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Parlour Exclusive: Usher, Aged to Perfection

Our boy, ahem, our man, Usher, was in New York recently and Parlour got the chance to kick it with the triple-threat chiseled entertainer. Don’t even try escaping his single “Love In This Club,” and his album, Here I Stand, hits shelves May 27th. With wall-to-wall club joints and slow jams made for quickies, this latest disc should knock as hard as its 2004 predecessor Confessions. But there’s a more mature Usher at its helm. It’s still the same Ursh who used to drop his pants during shows, except he’s married now (for which he’s attracted some hate) and just had his first child, Usher Raymond IV. Along with addressing the haters, Usher also let Parlour in on the mind state of a married man and how he’s getting better with age.

Parlour: Where’ve you been hiding?

Usher: I need you to miss me [he smiles]. If I stay in your face all the time you’ll get tired of seeing me. I went to Broadway (Chicago, the musical), did a movie. I had a label and still do. But when I’m in another area of entertainment I’m missing what I do the most. So I’ll be on stage playing Billy Flynn but singing records that I came up with or doing new dance choreography. Or if I’m on the set and supposed to be in character, I’m somewhere off in the corner singing and dancing.

P: How has your marriage and fatherhood affected your music?

U: This album, to me, is a staple in time. I like to make music about where I am, but I also try to make records that will be like soundtracks to life. So that people will be able to relate to them, maybe one day grow from them, learn, love from ’em. This one particularly is more special than all of the others. I know it sounds cliché to say that! But honestly it’s the pivotal moment for me as an artist, as well as a husband in a way, and a father. These are all new journeys for me, the most meaningful, because they’re the most rewarding.

P: How exactly have you grown?

U: The knowledge that rests in the mistakes slowly but surely become wisdom, so that’s really the process that I’m going through as a man. Where I stand as a husband, as a father, as an individual, as a businessman, is all a testimony to what I’ve been through and where I’ve been.

P: How does “Love in This Club” fit into that?

U: “Love in This Club” is the position that I was in about two years ago and as a result of having that record, there’s a series of events that will happen.

P: Talk about the title track, “Here I Stand.” I heard some things about it…

U: It’s an intimate conversation that a young man has with his woman when he says, “I know it’s hard for you to believe that you’re the only one for me.” This is the set-up before a man says, “I’m standing here with you.”

P: And some of the other tracks?

U: “Something Special” is about the feeling of finding love for the first time. When you finally decide to really take a relationship to the next level and be serious it’s something that you don’t back away from. Even if you try to escape it, you can’t find a way to get out of it. It’s got to be something special. And a lot of times when you find that thing, other people may not believe in it. Other people may be against it. Other people may not understand it. But it’s you and that person against the world, and that’s really the attitude and the position you have to take.

P: Which song do you identify with the most?

U: Well, I identify with all of the records to be honest with you. But “Before I Met You” is one of the songs that I instantly identify with. I’ll just tell you some of the hook: “I was a hustler and a player before I met you. I tricked a little something, hit a little something before I met you. How you made a difference, what I been missing, I got my life together and I’ll thank you forever. I really used to go all out before I met you. Had a new one every night and sometimes I had two. But all of that done changed, my games, my frame of mind you got it right and I’ll love you for life.” It’s what I think a young man is, before he decides to become a real man.

P: Last words?

U: I love my son and I love my wife and they’re the supporting foundation of what I’m doing. I love my fans, I thank y’all so, so much for coming back to the party with me. For all you haters, sorry we back on top. [Laughs] For those of you that doubted it for a minute I’m really sorry for you, but this is definitely going to be a reward for those who’ve been waiting, rooting and supporting and I’m not gon’ let you down. I promise. ~p~

If you like Usher, check out our exclusive interview with John Legend.

Last 5 posts by Parlour

  • Bundy

    Very Dope! Cant wait for the album, great interview…. Wow is it me or is Parlour slowly but surely becoming the SHIT!

  • Nick

    USHER-we luv u 2 man & we knw u NOT gna let us dwn, CNT WAIT 4 the RECORD!

  • Naomi

    blah.

  • MsLady

    USHER IS A TOTAL JERK!! HE WAS SO RUDE TO ME FOR NO REASON AND I WILL NEVER SUPPORT ANYTHING HE DOES. HOLLA AT ME FOR A BOOTLEG COPY OF HIS SHIT!!

  • MsLady

    KIDDING, I’M NOT A BOOTLEGGER, BUT I WILL NOT BUY ANYTHING REMOTELY RELATED TO USHER. JACKASS!!

  • MsLady,
    Care to dish on what happened? Did he step on your Manolos? Give you the stinkeye? Did he shutdown a flirtation? Details! Details!

  • SWEETFACE

    ITS COOL BUT HE DID FORGET TO SAY HE LOVE HIS SON AND WIFE AND STEPKIDS.

  • NEGRODAMUS

    USHER ARE YOU SERIOUS?? THE FASTEST WAY TO CONTINUE TO LOSE MORE FANS IS TO…ADDRESS YOUR FANS AS HATERS!! WHEN YOU SPEW NEGATIVITY ABOUT WHO DOESN’T LIKE YOUR MUSIC ECT..IT BREEDS MORE OF THE SAME NEGATIVE ENERGY. YOU OUGHT TO BE SMARTER THAN THAT. ITS NOT YOU AGAINST THE WORLD, IT’S YOU AGAINST GOD. YOU CAN FIGHT IT IF YOU WANT BUT EVEN STEVIE WONDER CAN SEE THAT YOU MADE A MISTAKE. WE ALL FALL SHORT BUT MATURITY COMES IN KNOWING WHEN SOMETHING IS HURTING YOU MORE THAN IT’S HELPING.

  • Mspretty

    okay so the whole album is about his love for Tameka? Thanks but I’ll pass.

  • MsLady

    LOL no, I was a big Usher fan. I saw him in Atlanta and tried to introduce myself to him and he completely brushed me off. Didn’t even speak. Gave me a look like “why are you talking to me?” that was really heartbreaking, so now I hate him!