Omarion Drops ‘Ollusion,’ Warns ‘Let the Best Man Win!’
Omarion may no longer be a member of Lil Wayne's Young Money imprint, but there's no way he's letting a shift in career direction stop him from claiming what he feels is his rightful throne. Today (Jan. 12) marks the release of 'Ollusion' -- the R&B singer's third solo effort and first release on his own label, Starworld Entertainment.
Omarion's initial attachment to Wayne's hard-rapping crew seemed like an odd pairing. We first met the 25-year-old as a fresh-faced teen heartthrob and lead singer of the boy group B2K, where he helped make sweaty bare chests and souped-up dance moves a prerequisite for successful R&B. Following his boy band days Omarion would collaborate with Bow Wow for the one-off, pop-rap album 'Face Off.' It was met with lukewarm response. In an effort to bounce back, Omarion began prepping 'Ollusion.' A week after announcing his allegiance with Young Money last August, the single 'I Get It In' leaked, which at the time featured Wayne. Rumors swirled that Omarion leaked the track and that the unofficial leak lead to his fall out with Young Money only a week later. O denies the claims.
"It had to do with Wayne being a captain and me being a captain, and in a car -- it's only one driver," Omarion told the BoomBox of his Young Money departure. "Because I've been successful as a solo artist, there are certain things that I need to operate. Wayne's ship runs a certain way that just really conflicted with his and my ideas. I still respect Wayne as a rapper, and everything that they're doing over there. I got a lot of love for those guys."
"You always want to wait for the right record and because I felt like I had the right record," he says, further elaborating on his departure from Young Money, "I didn't want sit on this record. I didn't want to give it the opportunity to be leaked, even though that ended up happening. People got used to all of my peers and I didn't want them to feel like they could forget about me -- almost like they forgot about Dre."
After a change of pace, O threw Gucci Mane on the verse in place of Wayne. "Gucci was not only one of my favorite rappers, [but he is] really fun to listen to. He's a hood classic, everybody loves Gucci right now."
Of the other tracks on 'Ollusion,' Omarion says he stepped up his vocal game, after being inspired by Michael Jackson. "I actually got a chance to meet and greet him a couple of years back. He was doing the 'You Rock My World' video and a mutual friend of ours invited me to the video shoot," he remembers. "I shook his hand and I was just super star struck!" So star struck that Omarion decided to dedicate the new album to the late King of Pop. And like Jackson, O knows growing up in the entertainment industry can have its downfalls, but has managed to stay on the straight and narrow thanks to "good morals" and "never overindulging in anything." But to his R&B competitors like Usher, Justin Timberlake and good friend Chris Brown he offers a playful warning: "Let the best man win!"