. They'll be like, "Damn, that Fly On The Wall, that Rebirth, or that first album was a classic." People kind of hear it after the fact. You know, I feel like, if you continue to do something, it'll rise to the top. It's just for me; I just gotta not get frustrated or caught up in all of the politics. I just gotta continue to touch these people because if you have the people behind you, then you could override all of that stuff.
I know you said earlier that R&B music is something that I could play after hitting the club. I'm curious, if you could name me three joints that you would recommend for a brother to play after hitting the club, which three would you select and why?
Well, you know, since we got this new album Dusk Till Dawn, I'm gonna name three joints off this album. One joint I'm gonna name is "Put It In". That's definitely a love making joint. That's self-explanatory. That's featuring K. Michelle. She's filthy. That record is really a crazy record. Shout out to K. Michelle for doing her thing on that record. Another record that would definitely set the mood would be a joint called "Oooh". I actually dropped the video for that record online a couple weeks ago. If you Google "Oooh" or "Oooh, She Got Me Like", you'll see it. That record will definitely set that mood for making love. I got another joint that I particularly love. It's called "Are You Ready". It was produced by Tim & Bob. They did my entire first album with "Slow Down" and "Tell Me." I continue to work with them all of my albums, but they did the record "Are You Ready?" I think that'll definitely set the mood for your significant other.
You just mentioned Tim & Bob. Which do you feel you have a better chemistry with or is a better combination: You working with Tim & Bob behind the boards, or you and Lil Wayne doing a track together?
I mean, that's a real tough question. I mean, I can't really say that one is better than the other. Wayne is a workaholic. He's a music lover at heart, so are Tim & Bob. If Tim & Bob could trade in their lives to be a guitar string or to be a key on the piano, they would. They love music so much. That's the reason why the chemistry with both of those guys has been so successful. That's why everything we do has been so big. It's because when we go in the studio, we don't go in and say, "We're tryna make this kind of song." We just go in there and make music. We don't go in there with no mind frame like, "We're gonna make an up-tempo track or I'm gonna call Wayne for a club song." We just make music. That's the beauty of it. We just go and there and that's what we do. We make hit music. The results are just big.
Shifting gears, I'm gonna assume you took down over 300 women in your career. (Laughs) Is there a particular woman out there that you haven't gotten that's on your bucket list?
I mean, you know, its good being an R&B singer. (Laughs) That's why I love R&B, because I'm singing to the ladies. I don't have a bunch of dudes coming to the show. I don't mind them come through to the shows. I ain't hating, but I definitely love when my shows are 90% females. That's a great thing. Man, there ain't nobody really specific like, "I just gotta take down." If I see something out there I like, you know, I put the Bobby V on her. (Laughs)
You just hit her with the "Slow Down," I just wanna get to know you type flow? (Laughs)
Yeah, you know... (Laughs) But there ain't nothing out there though, on some "I gotta gotta have it." But if I do see her, I'll definitely step to her and make it happen.
Bobby V's new Dusk Till Dawn album is out now. Get your copy at Amazon.com.