This weekend, the team and I hit the road to New Jersey for the big Zootopia concert — an evening of music with artists like Flo Rida, All-American Rejects, Ciara, the Black Eyed Peas, Sean Paul and Kelly Clarkson.
We arrived early before the doors opened, but already, the backstage area (a corridor, basically) was a hive of activity with a mixture of label execs, managers and publicists who had seemingly brought all their kids and friends to the show.
We were scheduled for an interview with Kelly Clarkson — her first sit-down chat with MTV News in a very long while — but it was a real added bonus when we caught up with an old friend and someone who's been away for even longer: Sean Paul.
"Gimme the Light," "Like Glue," "We Be Burnin'," "Ever Blazin'," "I'm Still in Love With You," "Give It Up to Me," "Break It Off," "Temperature" — from 2002 to 2006, Sean Paul was everywhere! But then, nothing ... until "So Fine" came out a few weeks back. A lot of people have been waiting for Sean to be back on the music scene, and that wait is finally over. After taking time out to recharge in his homeland of Jamaica (he admits to enjoying his time off a little too much — after all, Jamaica is paradise), Sean is putting the finishing touches on his fourth studio album, Imperial Blaze.
Dressed stylish and casual in a shirt, jeans and his ever-present sunglasses, Sean looked like he was still on holiday. After all, that's his vibe. I've known Sean for a very long time, and he has to be one of the most chill people I know. Him and Snoop — must be something in the tea. After explaining why he needed some time out (touring can be real tough) and what he's been up to (relaxing), he broke down what fans can expect from his new album on a musical level. Don't expect any collaborations. This album is pure, 100 percent Sean Paul. And while the Jamaican dancehall scene moves further hardcore, Sean is staying in his own lane instead of following the trend. With the big dancehall anthems that launched Sean's career, some ballads for the ladies and his "most personal song yet" about his mother, Sean has taken his time and a great deal of care in constructing this album to make sure it is worth the wait!