When's the last time you heard a major artist sing the praises of Napster? While R&B star Usher isn't exactly glad songs from his third LP were leaked on the beleaguered file-sharing service earlier this year, it did force him to go back into the studio and record new tracks for the album.
The result? Usher is lighting it up again with the hit single "U Remind Me" from the re-worked effort, 8701. Even though new jacks like Ginuwine and Sisqó have risen up since Usher's last studio album, 1997's My Way, the man born Usher Raymond thinks they got nothin' on his new tunes. With production from superstars such as Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, the Neptunes and Jermaine Dupri, Usher maintains the album is a classic. And, as he told Jeff Cornell, Shaheem Reid and Curtis Waller, he's not worried about the four-year gap between studio releases, his detractors, or revealing a bit more of his personal life this time.
MTV: You've been gone for a while now you've come back and scored a hit with "U Remind Me." How does that feel?
Usher: [It's been a] long time coming. It's the first single in the United States that I've had for about three years. We had a little setback with "Pop Ya Collar" in the States because of the leaking of that record. It [was decided] to pull the record back because of how it had been leaked all over the place, but we came back. I've had great success with "U Remind Me," and I look to have greater success with the rest of the album. "U Got It Bad" is the next single. "I Don't Know" has been playing in heavy rotation in clubs all over the place. "Can U Help Me" is gonna be the killa on this record, I think. "Twork It Out" is one of those records that ... give you the essence of R&B music at its best. I feel like a spokesperson, but I'm just really telling you how I feel about it. [RealVideo]
MTV: Is there a theme to this album, lyrically or spiritually?
Usher: Lyrically, this is my soul. This is what's been going on in my life in terms of relationships. There is a bit of a sensitive side on it and you'll get it, but emotionally, if you're ready for my world, this is it.
Go ahead Sisqó, bring it on, what becomes a legend most and working with the Neptunes ... NEXT >>>