Jacquees talks “King of R&B” title, black leaders he admires, making his own black history and more
For Black History Month, REVOLT caught up with Jacquees during his Los Angeles stop at The Wiltern to discuss his career, Kobe Bryant, black excellence, and more. Peep the conversation here! #BHMX
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Jacquees is the self-proclaimed “King of R&B.” While this topic sparked much debate; the Decatur, Georgia native not only demanded the throne, but proves he can actually sing, providing romantic ballads for you and your partner to bask in.
While those who only found out about him via the ‘King of R&B’ talk may assume he’s a new artist, it’s actually quite the contrary. Real name Rodriquez Jacquees Broadnax has been making music since the young age of 12 and in high school, he told his mom he was going to drop out of college to pursue music. With over 10 mixtapes and two studio albums under his belt, Jacquees didn’t just talk the talk, he walked the walk.
From Youtube covers to headlining his own ‘King of R&B Tour’ — the self-given title is also the name of his last album — in 2020, the “B.E.D” artist has not let his foot off the gas pedal in the slightest. The work he puts in equals the output, which is high quality R&B records for audiences all across the world. Plus with Birdman watching over him at Cash Money Records, it seems there’s no room for failure.
REVOLT caught up with Jacquees during his Los Angeles stop at The Wiltern to discuss his career, black excellence, and much more. Peep the conversation below!
How’s tour been?
Yeah, it’s been lit. My favorite city so far has been San Francisco. It was the energy and the venue. It was my first time at The Masonic. It holds a lot of people. It was lit, that was a good time. A couple players from the 49ers came [and] gave me an autographed jersey.
I saw your post about Kobe Bryant. How does it feel to be in Los Angeles now?
It’s depressing. I’ve been looking at it all day, ever since I woke up because that’s the first thing I heard this morning. I’ve just been looking at it like damn. Last night, we were talking about Kobe. We were talking at the show saying, ‘LeBron’s supposed to come. LeBron might come to the show.’ I heard somebody say ‘it’d be dope if Kobe came too.’ I said, ‘That would be crazy.’
This morning, my bro’s like, ‘Lebron definitely ain’t coming to the show now, Kobe just died.’ I said, ‘What?’ It’s crazy. Even the weather out here is gloomy today, it’s always sunny in L.A. This is the first time I’ve been here and the weather’s been like this. Even the energy, I haven’t never seen people walking on the streets. I usually see a lot of people riding bikes and smoking — high energy. It feels like somebody left today. It’s crazy that we have the show here the same day. On the front of the venue, it says ‘Jacquees: King of R&B Tour. Rest In Peace Kobe Bryant.’ I seen the man put it up.
We lost a lot of people last year. What do you make of that?
It seems like stuff always happens right around the Grammys. A cloud always comes around near the Grammys.
With Black History Month here, what does black excellence mean to you?
Black excellence means everything to me. The light should be shined more on black people and the things we’ve accomplished. Even when I was in school, we only learned about black people in one month of the whole year and that was February. It should be taught a lot more in schools.
But, we have so many black leaders. Where do I even start? So many. Everything we use in life today was created by a black person. From technology to hair products, everything came from a black man or black woman. It’s real important that we acknowledge that and people know where these things came from.
Who are some black figures you looked up to?
Martin Luther King definitely, then I started liking Malcolm X when I got older because I started understanding the difference between them.
What would you say the main difference is?
Martin Luther King was non-violent and Malcolm X would whoop your ass. He still wasn’t on the bullshit for real, but he would fight back. They’re definitely two leaders that I looked up to ‘til this day because it made me want to dream. Martin Luther King had his ‘I Have A Dream Speech.’ We used to always look at him even outside of Black History Month. The dream kind of made me a dreamer.
What were you dreaming?
To be here. I always dreamed to be in the position I’m in today. I have ‘dreamer’ tatted on me. That was one of my first tattoos. I’m still a dreamer. I’m still dreaming of things I want to do. I’ve been having a lot of dreams lately, too, in my sleep.
Why are celebrating black icons so important?
Because it’s the start. They’re the creators. It’s important to know where it came from. It’s just dope it came from a black person. Black power!
What black history are you making?
I’m definitely making black history. I will be remembered as the ‘King of R&B.’
You’ve done your due justice making that known: the album title, the tour, just saying it out loud.
That’s what it is. I’m going down in the book as the ‘King of R&B’ because when the conversation comes up, I’m going to be talked about. Black history.
Who was your King of R&B growing up?
Michael Jackson, definitely.
What’s your favorite MJ song?
I got a couple. Which version of MJ? My all-time favorite is ‘I Want You Back,’ but that’s a Jackson 5 song. Michael Jackson by himself? What’s the video he had Magic Johnson in? ‘Remember The Time.’
I was bumping your Christmas In Decatur album last night.
Oh yeah, I forgot about that album. I do a lot of music.
What’s winter like there?
Christmas in Decatur, I gave you a visual. It’s a good time. People celebrate with their families, eating, opening gifts. Spending time just playing cards. Your uncle out there drinking beer, getting drunk. Telling jokes. It’s family time for real. It’s just a good time, a memorable time. It’s a whole vibe.
Christmas for the weekend, not just one day. The family stays for the whole week. If Christmas lands on a Friday, it’s Christmas ‘til New Year’s. ‘Til everybody has to go back to work. Christmas in Decatur is always lit. Even though I don’t live in Decatur no more, our Christmases still feel like Christmas in Decatur. That’s just how we came up… even if I move to L.A., it’ll still feels like Christmas In Decatur.
You trying to move to L.A.?
I’m thinking about it this year.
What’s the main reason you’d move out here?
Just to take over. Take over L.A. and to spread out. I got my label situation, too. I know there’s a lot of business out here with music. It’ll be a good look for me and my [FYB] label.
What’s FYB stand for?
Fresh Young Boys, Forever Your Brother. I got six artists and an R&B group with three members: Bluff City (Keem, Tevante, Drank). It’s DeeQuincy Gates, FYB Tevin, DC Davinci, Boaki, C Trillionaire, and Issa.
Are these your day one homies?
Yeah, definitely. And Nash B, my producer. He did ‘So Cold’ off my last project.
What’s your favorite song to perform?
For now off the tour, I like to come out to the intro ‘New New.’ I like performing ‘Risk It All’ and I like ‘Round II.’ We got some dope dancers. I like performing ‘Hot For Me.’ I like performing pretty much everything. I love my set. We put a good show together. My team, they did a good job.
What can we expect next? How do you top King of R&B?
My next project will be Mood 2. It’s a sequel to one of my mixtapes I dropped in 2016.
A lot of shit. Me and Nash B are finna start working. It’s not a rushed thing. I got other music that’s going to drop with me on it. My group project is about to drop. We just dropped a single called ‘Safe’ with TK Kravitz. Me and TK, we got our ‘Ocean’ record that popped off. It went platinum.
How involved is Birdman with your music-making process?
As far as my process goes, I wouldn’t say he’s really involved because I’m my own creator. But, when it comes to me finishing the project, I always get his opinion before I drop. I always let him listen to the music, see what he thinks about the project. See if he likes it. Sometimes, I’ll ask him to put in order for me. He put Mood the order. I remember we sat in a hotel in Vegas and put all the songs in order from No. 1 to No. 16.
What are some goals for yourself at this point in your career?
I want some awards and accolades like a Grammy. I’ve only been nominated for one award in my whole career: the iHeartRadio Awards. Never been nominated for nothing else, but I know I have the work ethic to get everything that I deserve. I’m not the type of artist to put myself down for the things I don’t have in life. An award doesn’t represent what I mean to the world. I’m a part of people’s life. People got memories. They can say, ‘Remember we did this when that Jacquees song dropped?’ I’m cool. I pray to God that I get it. If I never get it, I’m not going to be like, ‘The next n*gga better than me because he got all that.’
Anything else you want to let us know?
FYB album on the way. Coming soon!
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