Usher Gets Personal With Raymond Vs. Raymond

'He really wants to express what's going on in his life,' producer Bryan Michael Cox says.

[artist id="1270"]Usher[/artist] "damn near" lost his mama in the new song "Papers," but has he lost his touch when it comes to making classic albums? Producer, songwriter and longtime Ursh collaborator Bryan Michael Cox says if you're sleeping on his man, wake up. The upcoming Raymond vs. Raymond is going to be the album to talk about.

"I think Usher is in a place where he really wants to express what's going on in his life, as any artist would," Cox told MTV News, referring to Usher's divorce from Tameka Foster-Raymond. "All the greats did it. Marvin Gaye did Here, My Dear. All the greats express where they are personally. [Usher's] last album was that too. I think [the new album] is where we are going to see Usher as an artist. I'm very curious to hear what the rest of the album is going to sound like. Our records are definitely in that lane of touching on what's going on in his life, so we are going to see what's going to happen. I'm very excited about the album. I think he has a lot to say."

B. Cox said Usher is just one of many of several artists he's in the lab with these days. "Nelly to Mary J. Blige, Johnta Austin, Pleasure P, Musiq Soulchild — we're doing some things for Plies. I hope that sticks," he said.

Cox's main priority is his new artist, singer Bertell, who's got a new single called "She's Bad," featuring Bun B. That song is the follow-up to "Beat It Up."

"The main thing is, we from the same place," Cox explained of what attracted him to Bertell's music. "We're both form the southwest side of Houston. He's a little younger than me. We both speak the same language. His hustle is incredible. When we met, he had a song on the radio at 1,000 spins. He was doing it on his own. I was like, 'I need to get down with this cat.' He's talented. I think this cat is one of the up-and-coming guys."