Usher-Go Missin'

usher go missin
Usher hooks up with producer Diplo once again, this time for a Valentine’s gift to his fans rather than the worldwide smash their previous collaboration, Climax, yielded.

It’s not a patch on the quality of their earlier collaboration, but it’s an OK listen that will at the very least satiate Usher dedicates that are desperate for new work. The production is best described as sharp, with piercing synths and samples paired with short, snappy percussion, whilst the vocal work is admittedly a little disappointed by Ush’s high standards. They seem a little flat throughout, affecting the structure of the track as the division between hook and verse seems minimal at most, though that’s also down to the repetitive, non-progressive production not helping matters. Nothing I’ll be giving much time, but the mainstream fans may take to it.

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Ludacris-Rest Of My Life ft. Usher and David Guetta

The features on this tell you absolutely everything you need to know about this track. Luda’s struggling for sales in a difficult environment nowadays, and given that he’s not likely to lyrically compete with the likes of Kendrick Lamar, he’s gone the other way with a watered-down pop track.

It’s tough to criticise him as he’s rarely put out overtly mainstream-focused music, instead hovering the grey area that precedes that style, and now he’s looking to swell his bank account by making the full jump. The production is a predictable Guetta number, a pop track with lashings of heavy synths, whilst the Usher hook ensures the teenage girls take notice and have something to sing into their hairbrushes. I will literally never play this track again as I have no interest in it, but it’ll be a huge hit for sure.

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Usher-Hot Thing ft. A$AP Rocky

Usher’s seventh album, Looking 4 Myself, is on the horizon and here goes one of the bonus tracks from that project, featuring rapper of the hour A$AP Rocky.

Certainly one of Rocky’s biggest co-signs to date and one that will surely help his mainstream exposure, it’s a collaboration that not many will have expected but many will certainly welcome. That being said, it’s a shame the track isn’t quite up to scratch. A very pedestrian, uninspired hook opens and anchors the track in a disappointing manner, and though the verses from both acts are far more enjoyable, particularly Rocky who takes to the beat well, that poor hook continually rears its head to bring the levels of enjoyment back down. With a better hook this could have been a huge hit, and it’s a shame that’s not the case.

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Rick Ross-Touch ‘N You ft. Usher

God Forgives, I Don’t is on the horizon, and recent collaborators Rick Ross and Usher hook up once more for the latest release from that project.

I’ve been hugely underwhelmed by everything from this project thus far, but this is definitely a step up. The production begins with a slow, smooth quality that mirrors some of Drake’s early material, before moving into yet another catchy Usher vocal, and finally ending up at a Ross verse with a percussion that adds some energy into the track. Occasionally, that blend of soft synth and urgent percussion sounds a bit cluttered and confused, but for the most part it’ll hold up well enough to satisfy the mainstream. Undoubtedly though, it’s the Usher hook and vocals that make this one, and it’s as good an advertisment for Ush’s own upcoming album as it is for the Ross album.

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Usher-Lemme See ft. Rick Ross

Brand new single from the incomparable Usher, taken from his upcoming and much-anticipated Looking For Myself album. Riding the wave of popularity that Climax built, Usher grabs Rick Ross for the assist on this somewhat more ‘typical’ track.

The production is decent enough, and though the general vibe of it is relatively standard pop R&B stuff, some of the individual elements are enjoyable, with the fragments of sultry style adding a nice balance to some of the more mainstream melodies. Ush’s vocals are solid as ever, though certainly not as engaging or downright addictive as his performance on Climax, whilst Ross drops off a typically-braggadocios verse. Not a patch on Climax for me, but an OK single that might play well on the club scene.

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Usher-Climax Video

A really likeable track from Usher and Diplo that I’ve had in rotation since its release, and Usher treats fans with official visuals for the effort, suggesting its probably the lead single from an upcoming album.

The video captures the complexity of the audio well, combining slower, isolated scenes of Usher’s reflective moments with speedy, intense ‘action’ sections into a cohesive and enjoyable experience. The duality of both the lyrics and production is used superbly, as Usher’s recollective mindstate is visualised with lonesome scenes alongside flashes of action, and equally the peaks and troughs of the production are emphasised appropriately within those scenes. Other plus points include the closing section of the video, which brings a nice finality and structure by suggesting that most of the encounters we see were indeed reflective inner thoughts, whilst the lighting and scenery used throughout give the track a darker, more serious vibe that removes the gloss from the house-inspired production and gives the track more depth.

I’d expect this to be a very popular single in the next few months. Released here on 16th April, but you can grab it on the US iTunes now.

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Usher and Diplo-Climax

Diplo tweeted a track earlier, amusingly claiming it was with a ‘promising young artist’, for it to be revealed as a new effort from none other than Usher. You probably figured that last part out from the title of this post.

The collaboration is a successful one too. Diplo’s served up a progressive production that has a quiet intensity in the verses, building slowly to what actually ends up being a gentle climax in the hook (calm down). It’s an effective twist that throws you off, and increasing awareness of the second layer of progression in the track, as it builds towards the final third, and once again, it switches to the slower style. Clever. Just as much credit goes to the evergreen Usher, whose vocal versatility draws you in time and time again on this one, with his work on the hook being a particularly good performance. One that threatens to be a club banger at times, but in each instance surpasses that ‘easy’ option for increased listenability.

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Enrique Iglesias-Dirty Dancer ft. Usher and Lil Wayne [Video]

Probably the first lesson we learn from our parents is: “Sometimes in life you have to do things you don’t want to do.” This is one of those times.

As I’m holding the ‘day shift’ down, after some considerable deliberation, I’ve decided that it would be mean to keep this from some of you for too much longer.

I genuinely struggle to know what to write about this. There’s a lot of the colour blue. Some girls pole dancing. Lots of strobe lighting effects. And The Mighty Boosh’s very own The Spirit Of Jazz makes an appearance. Oh, sorry, that’s Lil Wayne.

We’ve got the audio kicking around here somewhere.

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R&B Fridays: Episode 99

When it matters, I’ll come through for you: 1 episode away from breaking all kinds of R&B records, and I’ve finally turned up on time. With this miracle taking place, what could I possibly serve up in next week’s edition to trump this? (great, I’ve just hyped something I haven’t come up with yet).

A few posts from the week gone by that will be of note: Skylar Grey’s superb live performance of Love The Way You Lie, Chris Brown’s latest set of energetic visuals, Diggy Simmons working with Bruno Mars for his mainstream single, an enormous 30-track official mixtape from T-Pain, and finally some fantastic visuals for The Foreign Exchange’s newest single.

Click below to be one step closer to greatness.
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Usher-More Video

To say this video is a bit late would be the understatement of the year. The track was originally dropped back in October 2009, and rose to prominence during last year’s NBA All-Star weekend.

The video isn’t really up to much, mixing together live footage with camera work that is very close to Usher’s head. That is quite literally the best possible way to sum up this video, absolutely nothing else seems to happen. Seems a bit of a waste for such a bouncy track, but there we are.

However, it is worth watching as the audio has been remixed a little and is even more pulsating and energetic than the original, which is certainly no mean feat. No slur to the original of course, but this version is definitely better.

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Black Eyed Peas-Super Bowl Half Time Performance [Video]

Now whatever your thoughts are on B.E.P this is an absolute must watch. As you’d expect from the half time Super Bowl Show it’s a visual masterpiece. Truly epic.

Vocally they are poor, which goes to show how much they rely on production. At least they remembered their lyrics though, unlike Christina Aguilera who managed to forget a few words to the American National Anthem. Nightmare. Also note a couple of random guest appearances from Slash (I’m still trying to figure out why…) and Usher.

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R&B Fridays: Episode 74

Bumper episode this week, with 20 tracks making the cut. It’s been a pretty busy time for R&B, hence I’ve let plenty of big R&B/pop tracks loose early this week.

The recap: Drake’s full version Fall For Your Type, Rihanna and Nicki Minaj’s first collaboration, a diverse track from Christian Rich, Trey Songz and Keri’s remix of a Dirty Money track, the final version of a great Lloyd track, and some ‘new’ Michael Jackson music.

A lengthy catchup, and it’s followed by a big episode: click below to get involved.
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Rick Ross and Usher-Looking For Love (Diddy Demo)

I’m beginning to think these demo ‘leaks’ aren’t accidental. Two new Dirty Money tracks drop, and are very closely preceded/succeeded by the original demos? To be honest, it’s a good move as it’s essentially music that would otherwise be collecting dust, and doesn’t hurt anyone’s revenue as its only a demo.

My appreciation for this production grows with every listen, not least as it’s incredibly versatile. Ross is tolerable on this, although I’d take Diddy/Dirty Money’s version ahead of Ross’, purely from a consistency perspective as it fits in line with Diddy’s recent material more than it does Ross’.

Rick Ross-Looking For Love ft. Usher

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Quick Blast: Better Version of Ciara and Usher-Turn It Up

Originally premiered in yesterday’s R&B Friday, I mentioned there that I was anticipating a better version, which has arrived quicker than expected.

It is much improved on the last version (at least in good headphones!), and does bring out the production a little more. The key melody is much more prominent, as are the backing vocals throughout. Really good track as I said in my original review, and I’m quite surprised at how compatible their voices are. I fully expect their dancing (if they make a video) to match that!

Ciara-Turn It Up ft. Usher (Better Quality)

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R&B Fridays: Episode 71

Stacked episode this week, with some huge mainstream singles alongside great material from underappreciated artists. Quality wise, it’s one of the strongest R&B Fridays of recent months for sure: one of those where you could easily grab everything on offer.

The recap: Mastered version of Lloyd’s latest, Willow Smith’s debut video, Ne-Yo covering an MJ classic, Rihanna’s newest video, and finally the anticipated video for Chris Brown’s new single.

Click on for the longest running weekly episodic in the history of the universe.
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Diddy and Usher-Lookin’ For Love

A warmup for R&B Friday, and really decent stuff too. Rumoured to be on the upcoming Dirty Money album, this track has Diddy back on his rapping tip for the verses, and also boasts some smooth vocals from Usher on the hook.

The production is very similar to some of the other Dirty Money leaks, with a pulsating and deep bassline complimented by both slowed-down techno elements and hip-hop percussion: it’s a production style I quite like, as it feels futuristic but isn’t high-tempo enough to remove the hip-hop feel. Good track all-round, grab it below.

Diddy-Lookin’ For Love ft. Usher

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2010 MTV Video Music Awards

I’ve never been big on Taylor Swift, but this is a fantastic performance of her new song…about Kanye West. Click below to see a few other performances by Drake, Swizz Beatz, Mary J. Blige, Usher, N*E*R*D, Ciara as well as a superb fitting finale by Kanye West who also performs a brand new song (not to be missed).

Eminem opened the show with a great performance alongside Rihanna, which I’ll have to post later when I find a working link for those, as well as B.o.B, Bruno Mars and Hayley Williams performance together and an amazing Linkin Park offering!

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R&B Fridays: Episode 65

19 tracks from 19 different artists this week tells you that this episode is stacked with variety. Mostly established names too (at least in the R&B Fridays series!), so this is definitely one to be getting involved with.

As per usual routine, let’s catch up with the R&B week gone by: the new Rihanna single, Ne-Yo’s latest video, hugely anticipated visuals for Bruno Mars’ debut single, the official tracklisting for Bruno’s debut album, much-delayed video from Auburn, and finally the latest collab from Taio Cruz and Tinchy Stryder.
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Spotify: OTU's August Snapshot

Some superb stuff in our August snapshot which perfectly compliments the closing of summer as we welcome autumn with open arms. We’ve mixed old school with new school to create that sound which will have you rocking out until next month’s episode. New material from the likes of Atmosphere, Usher, Fat Joe, Sage Francis, Lil Wayne and Drake all sit comfortably next to some classic older joints from Damien Rice, Linkin Park, Kanye West, and of course, Eric B and Rakim.

If you’re still clutching onto the dying days of summer then don’t worry, we’ve kept July’s snapshot available for you. But trust us, take our hands and let’s step into autumn together.

OTU’s August Snapshot

Confused? Find out more here.

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Usher and Pitbull-DJ Got Us Falling In Love Video

Just as he should, Usher drops off a video for one of his better tracks of recent times. The video is themed as you’d expect, being based in a club and involving lots of great choreography.

Definitely one that fits the track well, and is certain to go over as a big hit. A very likeable track for sure, be sure to swack the audio from here if you missed it previously.

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R&B Fridays: Episode 62

The 62nd episode of everyone’s favourite R&B dose brings you a bunch of big names and big tracks.

Before clicking on, be sure to have a look through the R&B-related posts from the week gone by: a great collab from Sean Garrett and Drake, visuals for Trey Songz and Nicki Minaj’s Bottoms Up, the first single from Lloyd’s upcoming album and finally Jay Sean’s new video.

All done? Proud of you. Click on and reward yourself.

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R&B Fridays: Episode 61

Fingers crossed, this week’s R&B Friday will actually reach you on time!

A really diverse episode awaits you this week, with both an interesting mixture of tracks and a range of well-known artists making the cut this week. Plenty of content with over 20 tracks making up this instalment, you should have enough to see you through the next week.

Hit that red line below and eat as much as you like. Go on, go crazy. No-one’s watching.

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Upcoming Album/Single Artwork

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Usher, Chris Brown and Elephant Man Share A Stage

There’s dancing, screaming, singing, rapping and thrusting. Pretty much all you can ask for. Shame about the video/audio quality, but it’s still pretty cool.

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Usher-Versus EP Tracklist

Edit: Bringing this back up as I’ve added the official artwork.

Nice to know his brilliant leaks as of late as going to see the light of day in terms of official release. Tracklist is below, and you should recognise a few tracks. I might drop one more before it’s released.

01. Love ‘Em All
02. DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love
03. Hot Toddy (ft. Jay-Z and Ciara)
04. Lay You Down
05. Lingerie
06. There Goes My Baby
07. Get In My Car (ft. Bun B)
08. Somebody To Love (Remix) (with Justin Bieber)
09. Stranger

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Behind the Music: Usher [Documentary]

You can see the full episode of Usher’s VH1 documentary to the left here, with revealing insight into his past relationships, his divorce and his rise to stardom (plus more). Must watch for Usher fans.

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Usher - There Goes My Baby [Video]

Visuals for a very likeable track off Usher’s Raymond V. Raymond. Seeing as Usher is topless for a large portion of this video, you can guess that the video is catered more to the female of the species.

Audio can be taken from an R&B Friday episode that was posted over 6 months ago!

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Gucci Mane/Trina/Usher

< ---- This pic makes me laugh! Anyway, 2 new Gucci tracks for you - one with Trina which may or may not be on an upcoming album or mixtape of his and one where he's laid down a verse to Usher's (now played out) OMG. Gucci Mane – Vampire ft. Trina

Usher – OMG (remix) ft. Gucci Mane

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R&B Fridays: Episode 56

After the success of last week’s R&B Friday, I’ve once again picked up Ajay’s mantle this week and have for you another quality episode.

Here we have for you some big names in Ciara, Usher, JLS, Chris Brown, Keri Hilson, Omarion and we also have for you some newcomers. Up and coming regulars of this weekly feature like Jackie Boyz & Rock City also make an appearance, as you’d expect by now.

So click on for a load of tracks that will keep you entertained until your next scheduled fix!

Edit: I’ve since received the official album version of the new Usher track (with a different, new Pitbull verse) so come inside and grab the even higher quality one.

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