In anticipation of his next full-length, "Love IV MMXII," R&B mastermind The-Dream released the video for its first single, "Roc," on Thursday (Feb. 23). A lightweight romp through a house party and arcade outing, the clip suits the singer's sensual single, which hits iTunes on March 6 after being released online earlier this year.
"It was really natural," The-Dream tells Billboard.com of the Miami video shoot. "I just wanted to have fun and go back to those 90s videos where it's always like you got the camera for the first time. Like, 'Oh shit! Let's just shoot this shit! Let's see what happens!'
"We had a house down there for one part of it, and another part, it was this theatre that has all these old games, like the ones that you would probably know from childhood," he continues. "We were walking in there just to go to a movie, and I was like, 'Hold up… oh shit! This is old school! This is like Six Flags!'"
"Love IV MMXII" was originally slated to come out in late 2011, but following some disputes with Def Jam (which have since been quelled), the project was pushed back and The-Dream instead released an "Internet album," the wrenching breakup record "1977," in late August. The-Dream (real name: Terius Nash) says that he hopes to see "Love IV" hit shelves by Memorial Day, and that the album will blend the soul-baring subject matter of "1977" with the sumptuous fare of his "Love" series.
"I found a way to put them both together," The-Dream says of his two lyrical stylings. "I'm a vulnerable guy, which is always been there, you know? Like, most of the time I put myself in positions where I am vulnerable, because I don't think you're living unless you do." He adds that the process of putting the follow-up to 2010's "Love King" together has been "great," and that the song ideas keep coming. "I'm always finished every week until I add another song," he says with a laugh. "I have so many songs, I have to think about where to put songs. The album 'Love IV' itself in its entirety is really great. I've lived with it for a long time, and it doesn't get on my nerves yet, which is a great sign."
In the meantime, The-Dream will embark on his Kill The Lights tour, a three-week trek that kicks off on March 7 in Greensboro, N.C. celebrating the "Roc" single release. The name of the tour was inspired by a song of the same name that will appear on "Love IV," and may get spun off into its own entity. "We came up with the name of the tour, and then immediately after that, I said, 'I'm gonna write a song called "Kill The Lights" so it goes with the tour,'" he says. "That turned into three other songs, and now I have a 'Kill the Lights' CD that may come out. So it was like, 'Oh my God!' I just keep putting myself in these predicaments."
The singer is also staying busy as a producer and writer, after helming multiple tracks off Beyonce's "4" and Rihanna's "Birthday Cake" remix with Chris Brown. The-Dream says that he is involved on eight songs from Pusha T's forthcoming solo debut, and has been hands-on in helping R&B singer Casha launch her career. "I haven't heard something like her in a minute, so I'm really looking forward to watching her do her thing," he says of Casha, who appeared on his "1977" album.
Here are the dates for The-Dream's Kill The Lights Tour:
March 7: Greensboro, NC (Greene Street Club)
March 8: Charlotte, NC (Amos Southend)
March 9: Wilmington, NC (The Soapbox)
March 11-12: New York, NY (SOB's)
March 13: New Haven, CT (Toad's Place)
March 14: Providence, RI (Lupo's)
March 15: Austin, TX (SXSW)
March 16: Austin, TX (SXSW)
March 16: Boston, MA (Wilber Theatre)
March 17: Washington, DC (The Fillmore)
March 18: Baltimore, MD (Soundstage)
March 20: Philadelphia, PA (Theatre of Living Arts)
March 21: Cleveland, OH (House of Blues)
March 22: Cincinnati, OH (Bogart's)
March 23: Detroit, MI (Masonic Temple)
March 24: Chicago, IL (House of Blues)
March 28: New Orleans, LA (House of Blues)