RL first distinguished himself outside of Next with his duet with Deborah Cox on the song "We Can't Be Friends" as well as other feature projects. RL followed up that effort with "Best Man" the super-group track from the The Best Man (1999) soundtrack which also featured Ginuwine, a duet by Marc Nelson and Beyonce, Tyrese & Case. By the time RL's "Good Love" ("The Brothers" movie soundtrack) and his hook to Tupac Shakur's "Until the End of Time" were released, RL has defined himself as a separate entity from Next. RL: Ements is RL's debut solo project for Clive Davis' still burgeoning J Records label; the lead single "Got Me A Model".
While on hiatus with Next in 2002, R.L. began work on his solo career. His first release was the single entitled "Good Love" from the Brothers original soundtrack. The song was a departure from Next's overly sexual image and surprised many longtime fans. R.L. than collaborated with rappers Snoop Dogg and Lil' Kim on the Dr. Dolittle 2 soundtrack with the song "Do You Wanna Roll". Next also appeared on the CD with the song entitled "Looking For Love" featuring rapper Lil' Zane (who appeared in the movie). It was rumoured that "Do You Wanna Roll" would be released as a video and a vinyl single was released, however the video never saw the light of day.
It was then that R.L. began work on his solo album, RL: Ements, without the knowledge of his bandmates (according to member Tweet on his song "Keepin' It Real"). The song "Ghetto" leaked on the internet featuring Jermaine Dupri, however it was re-recorded and eventually featured the rapper Postaboy. Around the same time, a song entitled "Model Chick" leaked, believed to be the first single. The song was eventually scrapped and completely re-worked into the albums official first single "Got Me A Model" featuring Eric Sermon. A remix to the song was also recorded and featured producer Jermaine Dupri.
The album was released in April 2002 and unfortunately did not sell as well as expected. A second single and video was released entitled "Good Man". This was the first album released by a member of Next without the direction from longtime collaborator Kaygee.
RL is back with a new label, Music World Ent, and now lives in Atlanta, GA. He is currently working on a solo project entitled "Important" which will be released in 2009 after his album with band mates of Next as his MySpace site suggests. The first single from his solo venture is titled "Open The Door" and is produced by Lil Jon.
The feud between R.L. and bandmate Raphael ("Tweety") Brown, who apparently have had a love-hate relationship since the early days when they were introduced by Brown's brother Terry, has escalated to an all-time high. Since their debut in 1997 with 'Rated Next,' the trio has referred to themselves as blood brothers -- Tweety and T-Low are actually the only siblings. Tweet and R.L.'s friendship hit a hurdle early on when a mutual encounter with a female caused a riff between the two. They worked through that dilemma, and the group later released 2000's 'Welcome II Nextasy.' The trio followed Clive Davis to his newly formed J Records, after the legendary executive's controversial firing from Arista Records, and immediately began recording their third album.
Problems apparently occurred when RL's unsuccessful solo record 'RL: Ements' was released in April 2002, because the group felt that he sneakily coerced the label into releasing his disk before Next's junior effort. When R.L.'s solo debut failed, J Records rushed the release of 'The Next Episode' in December 2002, and that CD went unnoticed as well.
R.L. was supposedly dating former video vixen and 'A Man Apart' actress Karrine "Superhead" Steffans. Tweet and Steffans had a one-night affair, which caused more drama with Tweet and RL's friendship and working relationship. RL was married for three months to a woman, Ra'sheda, before having the marriage annulled.
Tweet then formed Goldiggez with rapper Max Lux and released a single called 'Keepin' It Real' that questioned R.L.'s business integrity, rapped about how the group refers to themselves as brothers was "fake as hair weaves," it also poked fun at R.L.'s dismal solo record sales, and called R.L. a "diva" and "phony." Tweet has another RL dis song titled "Watch Your Mouth" making physical threats against RL on his myspace music page.