Early Hits - 1998 - 2001:
Amazingly Ush first blew up in 1998 with a #1 Single, "Nice and Slow" off his second album, My Way. It's a typical early Usher song, straight R&B with a mellow, love-making beat. If we check the lyrics a bit closer though we can glean gems like "I got plans to put my hands in places I've never seen / girl you know what I mean" and more blatant trips like
Do you wanna get freaky?
'Cause I'll freak you right I will
I'll freak you right I will
I'll freak you like no one has ever, ever made you feel
I'll freak you right I will
I'll freak you right I will
This was a nice warm-up. Usher gets progressively dirtier and more explicit over the course of his career, however. He a couple of other singles off his third album, 8701, most notably "U Remind Me" and "U Got it Bad" in 2001. Yes, two consecutive hits starting with "U." They both retain the R&B stylings of "Nice and Slow" and may be a step backwards in dirtiness.
"U Remind Me" is kind of a bizarre song, I wouldn't tell a new chick she reminds me of this ex I was once in love with. That's just me, Usher. I mean, you should at least imply a need for lovemaking somewhere, that seems to always work out. "U Got it Bad" is also not that dirty, likely because it's fueled by his monogamous relationship with the Hottest Part of TLC, Chilli. Damn. So after debuting with a pretty ridiculous track, the Ursh cooled down into chill, smooth territory for a while. Fine.
Ascending Nuttiness and Popularity- 2004:
Usher's big years tend to come in spurts for some reason. He had four #1 Billboard hits in 2004 and they're all pretty nutty. His first is the seminal "Yeah!" featuring Lil Jon and Ludacris. "Yeah!" is a landmark track that really launched Ush's career, as well as moving it more away from the slow lovethumping tracks to more dance club numbers with steeper beats and more electronica (as well as featuring his own signature weird hat dancing). It also cemented Lil Jon's popular social vocabulary and established Ludacris as a brilliant complement to smoother vocals, where his biggest hits are found today.
The dirtiness here isn't really higher than typical rap songs, though. I think when spoken in Usher's more silky style the induction to intercourse is that much more seductive. This is forgiven due to its pure party track feel.
Almost every single from Confessions was a #1 hit. "Burn" is a break-up song more than a love-making song. "Confessions Part II" is really the ultimate insane song, though. It's about how Ursh cheated on his GF with some random chick and then knocked her up. Sweet. You'd think Usher would learn from this track not to fool around but hey, that ain't his style, baby. While he's not describing the act here, he's nevertheless dirty arcistrating the aftermath. Finally in 2004 Ush had "My Boo," another relationship track that doesn't contain that much of the nasty. Let's flash forward.
Professor Lovemaker - 2007 - Present:
Ever since Usher's incredible 2004 he's produced nothing but a stream of progressively more explicit hits. He probably caught the bug from his duet with R. Kelly, "Same Girl" in 2007. It's only natural that the two smoothest and most popular R&B singers of the day would come together only for nailing the same girl. Also I do love both of these cats reactions to the revelation - Usher almost chuckles through it, and both harbour no resentment to the other. It's as if "Well, shit, this was bound to happen one of these days." And in the video it turns out they're twins. Neat.
When Ush came back to his own songs they had a definite different attitude. He's really taken up the club scene persona rather than the mansion cooing/wind-swept persona he had at the start of his career. 2008's "Love in this Club" really set the standard. Instead of crooning about break-ups or steady relationships, he's belting about picking up some chick and banging her in a night club. Nice. Check it out:
Might as well give me a kiss
If we keep touchin' like this
I know you scared baby
They don't know what we doin'
Let's both get undressed right here
Keep it up girl i swear
Imma give it to you non stop
And i don't care
Who's watchin', watchin', watchin'
This was his biggest hit off of Here I Stand, but his latest album would make up for that. Raymond v. Raymond is ridiculous. Here is an uncensored "Lil Freak," which is pretty amazing. It's basically about Usher pulling the robbery on some chick at the bar using his star power to get her home but only if she fucks like a freak. Nice. Any of these lyrics helps my example but let's try:
Hey ma yo where your man at, I know you got that
Cause you too fine to be single he at home but he done fucked up
I swooped this girl up and what I'm about do to you about to feel I did him wrong
Cause I'm about to have a ménage with this lady and some freaks at the bar who like fuckin with a star
It continues in "OMG" - "Honey got some boobies like wow, oh wow." Really? "DJ Got Us Fallin' in Love" continues the trend from "Love in this Club," an explicitly club-oriented dance track rather than smooth jamming. It's a drink and hook-up song, somehow lyrically much less dense than anything from Confessions. Actually that video is pretty cool.
Finally we come to "Hot Tottie." Usher's latest single, as of this writing there is no video yet. The beat and construction of this song is sick, though it's another track where any lyrical sample demonstrates its dirtiness.
Said I’m tryin’ get your clothes off
From what I’m seeing you look so soft
It’s your body, what I’m goin’ off
Say you go ride off, just don’t fall off
Yeah I done had a lot of women
They tell me what they can do
But can you show me babe
Nice, Ursh. I like the idea of this girl being Usher's Hot Tottie. A Hot Tottie is a warm alcoholic drink that is supposed to help when you've caught a cold. Thus meeting the Hot Tottie girl would be like finding this warm feeling that eliminates the depression and illness in your life. It's beautiful. Although Ush just wants to fuck her.
So that's that. Now, what's the point of all this exhaustive Usher research on a Saturday afternoon (Go Syracuse!)? Basically simply that Tom was right to be apprehensive. Good day.