Omarion Calls 'Sex Playlist' Album 'More Concept-Driven' Than Mixtapes

Matthew Welch

"It's a playlist for the lovers," the R&B star tells Billboard of his upcoming MMG debut.

While Rick Ross enjoys another No. 1 album debut on this week's Billboard 200 chart with "Mastermind," his Maybach Music Group cohort, R&B singer-songwriter Omarion, is readying his first full-length statement under Ross' hip-hop umbrella. "Sex Playlist" is tentatively due out in June, and the 29-year-old former teen star tells Billboard that the album will finally allow him to put his previous material, as the leader of B2K and as a solo artist, in the past.

"I'm in this really good place of self-discovery and self-knowledge," says Omarion. "I've had the bittersweet feeling of growing up in front of the public, so it's hard for them to allow me to grow up. But this album is a real maturation from my previous work."

Omarion shared the album's lead single "You Like It" last month, and has revealed that Eric Hudson and James Fauntleroy have contributed to the album, which follows his "Care Package" series of mixtapes. "It's more concept-driven," he says of "Sex Playlist." "It's not about just having a sex playlist, it's about having the right sex playlist, because you can't have sex without love… It's not just about the lustful idea of sex. It's a playlist for the lovers."

Omarion signed with Maybach Music Group in 2012, two years after his third solo album, "Ollusion," was released and failed to garner any significant traction in the R&B community. Ross' MMG label brought in Omarion as a singing presence, allowing him to work alongside Ross, Wale, Meek Mill and others on the company's "Self Made Vol. 2" and "Vol. 3" releases in 2012 and 2013, respectively.

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While Omarion professes his gratitude toward Ross and the rest of the MMG crew, he says that "Sex Playlist" might not be stuffed with appearances from his label mates.

"This album is all me," says Omarion. "We've been thinking about some features, and we're in the fourth quarter of changing up and maybe putting some of the family members on there, but this is so important to me. Although it's been some time since I've put out an album, I always put my best foot forward in my music. When people hear this album, people will say, 'Omarion, we know you're on MMG, but you're doing your own thing as well.'"


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