I think Omarion’s book publisher needs to put ‘Unbothered: The Power of Choosing Joy’ on the shelf, ya know, for a little while

OPINION: The former B2K frontman and watermelon aficionado’s alleged zen lifestyle is looking real flimsy these days.

Omarion attends the Los Angeles Premiere of "Ambulance" at Academy Museum of Motion Pictures on April 04, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/WireImage)

Editor’s note: The following article is an op-ed, and the views expressed are the author’s own. Read more opinions on theGrio.

There was a time, say back in 2019, when Omari Grandberry, better known to us all as Omarion, was seemingly living a life of success and peace. Seemingly. I say that because I vividly remember videos of Omarion speaking as if he’d achieved some higher zen calling when it came to how his personal affairs were impacting his professional affairs. As recently as late 2021. We all praised the former B2K frontman for taking a higher road and looking and acting, well, unbothered. In reference to what? I’m glad you asked. 

Once upon a time in Los Angeles, Omarion was dating Apryl Jones (we were introduced to her via Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood) and they ended up having two children together. For whatever reason, Omarion and Apryl went their separate ways, perhaps non-amicably, and Apryl eventually began to date—in a very public and loud fashion with occasional references to Omarion—Lil Fizz. Lil Fizz was a groupmate of Omarion in B2K, and this relationship (eventually) impacted their ability to get money together. 

Depending on who you talk to, the members of B2K were never friends or friends who fell out over various things, including but not limited to Omarion’s ego and burgeoning career; it has been alleged by both J-Boog (in a now-deleted IG post, but, of course, it was screenshotted; it should be noted that Boog has both defended and taken O to task in the past) and Lil Fizz (see video above) that once Omarion was able to achieve some solo success, he acted as if he didn’t need anybody else and more or less moved on…until he needed them again. But alas, everybody seems to have moved on; Omarion continued touring without B2K on the second leg of the Millenium Tour in 2020 (and continuing on today) and the rest of the members do…their thing. 

Now a lot of this was back in 2019. It is now 2022, and a few months ago, we all got word that Omarion would be publishing a book, slated to be released in September, titled Unbothered: The Power of Choosing Joy. And this didn’t seem far-fetched at all; in fact, it made sense with what we all believed to be Omarion’s chilled-out demeanor and laid-back approach to living life and the folks in his life. Here’s an excerpt of the description of his book from Barnes and Noble

 Organized by three pillars—Spiritual, Mental, and Physical—Unbothered shows how Omarion has centered his life around holistic wellness, detailing the practices he uses including breathing exercises, meditation, yoga, dancing, ancient mantras, and an overall embrace of positivity. Omarion reveals never before shared stories alongside the practices that keep him centered, even through public setbacks that have made headlines. Omarion is not interested in settling scores: these poignant stories are about grace and forgiveness—and about exercising emotional intelligence. (Emphasis mine.)

What a difference a day makes. I know I assumed that this book made sense: Just how in the world does Omarion manage to be so chill in the face of so much chaos around him, especially with his B2K group members? Well, it looks like maybe it’s all a farce and while I’m not in the business of telling anybody what to do, I might be inclined to suggest that perhaps HarperCollins may want to put that Unbothered book on the shelf for a little while. Because baaaaaby…

…Omarion is bothered.

For one, if you watched his Verzuz matchup with Mario, you absolutely did not walk away from that feeling like Omarion was even happy or secure with where he is in life. I realize Verzuz is competitive, and oddly all those R&B dudes on stage seemed like the most aggressively insecure folks alive—including Mario—but I expected Omarion’s energy to be both joyful and entertaining. It was not. He seemed annoyed. Granted, Mario brought out fake B2K dudes to troll him and the other members of B2K were in the crowd, but based on who he is, that shouldn’t have had him rattled at all; he was supposed to just laugh and smile that off and keep it pushing. Instead, he ends up eating watermelon on stage with his brother O’Ryan in a very confusing and “but, why?” fashion. 

It just wasn’t giving…unbothered is all I’m saying.

But the real “oh, you bothered, bro” moment happened recently. On Thursday, July 7, Omarion released the super trailer for a five-part docuseries he’s producing about his life and things that clearly have pissed him off and betrayals of his brother, etc. Whew chile, Omarion ain’t only bothered, he’s putting it all on front street. 

Titled, Omega: The Gift & The Curse, here is an excerpt of the description from his website

This docu-series will provide an exclusive, inside look at what really happened behind the scenes during the highly anticipated Millennium Tour shared from Omarion’s unique perspective. We will witness the BROTHERHOOD and BETRAYAL. Many questions will be answered from his turbulent relationship with the mother of his children to his thoughts about her relationship with his bandmate. We will also witness the covert sabotage orchestrated for one bandmate towards another as well as the toxic family influences that further contributed to the downfall of B2K.

Maybe it’s all smoke and mirrors and this trailer is more dramatic than the actual series, but five parts? That’s a lot of stuff to get off your chest. And also, almost NONE of this sounds like a person who isn’t interested in settling scores; this is about a person who wants to tell his side of the story and get it “right” so folks really know what’s up. I can’t imagine anybody but Omarion is going to come out looking good on the other end of this. 

And again, the fact that he’s been having this documentary made…well, that just feels a little bit bothered. How he found time to write a book about choosing joy when this docuseries seems like violence is beyond me, but ya know, I’m just an onlooker waiting for July 21 as I’m sure HarperCollins is, since, well, a docuseries that goes off on all of his former bandmates and baby mama can’t really be good for business, no? 

The book publisher might want to put together a contingency plan for Unbothered: The Power of Choosing Joy is all I’m saying because if Omarion is ’pose to be chill…it isn’t quite seeming that way anymore. 

Panama Jackson theGrio.com

Panama Jackson is a columnist at theGrio. He writes very Black things and drinks very brown liquors, and is pretty fly for a light guy. His biggest accomplishment to date coincides with his Blackest accomplishment to date in that he received a phone call from Oprah Winfrey after she read one of his pieces (biggest) but he didn’t answer the phone because the caller ID said “Unknown” (Blackest).

Make sure you check out the Dear Culture podcast every Thursday on theGrio’s Black Podcast Network, where I’ll be hosting some of the Blackest conversations known to humankind. You might not leave the convo with an afro, but you’ll definitely be looking for your Afro Sheen! Listen to Dear Culture on TheGrio’s app; download here.