See there, Usher really is deep — well, sort of.
When he announced there was a special meaning behind the title of his new album, 8701, and its release date, which happens to be August 7 of this year (8/7/01), we all laughed it off (wink, wink) as a coy marketing ploy.
However, as his spokesperson recently revealed, the similarity between the title and release date is purely coincidental. The “87” refers to the year 1987, when Usher sang in public for the first time at his church in Atlanta. The “01,” well that’s not as significant — that just signifies 2001.
However, Usher has a lot to be proud of this year. His single “U Remind Me” is a certified hit, selling close to 100,000 copies in its first week of release and reaching #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks charts. The album’s next single, “I Don’t Know,” which features P. Diddy, is already bubbling in the clubs.
Production on a clip for the Neptunes-produced “I Don’t Know” will begin in the next couple of weeks in Los Angeles with P. Diddy in the director’s seat, according to Usher’s spokesperson. P.D. and Usher are no strangers — the then-teenaged crooner was one of the opening acts on the Bad Boy Family-headlined No Way Out tour in 1997, and going even further back, Diddy executive-produced Usher’s self-titled debut in 1994.
For this third time around, as on his first two albums, Usher relies on a combination of love songs and party tracks. The ballad “U Got It Bad,” produced by Jermaine Dupri, tells of how a love jones can change your life. On “Twork It Out,” Usher promises to give up clubbing — at least for one night — and rock his lover’s world until the sun rises. Never one to be shy, the singer warns the fellas not to leave their girls around him on “U Don’t Have to Call,” which finds him scorned by his girlfriend and vowing to return to his playa ways.
8701’s track listing, according to Arista:
- “U Remind Me”
- “I Don’t Know” (featuring P. Diddy)
- “Twork It Out”
- “U Got It Bad”
- “If I Want To”
- “I Can’t Let U Go”
- “U Don’t Have to Call” (featuring Kelis)
- “Without U (Interlude)”
- “Can U Help Me”
- “How Do I Say”
- “Hottest Thing”
- “Good Ol’ Ghetto