Usher said his hit song "Papers" was a case of life imitating art, not the other way around. Speaking with MTV News last week, the singer talked about the song that kicked off his Raymond v. Raymond LP on the radio earlier this year.
"I think people would have immediately alluded to the fact I was talking about my wife when I made that record — and now my ex-wife," he said. "When the song was recorded, I wasn't divorced. It was some reality in the contrast of trying to make it all work, having to balance a career and having a normal life. Coming in at 6 in the morning and arguing was a reality when you have those type of relationships. I felt that in a way, the story did touch on certain things at the time. I didn't know how realistic it would become. I didn't know I would become divorced. I did know it spoke on the contrast between trying to balance this world of being married and having this responsibility that's like a marriage at the same time. The song spoke to that place. Unfortunately, it did become a reality."
In October, Usher's ex-wife, Tameka Foster, told People magazine that "Papers" was just "entertainment" and "people shouldn't take it literally."
"For you, I gave my heart and turned my back against the world/ 'Cause you were my girl, girl, girl," Usher sings on the chorus. "I done damn near lost my mama, I done been through so much drama/ I done turned into the man I never thought I'd be/ I'm ready to sign them papers."
The track is produced by Zaytoven and written by Sean Garrett.
"Let's say I wrote a record for Usher three or four months ago where I really didn't have any idea of what he was going through personally. I work really hard at creating records I feel that's gonna fit like a glove to an artist," Garrett explained back in June. "Me and Usher have a close relationship; I tend to sort of assist certain artists in giving them a direction, where I think they need to go in their next move. I felt that was the direction we needed to go. I felt that was the question everyone wanted to know: Was [his relationship] good or was it bad? Was it right? Are you happy or you're not?"
Raymond v. Raymond drops Tuesday.
Are you excited for Usher's new album? Are you surprised that "Papers" was written before Usher's marriage ended? Let us know in the comments!