If you follow the gossip blogs that dig into personal lives of celebrities, you may be familiar with the dating rumors regarding Romeo Miller.
Given the “Growing Up Hip Hop" star's romantic life has been on high alert in the social media universe, it’s no surprise that season two of the WE tv reality show keyed right into the recent murmurs about his dating life and the surprise engagement and pregnancy of Angela Simmons.
Besides giving major eye candy this season, Romeo admits that watching the scenarios of his personal life play out on TV can at times be awkward, but that it's an opportunity for fans to get a firsthand account of his story and life experiences.
"I wanted to open up more because a lot of my personal stuff started just getting out there and told from people who didn't know what they’re talking about," Miller told NBCBLK. "So with that being said, I wanted to open up and show people the truth and even show people the more vulnerable side of my family."
The son of multi-platinum selling hip-hop mogul and business magnate Master P, Romeo has been busy building his own legacy through projects including a film project and new music - all while juggling his role as Gram on Season 3 of Fox's hit TV show "Empire."
During a chat with NBCBLK, the artist and actor, and descendant of hip-hop royalty, shared wisdom from his upbringing in the business, discussed his latest projects and weighed in Solange's new album.
NBCBLK: We get a lot more of your personal life with this show - especially in the first episode this season. It was focused on the story of Angela Simmons being engaged. Was your reaction really authentic and how do you handle being in the limelight when it comes to your personal relationships?
Romeo: Well the thing with reality TV is that you never know what’s going to happen. Whatever is filming, it has to be authentic because [there's] no script. It goes with whatever happens that day. I work 24/7 and these cameras [are] able to capture some of my personal life and it’s like it’s very entertaining.
The cool thing about this season - all these kids are chasing their dreams and want to do the right thing. At the same time, nobody’s perfect and that’s what I really like. You get to catch us in these moments [that] so many people could relate to. So for me, I’m a fan of this season because I was just like, this season, Imma be vulnerable and whatever happens, happens and we’ll just shoot it out into the world.
Was watching that particular episode uncomfortable for you?
Um, I guess so. Yeah. You know, I watched some of the episodes and it’s not easy to watch - but it’s great TV. You learn something from actually watching our show. Just like Egypt’s story where she’s in high school and she wants to chase her dreams and focus on her career and not college right now. She’s got this boyfriend who she cares for, but at the same time, she knows he’s not right.
It’s so much in this season that relates to kids all across the world - kids, adults, everybody to where we watch this and at the end of each episode, you’ll even learn something about yourself.
Just curious, because obviously, your name is Romeo - what are you like in relationships?
I think my name speaks for itself. Like honestly, people call me a real-life Romeo. Like for real. I have four sisters so I truly appreciate women... so when I’m in a relationship, it’s weird because it’s like a marriage - not a relationship. I do everything I can for that person whether it's helping this person with their life [or] helping this person with a business.
Imma be that person you can always depend on. That’s just the hardest thing for me. What I learned from my past relationships is that I give so much... I have to find someone who can give some of that back to me. I always had this fairy tale vision of how I envision love and everything and I’m still a hopeless romantic.
Ok, on a more serious note, you put your career on hold to go to college. How did that help you coming out of college to navigate the business world?
Going to college prepared me for life. It made me grow up. It helped me become the man I am today. You know, I had to sacrifice my career, and at that time, for me it wasn’t a sacrifice. It was the right decision. Going to college - it’s a bubble of the real world and that's what a lot of child celebrities miss. You have to learn about yourself before you can truly be successful. Before you can truly know who you are, you have to fail. And not only fail, you have to be around other people who [are] going through similar struggles as you.
You mention your dad earlier in this conversation and you know he’s featured on Solange’s new album. What are your thoughts on the album and the content of it?
The one thing I tell you about Solange is that she’s always been a very passionate young woman. I remember just working with her and when she was in the studio and every time I see her, she always knew exactly what she wanted.
Solange always knew who she was and I think she’s an amazing role model for young women out there because she’s not a queen - she’s the king and that’s the beautiful thing about Solange. I only heard a few of her records, but even hearing the feedback and seeing how her album went to number one...and every time I’ve been with my dad, people [are] like congratulating him and just bowing their head to him...the impact it’s amazing. It shows the type of character that he has and I think that it’s kind of cool she allowed my dad to go on there and teach his story.
You’re also on Empire this season. What’s it like to work with that cast?
It was just an amazing experience off top just being a part of such talented individuals. As an actor, this is what people dream about. They’re very family orientated but everybody loves their work. They’re true professionals and that’s why people fell in love with Empire because it’s not just the TV show, you really feel like you’re watching a family.
This character Gram, he’s fun to play because he's kind of that Kanye West mixed with a little bit of Tupac where some people hate him but more people love him and I’m just excited to see his art grow on this show.
Last question, what advice would you give to young black entrepreneurs who are starting businesses now more than ever because of the climate of the economy and the job market?
Some of my keys to business - always know your competition. A lot of people always want to say well "Imma do it better than this person." "Imma do this times ten." But it’s like, how are you going to do that if you don’t know who you’re competing against?
So always study your competition and know who you’re competing right against. Also, never compare your success to another’s. You never know what someone had to go through to get there. You gotta always just do your best, work your ass off, work your hardest and know that in perfect timing, when that opportunity comes, you just have to be ready.
"Growing Up Hip Hop" airs Thursday nights at 9p ET/8p CT on WE tv.