Attention, anyone hoping to make love to Usher, either in this club or elsewhere — it’s not him you need to impress, it’s the dudes who write his songs. For a piece in yesterday’s Times, the R&B star spoke with David Peisner about the genesis of his new divorce album, Raymond vs. Raymond. Were you curious about who authored the lyric in “There Goes My Baby” that sounds like a reference to Chili (from TLC), with whom Usher broke up in 2004? It wasn’t Usher!
Given that Usher was recently divorced, one might think he was contemplating life with his ex-wife. But when asked if a particular lyric — “Like waterfalls, your hair falls down to your waist” — was intended as a nod and wink to his former girlfriend, Rozonda Thomas, Chili of the R&B group TLC, who scored a career-defining hit with 1994’s “Waterfalls,” Usher smiled broadly.
“Rico’s crazy, right?” he said with a laugh, referring to Rico Love who wrote the song’s lyrics. “He’s a great writer. Real tricky.”
(Rico Love, in a phone interview, admitted the nod was intentional: “I always thought Chili and Usher were a great couple, so I did that to spark something.”)
Usher and Chili haven’t reunited yet (as far as we know), but the album’s not technically out until tomorrow, so anything can happen. But one of the tracks on the album did help spark something — a divorce! Raymond’s lead single — whose chorus includes the lines, “I’m ready to sign them papers, papers, papers/I done took all I can take but you leave me no options girl” — was composed before Usher had actually signed any papers.
“Papers” was actually written before Usher filed for divorce, partly by Sean Garrett, who also helped write “Yeah!,” the Grammy-winning hit from “Confessions.”
“Me and Usher are friends,” Mr. Garrett said. “I could tell he was going through some very strenuous things. I thought it would be relatable to where he was at.”
We hope he at least fired the songwriter who made him get married in the first place.