NEW YORK — Omarion recently finished a tour of the U.K. and Japan, and the singer said he was flattered when he touched down in the U.S. and heard all the unofficial remixes of his Timbaland-produced hit "Ice Box," the first single from his new album, 21.
Busta Rhymes and Jim Jones threw unsolicited verses on separate versions of the record. Even radio station Hot 97 got in the mix, making its own parody of the record in which one of the morning-show hosts sings, "I have an ice pick where my heart used to be."
But O recently revealed his trump card during a trip to the city. He debuted his official remix of the track, which features Usher.
"I'm really excited about [it]," O said of the reworking. "I've never done a lot of collaborations. Truthfully, artists most of the time are so busy, they never get a chance to get in the studio and be personal with a record. Myself and [Usher], we very much had a lot of creative control with each other, like, 'What do you think about this?' It wasn't like I sent him the record — he did it, and I put my part on it. This was a real collaboration. When people hear it, I hope they like it.
"When you have respect for someone, that's all that matters," he added. "I respect this artist so much and he respects me. When you think about the industry, you think about people competing. You don't think about people getting together like, 'Let's do a record. Why not?' Especially R&B. That's why I say it's big, it's so big. [Usher] is very special to me, very special to the industry."
On the "Ice Box" remix, Usher gives Omarion some brotherly advice — maybe O shouldn't act so jaded in his new relationship. "We get more in-depth with the story," O explained of the remix. "Instead of blaming [an ex-girlfriend's infidelity on her], maybe it's me."
Omarion is trying to figure out what his next move will be after "Ice Box." He's torn between two singles from 21 (see "Boy To Man: Omarion Grows Up On The 'Personal' 21").
"I'm hearing a lot of people like 'Midnight,' " he offered. "A personal favorite of mine is 'Beg for It,' that's another one Timbaland did. So maybe 'Midnight' is next. I don't know."
Omarion still has the films "Somebody Help Me" and "Reggaetón" hopefully coming out this year, and he's also opening a string of dance studios across the country.