November 04, 2015


Most people know 50 Cent as hip-hop’s bully, but to Rotimi, he’s certainly more friend than foe. The 26-year-old singer signed a deal with Fif’s G-Unit Records & works closely with the rapper on his hit Starz drama Power, where he plays a wild card named Dre. At the moment, Rotimi’s talent is taking him to the big screen, small screen and everywhere in between, but he’s extremely focused on pushing his music career to new heights.

If his single “Lotto” is any indication, Rotimi’s got a good thing going on. The track is the kind of R&B that gets your fingers snapping & shoulders grooving, plus it’s a familiar message: the moment you feel like the luckiest guy (or girl) when you’ve met that special someone. “I know you catching the vibe / Tell by the look in your eye, girl you know I / We gon’ get active tonight / I hit the jackpot tonight,” he sings. 50 even joins the rising crooner on the effort.

So how did Rotimi manage to score a deal with G-Unit? Well, he wasn’t like those other guys; you know, the kind that Fif is bombarded with on set and on the street, begging him to listen to their demo. The New Jersey native steered clear of telling 50 Cent about his musical gift while shooting scenes for season two of Power. “I got Power on my own through my agent and my team. I didn’t know 50 until I got on the show. Because my character is so close to his, we spent a lot of time as friends. But even in that, I didn’t really bring up music to him because I saw how everybody else was bringing up music to him. Like extras or people on the streets.”

It wasn’t until G-Unit Records A&R Tony G. welcomed Rotimi, born Olurotimi Akinosho, up to the office in New York City to have a meeting about his music career that the Get Rich or Die Tryin’ creator got wind of his search for a label home. That’s when he heard “Lotto,” a song Rotimi had already recorded, and the rest is history.

Since 50 Cent and Rotimi’s Power characters spent a good amount of time together on set, the two naturally built a friendship when the cameras were off. With more than 15 years in the music business, the Queens MC serves as a trustworthy mentor. More times than not, the singer has gone to Fif for advice.

“Being a growing entertainer, period, you’re going to always have struggles. I’m still trying to learn how to even perform right onstage. Or I’m still trying to learn how to execute a scene in maybe three and not five takes and I’m a perfectionist when it comes to it,” he reveals. “It’s always a challenge. I feel like just hard work — not to sound cliche — really hard work and spending time on your craft it becomes easier and easier.” Since he’s moving on to season three of Power and hitting the studio on the regular, it’s paying off.

Rotimi looks to a few R&B greats for inspiration to keep him going. Carl Thomas, Boyz II Men (they taught him how to harmonize) and R. Kelly (“I’m Your Angel,” his 1998 collaboration with Celine Dion, is one of his favorites), to name a few. Then there’s Bob Marley. The crooner’s father, one of the reggae legend’s biggest fans, put him on to his work, specifically “This Train.” The song’s lyrics are more than just something he identifies with; he has the music composition tattooed on his body. That’s how you know it’s real.

With a solid music and acting career on his plate, what else could possibly be missing? Mrs. Right. “At this point in my life I’m just really trying to see what type of woman I like. You’re put on this platform where you see beauty every day and you kinda get numb to it,” he admits. “So then it’s like, what else do you have? You really can’t hold a conversation? Next.”
Ladies, take note.