Usher hasn't officially announced an album title or release date for his years-in-the-making follow-up to 2004's Confessions, but it looks like the wait won't be too much longer.
"I was speaking to him the other day, asking him when he was gonna start putting singles out," Jermaine Dupri told MTV News late last week. "He said, 'Soon.' So it's coming."
Dupri, of course, is Usher's longtime collaborator and one of the producers who has contributed to the singer's next opus. His words are looking like a prophecy fulfilled because since last week, two new Usher records have surfaced.
The first, called "In This Club," was produced by Polow Da Don and is getting play on Atlanta radio now. The bass line is triumphantly brass, the tempo is mid and Young Jeezy brings his often-copied swag to the party. Meanwhile, Ush gets his calm, cool pimp game poppin'.
"I wanna make love in this club," Usher sings on the chorus. As the song ends, he confidently addresses the target of his seduction: "I know you scared, baby/ They don't know what we doing/ Let's go get undressed right here ... I don't care who's watching."
Jeezy's guest verse is doused with confidence: "I'll be like your medicine, you'll take every dose of me," he says to the ladies. "Have you ever made love on the bar or on the floor?/ You can meet me in the bathroom, I'm trained to go."
The second record, which has already hit the Internet, is called "Moving Mountains" and is said to be produced by Timbaland. It's a bouncy ballad in which Usher sings about trying to maintain a relationship rocked by the "great depression."
As for the rest of the album, Philadelphia producers Dre & Vidal have contributed several songs while Lil Jon is waiting for the right record to add to Usher's mix. After going three for three with "Yeah!," "Red Light" and "Lovers and Friends," the King of Crunk isn't trying to force anything.
"I want to," Jon said recently about working on the project. "I'm trying to find a new sound, though. I don't wanna come and have the same old same old. I'm trying to give Usher that stadium record again. I don't wanna give him no bullsh--. I think I'm gonna get on there, though. I've just had so much stuff going on, and I've gotta find that right new sound for him. I wanna give him another 'Yeah!,' another record that sets the tone for his entire album."
"I don't know how the whole album is coming," Dupri added. "I'm not there at Arista or [Jive] now. I can't see the album as a whole. I heard a lot of the other songs. As far as I'm concerned, it started feeling good. It's still growing. He's in the process of making more songs."
Usher's rep did not respond to requests for comment from MTV News. There is no word yet on whether "In This Club" and "Moving Mountains" are official singles or will even make the album.