It’s been one year since Ray J, Sammie, Bobby V, and Pleasure P took the stage in a Verzuz opening show like no other. But viral memes and cultural classics weren’t the only results of that performance. RSVP was also born on this day.
The way Ray J describes their collective is a “man-band” and the “only group that’s solo artists in a group.” They all credit Bobby V with the name–an acronym highlighting the stage names that put them each on the R&B map.
RELATED: Ray J, Sammie, Bobby V And Pleasure P Hit Rehearsal For Their Very First Photoshoot As Their New Group RSVP
Sammie describes himself and Bobby as the chill, laid-back, and out-the-way members of RSVP. With Ray J, “what you see is what you get,” and Pleasure P “doesn’t make things difficult” and keeps the party going!
One thing is clear when RSVP joins TheShadeRoom.com’s Editor, Cassandra Santiago, in a virtual interview, these R&B icons are brothers who believe RSVP is meant to be.
“I’m learning in this group that it’s not supposed to be structured, it’s not supposed to be one plus one is two. We were created and put together off of dysfunction, and for some reason, it seems to work for us,” Sammie tells TSR.
In the months after the hit-for-hit battle, RSVP worked on their debut album. They spent August and September locked in and laying the tracks. But their debut single, “Money Everywhere,” didn’t premiere until December.
RSVP’s Debut Album Is Completed & “Mr. Nasty Time” Is Their Official Second Single (Exclusive Listen)
And the album–though completed and highly anticipated by supporters–still hasn’t been released. But the group assures TSR that the project is coming THIS summer. According to Sammie, what fans can expect is “everlasting music.”
“We just gotta put out the music for real, for real. ‘Money Everywhere’ was just..a teaser. We wanted something sexy, we wanted something bold cause that’s what the group is. But as far as the records that we created on the album, we got something for everybody,” Sammie added. “We got love music, we got sex music, we got island music, we have a cross-over record, we have a summertime smash with Hitmaka. So, it’s just about putting the music out and letting everything build around that. Our star power been getting [us] over, which I appreciate cause everything we’ve done has been lit because they come to see us together, but once we put the music out, it’s gon really put into perspective that as a group, as a collective we’re amazing.”
So what’s been holding them back? Bobby V tells TSR it’s a combination of establishing some structure and handling the business side of the music.
“We were kinda just running wild in November and as time has progressed we’re just getting that structure,” Bobby said. “Really in the music business that’s really the business of music. We’re just trying to make sure we handle the business.” He added, “We really have a dope first album. I’m so ready to drop this album, but I know we need to drop more music to show people that we’re really serious. We are serious, we have a good time when we’re together. We talk sh*t to each other, and we play around a lot, but we do have a dope album that P kinda orchestrated.”
As for surprises on the project, Pleasure P says they have an Afro-beats single called “Rock The Boat” that’s “unexpected from what [supporters] normally knew us for.”
Until then, the group exclusively shared a snippet of their second single, “Mr. Nasty Time” with The Shade Room–another sexy record serving raunchy, 90s/2000s vibes.
Get the exclusive first listen at the top of this article.
RSVP Revitalized Their Group Energy After i Love RnB Festival Performance
When asked about their studio sessions, Ray J, Sammie, Bobby V, and Pleasure P all say that’s the “easy part.”
Our interview is chaotic in the best way—-filled with light jabs about Bobby’s love for his piano, laughs at Pleasure P’s matchmaking persistence, and Ray J flashing his horses before dropping off early.
Bobby tells TSR’s Cassandra that the interview reflects how RSVP carries on in the studio–“a lot of talking and bullsh*tting.” Then, Ray J quickly clarifies they might be “uncut” and “all over the place” at times, but their arrangement is structured imperfection. The energy, they say, “is just different.”
The group members were reminded of their different vibe when they performed at i Love RnB Festival in late May. After months of scattered dedication to their man-group, the festival reignited the spark that brought them together one year ago.
Bobby V said:
“It’s exciting, I quit the group every other day, but when we did the i Love RnB Festival and we went out and we all just kilt it and we just had a good time. Because we’ve done hostings and stuff together where we were just in the club, just kicking it and just kinda doing songs. But when we actually did the show a couple weeks ago at the i Love RnB fest I think it kinda really revitalized all of us and it really kinda give us all the vision again that this is something that’s big and something that can be done at a high level. I feel like it can be bigger than anything else. I feel like the sky is the limit so I’m excited about it.”
According to Ray J, minutes before they took the festival stage, they were two members down (Sammie and Bobby) with no rehearsal time logged.
Pleasure P suggested they make the stage their party and so collectively they did. And performance ATE–surprising and re-focusing the group.
“…I think what all surprised us really was this i Love RnB Festival where we never had rehearsal yet, and we were like 5 minutes from going on stage. We still didn’t know who was going to go on first, or second, or third. We never rehearsed the songs, didn’t know what we was gon do. And we just decided to go out there and do all the songs together as one group…it just became like this event, like this party,” Ray J. He added, “It gave us the energy to get back out there and really like shut it down. I felt like we saw a new vision once we all got on stage and sang together. [i Love RnB Festival] was really our start like coming back together.”
RSVP Is Here NOW For The Culture & Brotherhood, Despite What Critics Say
In RSVP, there are no leaders. Role-players, sure. But overall, the men agree that they’re equal partners. They’re past phase one, which included balancing their soloist career experience with their group experience, and unto phase two of putting out music.
Why NOW? For fun, the culture, brotherhood, and state of R&B. Make boy bands cool again? Yup, that too.
“We doing it for the culture too. I feel like R&B dies, and really R&B in general, we don’t collaborate, we don’t kick it, we don’t hang out with each other” Bobby V said. “So we trying to really just kinda like set the tone and change the view of R&B. See rap is so big and popping because all the guys mess with each other. They pull up on each other at the studio, they go hang out. R&B guys act like ‘Oh I’m bigger than him, oh I’m better than him.”
“I’ve been a soloist my whole career so when I’m with those guys I get to tap into a different side of myself that I didn’t know I even embodied until Verzuz. These are all my brothers. I have a genuine love and respect for them individually…We do have the opportunity to bring back the boy band or the man band and make it cool again. We’re superstars by ourselves, but together we’re like an avengers R&B group. So I have fun though, that’s why I said yes cause I actually genuinely love [these] guys. I admire them, look up to them as brothers. For me, it’s about the fun aspect of it. In this music business, it’s easy to lose fun because there’s so many different obstacles and barriers you have to overcome. With RSVP, you just show up and have fun and I appreciate that at this stage in my life.”
If you’re wondering what’s different about Ray J, Sammie, Bobby V, and Pleasure P this time around, they’ll agree that it’s next to nothing. They already have the fans, the talent, and the experience. So RSVP is all of theirs combined and “on steroids,” Sammie says.
“It’s not more so different, it’s just magnified. You have the greatness that Pleasure brings, the greatness that Bob brings, the greatness that I am, the greatness that Ray J, and you’re putting that into one lil gumbo. It’s really like amazing music. I think that’s why the album came out so dope, so effortlessly is because individually, we’re ready to perform, ready to sing live, ready to write our music and write our verses and bring our sauce, and that’s basically the concoction of RSVP. So I wouldn’t say that it’s different, it’s just on steroids. Us together, there’s a different synergy, different energy, different magnetic force that we can’t explain, nor did we plan. That’s just want happens when the four of us come together.”
Meanwhile, Bobby V said they’re bringing back “real R&B like the 90s, 2000s R&B” rather than trying to keep up with today’s rap influences on their genre.
And RSVP isn’t worried about the critics, including those with “old head” comments. Pleasure P says they’re focused on who loves them.
“For me I just care about the people that care about me and us and what we’ve accomplished. There’s so many people that try to take it away from us, call us old heads and all kinds of things, and we’re still young. And we got our own thing, and we ran a whole era, and we’re still out here doing what we love. We’re blessed to be here.”