Don't get it twisted: Just because Usher is known for smooth dance moves and rock-hard abs, it doesn't mean he didn't have to push himself for his short run in the trippy, off-Broadway show "Fuerza Bruta."
For one night last month, Ush played the show's lead, Running Man, and offered lucky attendees an advance listen to his June 12 album release, Looking 4 Myself.
As fans will see in the exclusive clip — and on Wednesday night's "MTV First: Usher" at 7:54 p.m. ET — "Fuerza" required Usher to use every muscle of his body as he danced, ran, jumped and tumbled his way through the show, where no one speaks, instead telling the story through bright lights, music and dance. MTV News had a front seat as Usher rehearsed for his onstage appearance in April, and when we chatted with him on set, he opened up about using the physicality of the show to tell the story of his album.
"It's not often that you're able to give somewhat of a visual or an emotional kind of basis of what your songs mean," he said. "A lot of times we're running through life and we're trying to find ourselves, and I feel like that was somewhat of what the messaging was with the show, but it was really artistic.
"This is more artistic an album than I've had in history and I felt like, yeah, it would be a physical challenge, yeah it would be a lot for me, but [I want to] at least try it," he added. "There are many times I'd seen the show and I'd only hoped that I would make it happen. It looked it really hard, they made it look easy, but it was obviously hard. But, of course, I've been training and it came at a perfect time."
Watching Usher do all those acrobatics may have had fans wondering whether it was all that difficult for him since he makes it look so easy. He joked, "I work hard, baby."
Usher will dish on the show, his album and more during "MTV First: Usher," all set to take place on Wednesday at 7:54 p.m. ET on MTV and MTV.com. He will introduce exclusive footage and his new single, the Pharrell-produced "Twisted," and will stick around for a meaty interview with MTV News' Sway Calloway to discuss his new album and more on MTV.com.
The performances featured in "MTV First: Usher" were shot exclusively by MTV News during a special album-listening experience with the off-Broadway show "Fuerza Bruta" in New York City.
Be sure to catch "MTV First: Usher" tomorrow at 7:54 p.m. ET on MTV and MTV.com!