It has been nearly a month since Rico Love released his debut album, Turn The Lights On. He continues going strong with the album’s promotional campaign by chatting with ESSENCE.
In the candid interview, the 32-year-old artist talked about various topics including a lesson learned from Usher that has kept him going in the music business. “I was on tour with Usher back in 2004 with the Truth Tour with Usher and Kanye West and we had this show in Cincinnati. Worst show ever for Usher. Nobody would’ve known it was bad, the crowd didn’t know but we knew,” said Love. “After the show, we’re sitting on the bus, we always have pizza and laugh and stuff on the buses, but what we realized is 35 minutes go by and we’re not moving. An hour goes by and we’re not moving. Another hour and a half goes by and we’re not moving. So I get out and go back in the venue. The venue is supposed to be shut down—there’s a curfew on the venue. I go back in the venue, Usher’s on a treadmill, singing his whole show. After the [two-hour] show was over, he’s singing his whole show on a treadmill at 7.0 speed. I was like, “What are you doing?” He said, “I had a bad show. I need to make sure I’m on my sh-t. Everybody deserves the best show ever.” I was like 20 years old I remember seeing that and being like, “Ain’t no excuses.” You gotta want to be the best. If you don’t want to be the best, it ain’t good enough to have the attention. It’s not good enough just to be rich. It’s about giving your best every single night. I’ve had the most, utmost respect for him from that point forward.”
Love also gave his thoughts on why it’s difficult for male black artists to be transparent in their music. “Men, we deal with so many things but we think we are too macho to talk about it and that’s only in urban music. Ed Sheeran don’t have no problem talking about it… Nick Jonas don’t have no problem saying, “I still get jealous,” said Love. “It’s like when white people say it, “Great song.” When we say it, urban radio won’t even play it. I always give people this example. When I say, “I’m sick, she’s loving somebody else, I’m going through it,” they’ll say, “Oh, that’s soft.” But everybody who lives in the projects has been up at four in the morning and has heard the toughest dude you know next door banging on his girl door. “Open the door! I love you,” it’s the same thing. I just put it in a record. We reject that when a man says it like it’s the weakest thing in the world. Hundreds of thousands of years, civilizations have been destroyed, kingdoms have been destroyed, people have died, kingdoms have been blown up to smithereens over the love of a woman. But to us as Black people, it’s like, “man I ain’t about to be sweating her. I ain’t about to write no song about that.” I’m so comfortable in myself and who I am as a man I can put it on paper.”
Read the entire interview here.