Jacquees is the self-declared King of R&B, and he continues to flex his stature over and over again. Hailing from Decatur, Georgia, the singer-songwriter exploded onto the scene with his 2016 single “B.E.D.,” proving not only his vocal range but his ability to create bangers. Plus, when Birdman is backing you…you have to be doing something right.
Ahead of the 2021 Black Music Honors airing on Saturday, June 19th at 1pm EST on Bounce TV, Baller Alert caught up with Jacquees via Zoom, who was located in Miami knocking out some work. Read below as we discuss what it means to perform during this two-hour special, as well as present the Urban Icon Award for R&B legend Ginuwine.
The ceremony will be hosted by Emmy® Award-winning talk show host, comedian, and author Loni Love, with performances by Jacquees, Cece Winans, Montell Jordan, After 7, Syleena Johnson, Pleasure P, Stokley, Avery Sunshine, J. Moss, Q Parker, Bahamadia, Chrisette Michele, Jac Ross, Mumu Fresh, Kevin Ross, Theresa Tha Songbird, and Zacardi Cortez.
How’ve you been holding up with the pandemic and everything?
I’ve been staying busy for real. Recording, just staying active.
What does it mean to present Ginuwine with the Urban Icon Award?
That was everything to do something like that. I grew up on Ginuwine; he’s actually one of my favorite singers. For him to appreciate me for what I did, as far as honoring him, it was dope. He stood up, he was reacting crazy. To honor Ginuwine meant everything. Ginuwine’s a legend. Somebody I grew up on, listened to.
When I was coming up, before I had a record deal or anything, Ginuwine came to one of my shows in D.C. He came backstage and he told me, “man I don’t really know who you are yet, but my daughter loves your music. Man, I gotta take a picture with you.” A couple years later, I ended up signing the deal. Now I’m honoring bro at the Black Music Awards, so that’s a full-circle moment.
Do you remember the first time you heard Ginuwine or felt a connection to his music?
I was 3 years old when I heard “Pony.” My auntie always played music on the radio station and that song used to always come on. I knew it was that when I got older because I remembered the beat.
What did you like about “Pony?” What stood out to you?
I was a child so of course, I didn’t know nothing about the lyrics. It was the beat. The beat took me in.
Were you directly inspired by Ginuwine?
I was definitely inspired by Ginuwine. Ginuwine’s different, he can sing. Ginuwine came with the moves, the dance moves. I’ll never forget that video when he’s working in the store, then he goes outside and dances on the floor. That’s one of my favorite things, I used to always do that. Sliding around, gliding. If you’ve been to a couple of my shows, I come out sliding. Usher and Ginuwine used to do that.
What does it mean to perform at the Black Music Honors?
It lets me know that I’m in the right position. Whenever you get to perform on an award show, it’s always a big blessing. Especially for it to be the Black Music Awards, I feel like one day if I keep working hard, people will be honoring me.
Have you been back performing given Covid?
Yeah, I had my first concert last week. It was in Wichita, Kansas, doing my first performance since the whole pandemic. It felt crazy. The energy was crazy. It was crazy, that’s the feeling I missed. That’s what I was missing in my life. [laughs]
Favorite song to perform in set?
My favorite record to perform is actually “Come Thru,” because it’s a classic. We got the same dad (Birdman), we’ve known each other for a while. Everything’s on point, everybody loves the song. It just feels good.
Who have you been collabing with in the studio?
As far as the studio goes, I got a new single dropping June 4th. It’s called “Bed Friends” featuring Queen Naija. Be looking out for that.
Did y’all make that in Atlanta?
Yeah, I was working with my producers in the studio. It was one of those things where we came up with a girl record. It was huge, to the point we said “we need to put a female on it.” I hit up my little sister and she said “Que, you should put Queen Naija on it.” I called Queen Naija, she pulled up and did it right then. She came to the studio like a real one and knocked it out.
What was the vibe in the studio?
Queen’s cool. We’re two people that’s working hard, that’s on a mission. It was real dope to work with her because like I said, she can sing. Whenever you’re around somebody who can sing, they have the drive and passion for it, you always feel it. It always makes it easy to work with. Good attitude just wants to sing.
How was linking with Mulatto on “Freaky As Me?”
That was super dope. Mulatto’s dope, that’s the homie. It was easy to work with her, fun to work with her. We were overdue for a record, so we put that out. That was the first record we ever did together too.
Can we expect acting roles?
Yes. Big shout out to Nick Cannon, he gave me a scene at the end of She Ball. It’s a movie he got coming out with a lot of people in it.
He reached out to you?
I actually just pulled up on set. He said “Jacquees, get in the movie. I got an idea.” Nick’s a boss, so he did it like that.
How did it feel to be on set and in the movie?
It felt good, I always wanted to do some acting. This right here’s not really too much acting acting. I’m myself, so it’s dope to be there.
What’re you most excited about this year?
I’m most excited for the pandemic to end. Most definitely excited for everybody to get ready for my new album, Panties Thrown On Floor Volume 1. I can’t wait for people to get that.
Any features on the new project?
Chris Brown, we already dropped “Put In Work.” Who else on there? Mulatto. Queen Naija of course. I got a couple more too, 21 Savage.
Is he talking his shit on the R&B tip?
He’s going crazy. He’s going in, just spitting.