Trey Songz has good people. An hour before his scheduled arrival at Wire Road Studios -- quite a cutting-edge, modern music chamber, considering the humble neighborhood living around it -- to join about 20 hip-hop heads, hype men, helpers and hangers-on for an intimate listening party for his upcoming album, Chapter V, his Atlantic Records entourage scurried to and fro, making the studio setting as romantic (and private) as possible.
"No photos, no flash photography, no interviews, no electrical recording of any type," announced Kenny Mahone, Atlantic's co-national director of urban promotions, to the crowd (and us) before Songz's arrival.
With blooming white roses and burning white candles on the table in front of us, the task was nearly accomplished, save for the explicit R&B -- "You ain't gotta pull 'em off, girl. Just pull 'em to the side" ("Dive In") -- and the booty shorts-clad women sashaying by.