Looking mature and dapper Usher poses for the cover of this months Billboard Magazine. The R&B superstar opens up to the magazine about his forthcoming album “Raymond Vs. Raymond,” his recent divorce and overall thoughts on the industry. So far he has found success with the singles “Hey Daddy” and “O.M.G.” which was recently released and produced by Will.I.Am.
Usher admits to Billboard that his last album “Here I Stand,” focused more on his marriage and less about maintaining what he had achieved in his ten year-plus career. Raymond states he wants to be back on top.
“I went all the way into being super husband and super dad, thinking, ‘I’ve got to be serious all the time. I’ve got to be the man. I put my swagger down for a minute, but I didn’t throw it away, now it’s time to get it back.”
During the course of additional songwriter and producer collaborations with Sean Garrett, the Runners, Jim Jonsin, Rico Love, Ester Dean and Jive labelmate Miguel, Usher keyed in on the “Raymond Vs. Raymond” concept.
“People immediately thought, ‘Oh, damn, he’s about to talk about what happened in his marriage. But it would be too shortsighted to just talk about my relationship. A lot of the things I spoke about on ‘Confessions’ weren’t my own experiences. It was an outlet for stories I’d heard.”
Mark Pitts, who A&R’d the project and is president of black music for Jive Label Group also speaks,
” ‘Papers’ let everyone know that Usher knew what everyone was saying about him, his marriage and his relationship with his mom; that he understood what was being said. It was just to make a statement. We didn’t realize it would be as big as it was.”
“The song wasn’t intended to glorify my personal situation or people breaking up. I didn’t know if it was going to be the single or part of the album. I just thought it was a special track that would represent me well.”