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After almost a three year hiatus, R&B crooner Mario is back and better than ever. His new track “Somebody Else” featuring Nicki Minaj is catching on pretty quickly and fans are eagerly waiting to hear more great music from the 26-year-old Baltimore native. The soul singer recently sat down for a chat with the ladies over at CocoaFab, where he opened up about his mother’s drug addiction and the dramatic impact that it had on him over the years. Check out some of what he had to say.

On what his 2007 MTV documentary, I Won’t Love You To Death about his mom’s drug addiction:

“At the time that I did that, I had just moved from Jersey back to Baltimore and I was staying with my mom to help her out. I was doing a day in the life with MTV and that turned into the documentary. There were some discussions about how personal or how raw it would be, and at the time I didn’t know much about reality shows, so I just thought ‘real is real’ and ‘lets just keep it 100.’ We decided to do it and they wanted to turn it into a longer reality show but I was fine with the one time thing and I wanted it to help my fans and inspire people around the world who were struggling with addiction. I wanted to show young adults that they could overcome. My mom got help at the time and she moved to Malibu for rehab and it was a positive step and experience for both of us to have. It really helped me take the burden off of having to see my mom every day struggle with her drug addiction. Right after that, I started my foundation and that was the impetus.”

On the status of his relationship with his mother:

“There are so many different variables but we’re good. We have better communication, better respect and understanding. And I think that us being away from one another for a little bit. After that, I moved to LA and she stayed in Maryland. That space allowed her to be a woman instead of me being the guardian over her telling her what to do. It allowed me to grow as a man, and it allowed her to decide where she wanted her life to go. At some point as a recovering addict, she had to decide where she wanted her life to go. This past year and a half or two that we’ve been apart, I’ve tried to let her do her and me focus on my career. I have to focus on being a better friend, son and a healthy individual and that, in turn, will help both of us.”

On what his mother’s struggle taught him about drug addiction:

“Addiction is tough. And I realize now how much that affected the way I dealt with women and how many unhealthy places I was in with women. I’m finally free from it and it feels good to be free from certain thoughts and feelings and just the way I view women overall. Not having that natural, instinctual love that a mother is supposed to give a child made me look for it in other places. For a while, especially doing what I do [for a living], women are a dime a dozen and there isn’t a shortage there at all. So I was getting physical attention and sex but it wasn’t healthy because I was lacking this real love. It got to the point where I didn’t respect having a personal connection with a woman, versus the physical connection. I would view the physical connection as love moreso than having that personal connection. That’s not what I was taught and that’s not what my experiences had been.”

In case you never had the privilege of seeing Mario’s documentary with his mom, you can check out part 1on the next page.

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