The temptation of junk food has Omarion cornered. As he gazes through the snack area inside the Times Square Billboard offices, his options are plentiful, but his eyes shift and begin to lock in on a bag of Oreos.
Rather than indulge on anything sugary or carb-heavy, the spry dancer opts to play it safe before settling on a cup of tea. I can't take no chances. Last year, O stitched together his brainchild, The Millennium Tour, featuring a bevy of acts from the s and headlined by his former group, B2K. Because of the tour's massive success, Omarion announced plans for The Millennium Tour last November, with him and his Face-Off collaborator Bow Wow headlining this year's festivities. It's gonna be exciting, man. While fans are clamoring for this year's lineup, which boasts the likes of Soulja Boy , Pretty Ricky , Ying Yang Twins , and the tour's "first lady" Ashanti , one glaring omission includes Omarion's bandmates of B2K.
Despite the fallout between O and his bandmates, he remained unbothered and carried on with the tour, making it one of the most successful runs of Now that The Millennium Tour has kicked off, Omarion hopes to keep his foot on the gas and notch another smooth victory among his diehard fans.
Billboard spoke to O on his decision to leave B2K behind, why Bow Wow's legacy deserves more respect and why he's still in love with the music business 20 years later. Looking back at your year career in entertainment, what would you consider to be your biggest achievement? I feel like this place that I'm at right now is a big personal achievement. Being in the industry at a really young age, you kind of pay for your lessons.
You don't want to pay for those again. The littest part is that I'm still here today. I'm still motivated by the importance of sharing. I think music is such a powerful thing. It's cool that I still feel inspired to share. I truly think that's what music is about. It's not about what you look like or what happened yesterday; it's truly about how the music speaks to you. Up until this moment right now, doing The Millennium 2 Tour, as a creative person, I'd say this is one of my biggest accomplishments.
To be able stand as an artist within your own right when a lot of people only have a hot two years [means something]. Twenty years is a long time to do anything. If you're doing something for 20 years, it's like, "What are you doing it for? So today, being able to produce The Millennium 2 Tour and have so many amazing artists from a particular time and era come out is an amazing thing.
What was the thought of process of not only duplicating the success of the first Millennium Tour, but beating it? I think it's always about being able to present something that connects with people. To be completely honest with you, doing the first Millennium Tour reestablished a relationship with my fans. When fans were coming up to us at the show and they were like, "Yo.
This is my girl. We're coming to the Millennium Tour. We haven't hung out in many years. She has kids, I have kids," [was dope].
Just to see all of the fans really be engaged on a level like that has really encouraged me to continue on. I don't think it's about topping your last; I think it's truly about just doing your best. That's what I continue to do throughout my career. It's been 15 years since me and Bow [Wow] did a tour. So to commemorate not only that, but him as being one of the first child prodigies in the game to open up the door for a lot of [artists] like myself. We gonna have a good, grown time. Why do you think Bow Wow is underappreciated for what he was able to do in music?
It's always difficult for child entertainers because they're growing up in front of the world. Bow was one of those kids -- just like myself -- and it's really, really hard for people to allow you to make mistakes. It's like you're publicly going through college.
Everybody has moments. It's really a matter of perspective. Bow Wow has really done a lot as a child entertainer. Like I said, he's opened the doors for a lot of kid stars. A lot of kids don't get the opportunity to transform and grow into an adult that people respect because it's like, "Oh, I've watched him grow up. So I'm going to treat him like a little brother forever. I got kids. There was a lot of pressure going into your joint album Face-Off with Bow Wow.
Is there anything you would change reflecting back on that project? Yes and no. I remember Bow got into a really big fight with Jermaine [Dupri] right before [the project]. We shifted gears on producers. I wished the process would have been [smoother] and we collected more records. I think when I was a kid, the game was different. Most of the time, we were working on the clock. There was always some strategy behind it. I make music completely different now. So I wouldn't take back how that was created, but I would just say if I would have had what I have now, which is the understanding of really cultivating albums and taking your time, [things would have been different].
There's just something special about taking your time. Anything that you take your time with is better, but I wouldn't change nothing. How would you compare your success with B2K versus your solo success? Do you box everything in one? It's one of the same. I just think there's something unique and special about the breakout stars in groups.
I think you're able to kind of connect differently with the audience when you're used to having that support. So I would say it's one of the same. I sung all those backgrounds and did all the vocals just the same as my solo albums. It's all the same. Switching gears: What made you decide to bring Ashanti along for the second tour?
Ashanti has some incredible songs and a lot of songs that people make great memories to. It felt right. They used to have these catalogs called NOW!
When everyone had the NOW! CDs, it had the multitude of hits. All the hits that were throughout the s. She got great songs. And I just wanted to bring in that feminine energy and add it to the pot. I think it's a great ingredient. Have you thought about adding more women to the tour, and if so who do you have in mind? I don't know if I'd make it s, but new age? I'd love to see Tinashe and Teyana [Taylor] before. Maybe even a Missy [Elliott]. I would want another songstress.
I would want H. When you announced the tour, you decided to not bring back B2K. What was your reasoning for that? Well, it was always a plan. It was always meant for us to do that tour. It was never in the plans for us to continue to proceed. Also, it was so successful.
The Millennium Tour is my baby. The concept, the production, everything about it. And for other obvious reasons. With you being that up, how were you able to block the noise of Fizz and Apryl and still perform during that tour?
I'm gonna say that I had practice.