Ro James, the first artist signed to a major recording label to trust and allow me to put my cameras in his face for a shoot as a documentarian, just dropped his debut album Eldorado through RCA. It’s a smooth ride that shifts into several lanes, thoughts and feelings—alternative soul, Hip-Hop, lust, religion, guilt, regret—while staying tethered to R&B and releasing much weed smoke from its exhaust pipe.
The album ends with the title cut, which is my favorite on the set. It’s an unhappy conclusion, where he sings about riding around in his dream car without his dream girl. I have this weird thing about me that sometimes appreciates movies and stories that aren’t wrapped up in a pretty little bow when they’re finished. In this case, Eldorado leaves me looking forward to Ro’s next album. There, I’m assuming, we’ll learn if he gets a new car and cute company to sit shotgun.
Our shoot was about a year ago. I wanted to revisit i am: Ro James for y’all to get an idea of who Ro is and, as you listen to Eldorado, to see where he’s going.
I’m super happy for Ro. To be frank, he’s on a label that’s already stacked with R&B-based stars. Usher, Chris Brown, Miguel, D’Angelo and R. Kelly are all on RCA. Getting record execs to make you a priority while those guys are rocking is a feat in and of itself. Not only did he do that, but he put out a dope album and now he’s on tour with another iconic panty-catcher: Maxwell.
The way I see it, Ro’s tank is full. And he’s got plenty road ahead of him.
Ed note: The actual cover art for Eldorado looks like the image in that “GA$” YouTube clip up there. But I think my new shit is to mess around with art just to shake things up and beat the monotony of posting the exact images everyone else uses. No disrespect to the original photo. Sarah McColgan killed it. Just trying to switch things up.