Usher admits that "over the last three years of my life, it's no secret I went through some heavy transitions." And he's not joking. In 2009, he filed for a divorce from his wife, Tameka Foster, after marrying her in 2007. In the lead-up to the split, their relationship certainly came with drama, including a rift with his mother and a major health scare for Foster during a 2009 trip to Brazil.
And even with his divorce finalized, Usher is still in and out of court dealing with custody issues over their two sons, Usher and Naviyd. However, he is ready to put all that drama aside now that he's purged those emotions for his June 12 album release, the aptly titled Looking 4 Myself.
"There's an emotional side to it. Over the last three years of my life, it's no secret I went through some heavy transitions and in that I really came out new," he told MTV News during "MTV First." "I came out feeling a sense of entitlement and a sense of ownership of all of that I went through to become better and in being able to survive it.
"So I was looking for something in the music," he continued. "I was looking for something in life. I was looking for something in it has always been right here. It has always been there. So I kind of used the music as a dairy in a way, but a creative, artistic, art-in-motion diary."
But, Usher is no stranger to putting his drama to music. With albums titled Confessions and Raymond v. Raymond, he has always put his personal business right where people can hear it.
"Oddly, I've unfortunately left my life an open book," he said. "So every record people would assume that each and every detail is specific, even the videos."
That includes his most recent clip for "Climax," which follows jilted lover Usher as he contemplates shooting his girl's other man. Soon, he charges in the house, and a gunshot is fired off. What's unclear is whether it's reality or just Usher's fantasy.
"OK, I'm not sitting out in front of somebody's house and shoot up the crib, just so you know," he joked. " 'Climax' was an interpretation to really give people a better understanding 'cause I felt like people really looked at the record for what you heard first, which was 'Climax'. So, people thought 'sex.' It's not about sex. Well, climax is about sex, but not the song. Just so we're clear."
The Diplo-produced track actually has more to do with the events of the last few years of his life than events in the bedroom. "The song is really about kind of the crescendo of a relationship, where you've reached a place where you're gonna dive in or let it go," he said. "And the 'Climax' is what it is."