Surprise! Usher’s Hard II Love has arrived.
Landing a few days ahead of its Sept. 16 release date, the R&B veteran’s eighth studio album, formerly known as Flawed, has been unleashed exclusively via TIDAL.
Last night, during a TIDAL x Sprint listening session at The Theatre at Ace Hotel in downtown Los Angeles, Usher revealed that the 15-track album was made with a specific vision in mind.
“I really did cater this album to men, specifically men who don’t think love is cool to do,” he told Real 92.3’s Big Boy.
Mr. Raymond revealed that the labor of love also took approximately three years to finalize, which helps explain the album title change.
“I went through an entire transformation as a man,” he added. “I don’t want to be Flawed anymore. I might be Hard II Love, but we all are.”
Part of that transformation allowed him to make songs with range. “Tell Me,” for instance, is a self-proclaimed baby-making anthem, while the somber “Stronger” deals with the death of his stepson, Kile Glover (“Though you’re gone, you still live in my mind,” he sings).
HIIL, which follows 2014’s Looking 4 Myself, features guest appearances from Young Thug (“No Limit”) and Future (“Rivals”), as well as contributions from Pharrell (“FWM”), Metro Boomin (“Make U a Believer”), Bibi Bourelly (“Hard II Love”), The-Dream and Tricky Stewart (“Bump”), and Raphael Saadiq (“Champions”).
Stream Hard II Love now via TIDAL.