The whole world has heard it, danced to it, even sung along with Fat Joe as he laments on “Lean Back” how some artists have commercialized gang culture. “Even Lil’ Bow Wow throwin’ it up/ B2K Crip walking like that’s what’s up.”
One of the guys addressed in the song says he doesn’t have any problem with the lyric — in fact, he thinks Joey Crack is speaking the gospel.
“Fat Joe is a really cool friend of ours. We met Fat Joe and he was like, ‘Man, I love you guys, y’all cool,’ ” Omarion said recently. “As far as the statement [in the song], it’s true, honestly. There’s a lot of people who don’t really know what they’re doing when they’re doing that out there.
“See, it’s different [with me]. I’m from L.A. I grew up in the ‘hood. So I’ve got certain credibility to do certain things. I’ve got friends and family and stuff like that. I’m not saying it’s OK, but it’s a very, very valid statement [Joe] is making, because a lot of people don’t understand what it is and don’t understand that’s real. When you’re dancing and stuff like that, that’s a way of life. But Fat Joe, hot record! Fat Joe is out of here right now.”
Omarion hopes he, too, will have a hot record when his long-talked-about solo LP drops later this year. The 19-year-old has finally decided on a title: O.
“The album should be coming around the end of November, Thanksgiving time, which could be a nice little Christmas gift for you,” he said. “It’s just really getting a chance for you to know some aspects of my life. You’ll get to know me, Omarion, O, who I am, what I do, some of the situations I’ve been through.”
In the next few weeks, the braided performer plans to drop his first single, “Never Gonna Let You Go (She’s a Keepa),” on which he sings over live instrumentation, courtesy of labelmates the Wylde Bunch.
“Right now there is this song, we’re lining it up, and when you hear it, man, it’s so different from anything that I have ever done,” he said. “It’s old-school mixed with a little bit of new. It’s real, real hot. Got something new for y’all, for real. [I’m] most definitely talking about the young ladies.”
O said anyone who thought he showed maturity on “Badaboom” should just wait until they hear his album’s title track, where he also hollas at the honeys.
“It’s crazy, it’s very mature. … It goes, ‘Oh!/ That’s gonna be the sound, girl/ When it’s going down your body/ Going, “Oh!” ‘ So it’s real mature. Another song is called ‘I Wish.’ Basically what that song is talking about is situations that always happen in relationships when you fall in love and the person may not feel all the way the same as you feel for them. You feel, ‘Damn! I wish I never loved you. I wish I never felt the way I felt.’ All the topics on the album talk about realistic situations.
“When I was doing songs in the past,” he continued, “they’ve always been like, ‘Baby, this’ or ‘Baby, that’ or a club record. This time I got to talk about strong personal issues. They’re very valid things that people go through all day, every day.”
On the same day O hits stores, the former B2K lead singer will release an autobiography with the same name.
“It’s just about my life, an episode in my life,” he said. “So there’s some interesting things in there. There is so much that happens in the entertainment life, especially when you’ve been working from such a young age such as myself. I’ve been working since I was 14, so you’ll get insight on what goes on.”