Usher and Sugar Ray Leonard attended B. Riley & Co. & The Sugar Ray Leonard Foundation Present The 4th Annual ‘Big Fighters, Big Cause’ Charity Fight Night to benefit Juvenile Diabetes on May 21, 2013 in Santa Monica, California.
You’ve also been working with Usher on his upcoming LP. In his remix of Rocko’s “U.O.E.N.O,” Usher mentions he has some more “confessions” for his listeners. Do you think a “Confessions” part II is on the way or is this just another confessional album?
I would say part two; part two sounds good compared to what “Confessions” was. What he kept expressing [to me] was his desire to give people the real and a glimpse into his life. That’s what the first one was. He was talking about his relationship with Chilli and people connected with that. People gravitate to that because everyone is going through the same problem within their own lives. It makes the music a little bit easier to adapt to and relate to.
What sound is Usher going for this time around?
Usher is at a place where he’s more comfortable. With his other projects, I think he was like, “Okay. I’m going to do this because I think people may want to hear this.” But, I think this time around, he’s going to do what he wants to do in his heart and that’s R&B, the stuff that got him here in the first place. He’s done so many genres of music and excelled in every area, so now he’s like, “Cool. What’s left for me to do? I’ve done everything. So, I’m going to take it back to R&B, timeless music.”
Considering the current state of R&B, do you think Usher will be able to successfully implement that?
I definitely do. He has always done R&B, even on the last project. We did “What Happened to U.” All of those were R&B, but with a different beat. We were able to experiment on “I Care For You,” with some next level, futuristic, dub step type of music, but still with the touch of smooth R&B within the melodies. [The album] is definitely still very commercial. It’s going to be for the radio and the club. He’s still Usher. He has to lead the pack.
Rocko’s street anthem “U.O.E.N.O.” has caught the attention of many artists, jumping on various remixes including Rick Ross, A$AP Rocky, and Wiz Khalifa. Usher adds a twist to it, giving the Childish Major-produced hit an R&B touch. Hopping on the version with Future and 2 Chainz, Mr. Raymond raps about trips to Dubai, encounters with female fans, and haters who say he’s lost it. Check it out below.