Bobby Valentino does not need DTP!!! Now, don’t get me wrong. He’s very appreciative of the rewards that success under that house the Ludacris built has brought him. But Bobby V. is his own man. He brokered a deal to get his own label, Blu Kolla Dreams via EMI, and is poised to take the industry by storm.
Let’s not forget that Bobby V. has been in the industry longer than most his age, having found success in 1996 with Mista and their breakout single,
“Blackberry Molasses.” So, naturally he was ready to take the next step and learn the business side of artistry. “I feel like I was way beyond being just an artist,” he insists. “I was offered a situation where I could best apply my years as an artist. I am more than just a singer and a songwriter.”
“I am shooting a video for my new single, ‘Beep Beep’ featuring Yung Joc and I’m naming my album ‘The ReBirth,’ because this is like a new beginning for me,” explains the crooner. Bobby spoke a lot about faith and says you are most likely to find him in church (we attend the same church, so I can vouch for him).”I know that everything that is given to you can be taken away and that we are given these things to help others.”
***LISTEN TO “BEEP BEEP” featuring Yung Joc***
When you speak with him, you get the notion that Bobby V. feels that he still has something to prove. He could have stayed safe and played his position in the DTP clique and just drop albums when needed.
“This is a rap generation, this is a rap world. In order for radio to grab your single, you have to have a club banger.” When asked who he feels walks the line betwen hip hop and R&B well, “Usher comes off the top of my head. My hat goes off to anyone who is able to to that well.”
When business relationships end, sometimes they affect the personal side of things. Bobby V. revealed that the relationship with Ludacris has not really changed at all. “We never had a full-fledged personal relationship like that. I had a closer relationship with Chaka Zulu (president of Disturbing Tha Peace). I think our relationship is even better because he has more of a respect now that he sees what a businessman I am. I have a degree from Clark Atlanta University and I’ve been in this business since I was 13 years old. You have to go through a lot to get to appreicate what you love.” (read more below)
At EMI, Bobby V. promises that you will see more of him. “By me being at DTP, it was never about Bobby Valentino it was about Ludacris. I never really had the chance. There’s nothing wrong with that. With Blu Kolla Dreams, it’s gonna be about me until I stop. I want to teach the youth its more than about the music, it’s about the business.” He currently is looking at other artists to sign to the label but wants to focus on building a foundation there himself. When asked if balance issues could be come an issue as the artist and the businessman conflict, Bobby V. explains, “I have my right-hand man Courtney Stewart. He has always been there for me. I have him running the label and helping me with my career. He’s the co-CEO. I have my mom helping me too.”
Mr. Valentino seems to have a special bond with current rap king Lil Wayne – their partnership on wax began in 2005 on Bobby’s debut album (“Tell Me” Remix). When asked to consider the foundations of their chemistry, he explains. “We’re one in the same. Being in the studio, I learned a lot with this dude. I learned a lot about writing. He could have picked any r&b artist. You know? He could have picked anyone to be on his track (“Mrs. Officer”) He knows that I have something special in me that needs to be let out.”
Make sure you stay tuned to BE Magazine as we continue to follow this rising star as he drops his new album, The ReBirth in stores soon.