728x90 DART richIframeInline(S). pagename: bands

  Bands Main
  Bands A-Z: Usher
 News Archive: Usher




Page 1


 Usher's mom knows she can't beat his ass anymore ...



Page 2


 Mr. Entertainment sings about impregnating his mistress ...



Page 3


 "I was preparing myself to be married ...



Mother Knows Best: Jonetta Patton Shares Stories About Her Son


 Check out the baby pictures Usher's mom brought us





Usher vs. Justin: Who's Biting Who?

Usher: Souled Out



Browse Bands by Name

Or enter a band name below to search:



next  
— by Shaheem Reid

When a man feels so confident in his ability to mesmerize crowds and listeners that he calls himself "Mr. Entertainment," he's going to be obsessively demanding about the quality of the work that bears his name. So what if his record company's wishes are the exact opposite of what he wants? If Usher Raymond isn't feeling it, your argument to get him to change his mind will have to be of the caliber of Johnnie Cochran's closing remarks during the O.J. Simpson trial.

Mother Knows Best: Jonetta Patton Shares Stories About Her Son
"Have you ever met somebody who's never wrong?" Usher's mother/manager, Jonetta Patton, giggled about her son. "I can say being the mother and the manager has been really difficult. When we have our biggest problem a lot of times is because he is a perfectionist, and sometimes things don't meet up to his expectations. When he was younger it was easier, but now he's older, it's a whole lot different. I can't get mad and pick up a stick and say, 'You know what, I'm going to beat your ass.' " 

Mom has been known to butt heads with Usher, as has his former label CEO, L.A. Reid, and many others. But in New York on a fall day in 2003, Usher, while a little dejected, did not put up a fight. Despite his pursuit of perfection while recording his fourth LP, Confessions, the album he turned in to his label wasn't where it needed to be. And he knew it.

Usher had set out to make a classic R&B album, a soulful project to make fans feel the same way their parents and grandparents did when they listened to a new Smokey Robinson or Sam Cooke LP. He'd recorded over 40 tracks with everyone from the Neptunes, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Jermaine Dupri and R. Kelly to his teenage brother James Lackey. Still, the label believed something was missing, and Usher's November 6, 2003 release date was pushed back like George Jefferson's hairline.

"I'll say this, going back in the studio after we had supposedly finished the record was the hardest part," Usher remembered on March 23, the day Confessions was finally released. "I had to get re-motivated. I felt like we finished the album, I'm turning it in. L.A. Reid listened to it, I listened to it, and we all just said, 'You know what, there's like one or two more records that we just gotta get.' "

  "Yeah!"
Confessions
(Arista)
"He needed a single," crunk king Lil Jon said. "They had 'Burn,' 'Burn' was hot, but they needed that first powerful monster. That's when I came in."

But their collaboration, the juggernaut "Yeah!," almost never made it into Usher's hands.

Several months before he got enlisted to work on Confessions, Jon was hired by Jive Records to make 15 beats for rapper Mystikal. Mystikal only picked a couple of tracks, which meant that the other dozen or so were freed up for Jon to sell to other artists. But there was one big problem: Unbeknownst to Jon, Jive gave one of the tracks Mystikal passed on to Petey Pablo, who also records for the label. That track turned out to be the soundscape for Pablo's big hit "Freek-A-Leek." At the same time, Jon, thinking the track was not going to be used, gave the "Freek-A-Leek" beat to Usher for the original version of "Yeah!"

"I run into Petey and he's like, "You heard the sh-- I got over your beat?' " Jon recalled. "I'm like, 'Oh sh--,' because Usher got the same beat. I try to work it with Jive that I can just do a new record for Petey because I knew this Usher record was gonna be monumental for my career."

  "Burn"
Confessions
(Arista)
As fate would have it, Petey wasn't about to throw away "Freek-A-Leek," especially since it was getting bumped on down South radio. So Jon had to scramble and make a new beat for Ush. The new instrumental was used for "Yeah!" as we know it today.

After all that scrambling, Arista was still on the fence about whether to run with "Yeah!" or "Burn" as the first single. Usher loved "Yeah!," but he didn't want to seem like he was following the latest trend by jumping on Lil Jon's platinum-rimmed bandwagon.


Next: Before the night was over, Usher was singing about impregnating his mistress ...
next
Photo: Arista

160x600 DART richInline(S). pagename: bands





  "Burn"
Confessions
(Arista)


  Usher feat. Lil John and Ludacris
"Yeah!"
Confessions
(Arista)


© 2007 MTV NETWORKS. © AND TM MTV NETWORKS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. TERMS OF USE, USER CONTENT SUBMISSION AGREEMENTCOPYRIGHT POLICY  and  PRIVACY STATEMENT/YOUR CA PRIVACY RIGHTADVERTISING OPPORTUNITIES E-COMMERCE ON THIS WEBSITE IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY MTVN DIRECT INC.