I think I can confidently speak for all of us when I say that everyone and their mama had a crush on Romeo Miller at some point in their life. I mean, did you see him? He was every young Black girl's dream - swag, perfect skin, adorable smile and hair that you just always wanted to play in. This is my inner child talking, by the way, not my grown-ass 24-year-old self. Let's just make it clear. Even though years later, the 31-year-old rapper is still showing admirers of yesteryear that there are a bevy of reasons he's considered eye candy.
From his days on The Romeo Show with his father Master P to executive producing WeTV's Growing Up Hip-Hop, we've watched this boy grow up into the spiritually guided, sensible, humble young man he is today. When I connected with Romeo over the phone, I had no idea that I was in for a therapy session of a lifetime. But before we could even get into any of the love, sex and faith talking points, I had to ask him about his latest venture as a host on Fox Soul's The Mix.
The cast of the live talk show, 'The Mix'
Courtesy of The Mix
"As a kid, I always wanted to use my entertainment platform to do something bigger. I was always reserved, but I came to life when the lights came on," Miller said as he reminisced back to his days as a child star. He was deemed as the Dr. Phil or Oprah Winfrey of the house because of his ability to give sound advice on love and spirituality due to having his younger years sped up while in the industry. Little did this natural introvert know that his family would be speaking his role as a talk show host into existence.
When showrunner Jill King reached out to Romeo after Tiny's show inception, he took it as a sign from God to pursue his purpose. "It's the beauty of God and not knowing where life will take you if you just try and live another day," he said to me. "If you're living, that's the greatest gift. You never know what could happen tomorrow. Some of your best days might be once you turn that chapter."
xoNecole had the chance to chop it up with the child star-turned-talk show host about his new gig on FOX Soul's The Mix, the importance of faith and a relationship with God if you're gonna be in a relationship with him, and the most important lessons he's learned about love .
xoNecole: Tell me about 'The Mix'. What has your experience been like thus far on the show?
Romeo Miller: This show is so cool! I did it because of the voices on the show. This is a host that's never been seen representing for young Black America. There's no talk show like that and I thought it was very important for this time if we're truly going to make a difference in this world. If we're all gonna be equal and bring that to light, you need a talk show like this. With Zonnique [Pullins], Anton [Peeples], Jamie [DuBose], and Jazz [Anderson], I think you get a little bit of everything. I call it "The Mix Gumbo"; this is the gumbo version of all the talk shows.
Why do you believe it’s so important for 'The Mix' to have Black Gen Z and millennial hosts? What viewpoints can our generation offer on topics like love, spirituality, social justice, and all that stuff?
Everybody deserves to be heard - it's that simple. As I get older, I see people look at me, but I don't have all the answers. The more time I'm given on Earth, I become wiser and at this point in my life, you're still seeing me grow, but the thing I know about my career is this second wave around, I want to make sure I'm doing everything in my power to empower and educate our people, and to make sure our people have a voice. Black comes in many shades, we come from A to Z, 1 through 10, and there are so many variations. That's what you see with us - there's so many different perspectives, but at the end of the day, we come from the same home and culture.
As a host who focuses mainly on love, relationships and spirituality, what do you think you can offer as a key piece of dating advice to your viewers?
Man, shorty, do you know who you're talking to? I told you they call me Dr. Romeo Phil. Whatever you need, I got you on the dating end! (laughs) I could talk to you all day about dating and love. My biggest key to finding happiness and that department is love is actually easy. If you truly think about love, you could love your parents, you could love your friends, you could love your dog, but when you find somebody that you love, that doesn't instantly mean that's your person.
I think that's where our generation gets it twisted. We're so attracted, we love this person and we jump to the conclusion that this is our person. I always tell people if you truly wanna be happy and wanna find something real, just go towards the people who show that they value you. Don't say that they value you, but show that they value you. Trust and value - that's something that will be ten times harder to find than love.
When we first got on the phone, you mentioned that you are a man of God. As a woman of God, I have to ask you this: how important is it for you to be with someone who is also a believer? Is that a non-negotiable for you?
Oh! Well, if you read the Bible, we're not supposed to judge and we're supposed to bring as many people to heaven that we can, right? The reality of it is, morally, there is a difference. I don't jump to somebody who doesn't believe, I don't mind being their friend, but morally, there's just a difference with somebody who doesn't believe in anything. Not saying they can't grow into finding that love for God, but I've always seen that it is harder for me to be romantically connected with that person because God plays such a big place in my heart and my life. It's no judgment, but sometimes some people have a higher calling. I have some friends who married people who didn't believe and once they found that person, that connection brought them closer to God.
I think it's different for everybody, but for me, I just want people to know that everybody's accepted. If God could accept all of us, who am I to be somebody to judge? I think we all find God at different times and that's your journey, but for me, knowing somebody who grew up with that foundation of God makes it easier for me to make that connection.
"It is harder for me to be romantically connected with that person because God plays such a big place in my heart and my life. It's no judgment, but sometimes some people have a higher calling."
Speaking of connection, you’re a public figure - I’m sure you make connections all the time and women wanna make connections with you, too. How difficult is it for you to find time to date when you’re in the public eye all the time?
This is the thing. I had this friend back in the day who told me, "Rome, you're never gonna find love because of who you are. You've been in the limelight as Lil' Romeo since you were a kid, so who's really there for you?" God put me in this position for a reason to where certain things would bother other people and it would never bother me. I'm very good at knowing who's for me and who's not. I'm not perfect and I think we've all dealt with people who weren't very deserving of our time, but you've got to live and learn. I think that's what prepares you for your person. You have to learn those lessons so you could be the best future husband or wife that you could be for your soulmate.
In my case, the whole COVID-19 pandemic actually helped me in my love life because I was able to FaceTime and actually talk to people who I never had time to talk to. That was the silver lining for me because I went through my entire life without realizing I was just going, going, going and working since I was 10 years old. I never took longer than three days off - ever. Finally having the time to talk to people and get to know them, it was a silver lining during this whole shutdown.
Courtesy of KAC Images PR
"I'm very good at knowing who's for me and who's not. I'm not perfect and I think we've all dealt with people who weren't very deserving of our time, but you've got to live and learn. I think that's what prepares you for your person. You have to learn those lessons so you could be the best future husband or wife that you could be for your soulmate."
Let’s take it back a bit to when you were a child star. You mentioned that you only had, at the most, three days off at a time. Do you believe it was easier for you to date when you were younger or now that you’re an adult?
When you look at this generation, a lot of our most successful people aren't the cool kids in high school who were chasing girls. They're the ones who were building, playing with the computers and trying to figure out how they can make the world a better place. That's how I was. I worked my butt off as a kid, I loved doing what I did, and it made me successful and famous in the world's eye. I never did anything for girls and at a young age, I used to spend my money on Pokemon cards and be with my friends playing basketball. It was never my focus to be cool because this girl has to like me. Maybe because I was a nice looking kid and I never had any problems in that department. Some would say their first crush was Lil' Romeo, so I never felt that pressure to go above and beyond to do something for a girl's attention. I had my first puppy love when I was probably 14, but I didn't get in my first relationship until college.
It was a lot easier when you liked a girl because all you had to do was give them a lollipop back in the day (laughs). Nowadays, as an adult, there's different levels. Some people want family and for some people, if you don't like their family, that can play a big part. You want to find someone who matches your hunger and passion for life. When you're a kid, you just like who you like and I think that's why kids are so amazing. Social media does make dating a lot harder in this time and age because a lot of people are lost in the comparison game and trying to keep up with other people.
I'm very private now and I've learned my lesson. I've been burned a few times by putting relationships out there and thinking you have to show it to the world, but now I'm at a point where if you really want to find something real, you have to live social media free. Why are you really getting to know this person? Are you getting to know them to show them off, or just so people think you're happy? Are you truly getting to know them because they make you happy? A private life is a happy life.
Social media is definitely having a huge impact on dating. Do you believe that old school courtship is dead, thanks to social media and dating apps, or is there hope for this generation yet?
I don't think it's dying, I just don't think it's highlighted. I don't think real love will ever die, it's just about who we put the spotlight on. There's a lot of people out there who found real love and who are respected by their mates. If we're highlighting certain kinds of relationships, that's what the younger generations are going to think is cool or the way to go. That's why I play my part and I try to show any woman I meet in my life, anybody I ever date, what a real man is. Even if that person isn't the person for me, they know what to look for, what to expect and they have a standard. I tell my little sisters there's a difference between somebody wanting you and proving that they deserve you.
There's a lot of women who have men that treat them with respect, show them that they're more than just a hookup and treat them like they really want a partner for life. That's why people look at me and ask, "Why isn't Romeo married yet or have kids?" I'm going to do this right so I only have to do this one time because I am very old school and have an old soul. I want my person to be my first and my last person. I'm not trying to get married over and over. Not saying that anything's wrong with that, but I've been in a household where I've seen divorce and the beauty of marriage. I just want to make sure I'm doing everything right and taking my time. Everyone I've ever talked to, I take baby steps. If someone truly cares for you or wants you, they're going to be willing to take those baby steps to truly get to know you. All the men need to step up out there, but all the women need to stop accepting certain things from these little boys as well. It takes two to tango!
Speak on it!
(Laughs) Men wouldn't feel they could get away with things you wouldn't allow them. If a man cherishes something, he's not going to do something to lose it unless you allow them to do that. I think we have to get out of that mindset of, "He's going to do this anyway." No, somebody who truly cares for you is going to try their best not to ever hurt you. Women have to realize that you don't have to settle for being hurt or being let down. A lot of super successful men become successful and a lot of women let them do what they do because of a certain status. Whether they're an NBA player or a rapper, so women are like, "He can have any woman he wants, so I might as well hold him down." Is that really for you if somebody isn't gonna do what they have to do for you?
Courtesy of KAC Images PR
"If we're highlighting certain kinds of relationships, that's what the younger generations are going to think is cool or the way to go. That's why I play my part and I try to show any woman I meet in my life, anybody I ever date, what a real man is. Even if that person isn't the person for me, they know what to look for, what to expect and they have a standard. I tell my little sisters there's a difference between somebody wanting you and proving that they deserve you."
There are certain ways to approach a woman and you seem like a gentleman. I don’t see you walking up to a woman and saying, “Hey, I’m Romeo. Give me your number.” What does it look like when you’re trying to get to know someone? Do you have any pick up lines or do you just see where it goes?
It's a little bit of both. It's about what you feel. If you feel something, you have to act on that. I've been in situations where I did a little bit of everything where I tried to come up with a cool line or if I see somebody, I'm just gonna put it all out there. That's a question that you know the answer to because it's all in how you feel because that girl may like that little line that you came up with and she may think it's cute. Or, she may like that you're so confident and bold that you cross the street just to say hi to her and ask her out. You have to go with the heart on that one because we all find our person in different ways.
What do you think your 20s and early 30s has taught you about love, dating, relationships and sex?
I'm just now entering my 30s, but my 20s prepared me to be even ten times greater of a lover than I was in my 20s. I learned that just because you have chemistry, you're attracted to somebody and you love somebody, that doesn't mean that's your somebody. My 20s also taught me to find love on your own time and you can't succumb to the ways of this world. I think we all get lost in what's cool right now and fall off track sometimes, but you could always get back on track. Go with what you feel and stop following the world because God is real, but the devil is real too and he's here to tempt you into something you don't have any business in.
I learned a lot about separation leading into year 30. I had a dream as a kid that my best years would be in my 30s so I think the best is yet to come because I'm finally becoming the man who I know I'm supposed to become. Even though I had this amazing career, I was very obedient as a child, and I've done things at a certain level to set the bar. If you're here another day, you're smarter than yesterday.
"My 20s also taught me to find love on your own time and you can't succumb to the ways of this world. I think we all get lost in what's cool right now and fall off track sometimes, but you could always get back on track. Go with what you feel and stop following the world because God is real, but the devil is real too and he's here to tempt you into something you don't have any business in."
Since you’re Romeo, I have to ask this question because I’m sure inquiring minds will want to know. If you could build your ideal woman, what would be some of her most important attributes and characteristics beyond the physical stuff?
This is what changed in my 20s and going into my 30s. As a kid, you always have this dream girl and one thing I realized is that I never even dated my dream girl. You learn that it's not about your ideal person or about characteristics, it's about the soul. Who captures your soul and your heart?
My ideal woman is someone who's ambitious, passionate about your dreams and goals - if you're not passionate, you'll never understand a man like me because I'll stay up two days straight just to accomplish a goal. Education is very big, family-orientated, God-fearing and a big thing for me is [being] ready for kids. I'm ready to have my little basketball team. Family is everything. If I found a perfect girl right now and she's like, "I'm not ready for kids," you're probably not the one for me because I feel like God put me here to make some babies tomorrow.
If you're the one for me, we're going to be ready for that journey together. Everything else, I don't really care [about]. You could be short, tall, long hair, short hair - it doesn't matter if you have those attributes.
For more of Romeo, follow him on Instagram. And tune into The Mix every Tuesday at 10pm EST/7pm PST.
Featured image by KAC Images PR