Aging is a scary thing, whether it be physically or mentally; time shows it’s wear and tear. It’s scary as a regular person and I can’t imagine the fear as a musician. Awards for best new artist become lifetime achievement awards in the blink of an eye. Your key fan base goes from teenyboppers to parents embarrassing their kids with they’re enthusiasm for your music.
A month after Lil Wayne pulled an age defying feat and dropped Tha Carter V, Usher decided to fight aging and drop a tape with Zaytoven.
At first I didn’t want to listen but Usher gave us U Got It Bad, and if you’ve ever had a crush, you know U Got It Bad. So with that I had to give “A” a shot.
Usher is at his best when he’s stressed. When Ushers going through a situation that might be/probably is his fault, he’s at his BEST. Usher is an emotional version of Wolverine. While he can heal himself, his power comes at the cost that he has to get severely hurt to truly showcase his gifts.
“A” is not stress.
Granted Usher doesn’t have a lot to be worried about as he still makes money off his white gold mine Justin Bieber, but still, this isn’t his best.
“A” sounds like the prequel to some stress. “A” is like watching a jogger make “record time” before discovering a body on Law & Order SVU. It’s like Ushers out spending money and partying so he’s totally unprepared to deal with a new baby’s mom or a herpes flare up. With this in mind this tape makes me anxious as fuck.
Look, I am an anxious person, I live in constant dread that there’s a detail or a thing I’ve missed that will come back and bite me in the ass. I can’t get comfortable listening to this music. This shit feels like wearing an all white outfit to an all-you-can-eat Tomato Soup and Chocolate buffet.
If there is a sense of worry in the music it’s the unspoken fear of aging. Usher talks about buying chicks titties and flexing at the Gucci store, but you can tell he’s overcompensating for some grey hairs. He brags about putting ladies through college but he doesn’t talk about the (probable) times people thought he was their Dads on campus. It’s hard to sing about aging in a confident way, but I kinda wish he’d try.
This tape really doesn’t have a purpose to me. It feels like everyone involved needed a reason to make more money. But idk, I kind of have hope this is a part of a series of tapes where Usher describes a downfall and eventually rise back to grace.
“A” is OK, I give it 3.5 cans of Bigen out of 8.