Too be young, famous, and have the world as your oyster can undoubtedly be a recipe for disaster. However, with such humbling anchors called family rooting him to the ground, it’s no wonder why this gentleman has not drift off into the sea of chaos. Keeping his success afloat by a series of hits such as “They Don’t Know and ” Bitches Be Like” there’s nothing but smooth sailing for this Grammy nominated songwriter. However chartering into new territories of steering a record label , all eyes are on the new captain as he charges full speed ahead.
Love was born in the birthplace of Jazz, also know as New Orleans. Infamously referenced for it southern cuisine, festival celebrations, and soulful music, Its not a surprise that these cultural influences were sure to follow him. With his parents divorcing early in his youth, Rico was force to split his childhood between households. Predominately staying with his mother in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, he later would spend his summers in Harlem, NY with father. Adjusting to this routine of now being separately Co-Parented, it built character for the young poet. “I definitely learned courtesy and humbleness from my parents and ultimately how to be a professional which i feel like a lot of the guys in the industry lack”, said Rico. As our brief conversation took place over the phone during his rehearsals, he greeted me with a warm welcome. He kindly asked his band to quite down so that we could hear each other, Also practiced patience during our dropped phone-calls. He even thanked me for having him and gave encouraging words to continue my dreams. In awe of his down to earth demeanor, It was the first time I witnessed actual values being used by an artist instead of listening to the same fake “moral” speech coached by their publicist. As I’ve shown my respect for Rico’s work by being a loyal consumer in this era of illegally downloading, my respect for him simply as a man is far more greater.
With so many life lessons from his young adult life, the use poetry quickly became his primary outlet.. often encouraged by his mother to write poems, his method of self expression would soon be the same tools that introduced him to writing raps. Covered in words of amour, the then aspiring rapper stayed on the battlefields of Florida A&M University verbally sparring in any cypher possible. “Actually most people don’t know this about me but I started off as a rapper. I was rapping way before I even began singing or writing for other people”. Although, love wasn’t the immediate breakout star he hoped to be yet, his talent helped him meet and work with artist such as Jagged Edge, and Usher. Impressed by a rap featured on one of usher’s remixes, and a few writing contributions to the 10x Platinum selling album “confession”, Rico later signed with US Records/ J records. Fast forward years later and the humble hit-maker has built a catalogue so undeniable that it has lead him numerous Grammy and billboard awards or nominations.
As his latest single “They don’t know” repeats radio stations everywhere its befitting that he finally tells us. For instance, with so many songs written over the years which one best reflects you as an artist? I asked curiously. “I think there all apart of me. Usually most of my songs are ballad driven. If you turn on a Usher song you can hear my influences. If you listen to a Diddy Dirty Money song like ” Hello Good Morning or Melanie Fiona’s “4am” You can still feel my vibe” he says proudly. He passionately continues to explain, ” I did a song for Beyonce called “sweet dream”. I would never do a song at the tempo but the energy and the arraignments are the things i would do for myself.
As Rico is used to playing privately in the shade, he finally takes a step into the sunlight and revealing his biggest triumphs and disappointing failures. ” I think the biggest triumphs for me has been being nominated for a Grammy, having the chance to perform at Madison Square Garden, gaining the respect of my peers and the people Ive looked up to like over the years like diddy and pharrell Williams. As far a failures go, I don’t really look at anything as a failure but as a lesson. I mean, of course there are songs that I feel should have been bigger hits that weren’t but I don’t focus on those things as failures.
With failing being considered to be a fictional thing in Rico’s life, there was no fear with taking the next step forward and beginning his own record label. While all hands on deck like Interscope Records and the support of Jim Jonsin, artist such as tierra Thomas and r&b artist are the two driving forces to making this ship sale in the right direction. With the Division One’s flag dancing in the wind making their presence known, love explains why he only has two artist. “I don’t wanna sign 50 people and overwhelm myself. My focus right now is myself and Tiara Thomas project”. I also have a R&B artist by the name of MJ who’s in the ” They don’t know video” who will be out later but these two are who I’m putting my focus on.
As his current concentration on his new EP titled “Discrete Luxury” he explains what we can expect from the project. “I think musically its challenging and thought provoking. I feel like we hear too much of the same thing when there’s so many ways to approach a subject matter. There’s so many angels we could use to talk elements of success, love, relationships, so you’ll will definitely hear the attention to details and I can’t wait for the people to hear it. Riding the waves of excitement surrounding the highly anticipated release, there are no plans of pulling up to the dock anytime soon.