King of R&B

King of R&B

Calling yourself the “king of R&B” is an audacious move. It takes brass cojones to verbalize, let alone slapping it on the cover of an album. But for ATL R&B singer Jacquees, it’s not bragging if you can back it up. “I even had to tell my girl, ‘I ain't cocky. I'm just confident,’” Jacquees tells Apple Music. “I just think I could be number one. I'm not trying to hate on nobody or knock nobody else. I'm just telling you what I think I can do.” Jacquees steps up his game on his second album—called, of course, King of R&B—the follow-up to his well-received 2018 debut 4275. His old-school sensibility—the drawn-out notes, the buttery mid-range, a highly tuned rhythmic intuition—has contemporary knock, thanks to a production squad that includes $K, Nash B, Troy Taylor, Xeryus, and Young Trill Beats. The album kicks off with words from T.I., who made similar waves back in the day for proclaiming himself the “King of the South.” Additional guests like Lil Baby (“Your Peace”), Future (“What They Gone Do With Me”), Young Thug and Gunna (“Verify”), and Quavo and Bluff City (“All You Need”) show Jacquees is simpatico with moody hip-hop. He and fellow R&B great Tory Lanez have a fun tête-à-tête on “Risk It All.” King of R&B feels like Jacquees’ coronation, and he’s prepared for any blowback that comes with it. “I just had to step up,” he says. “You can only be humble for so long. LeBron James is my favorite player, but you know how everybody be like, ‘Man, LeBron ain't got no dog in him.’ I just had to bring the dog out of me.”

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