Rico Love: Usher’s New Album Is ‘Classic’

Usher offered fans a glimpse into his personal life with the art-imitating-life buzz single “Papers.” But if you think that’s the only surprise the R&B crooner has in store, think again. Hitmaker Rico Love, who contributed six songs to Usher’s sixth album Raymond vs. Raymond, currently set for a December release, shared exclusive details with Rap-Up.com about the project.

Usher’s fifth album Here I Stand didn’t resonate with his audience as much as 2004’s multi-platinum Confessions. How does this new album compare to his previous efforts?
It’s going to be amazing. I did six records on the album. I feel like he’s got his mind right and it’s focused. He went through a lot. He had lost his father when he was creating the Here I Stand record, a lot of controversy with his marriage, he had kids, he parted ways with his mother’s management, and there were just a lot of things going on and he kind of lost focus. It’s not like Here I Stand wasn’t a good album. I just feel like he lost touch with his demographic.

What are the titles of the tracks you contributed to the project?
“There Goes My Baby,” “Into the Night,” “Lay You Down,” “Hey Daddy,” and “My Bag” to name a few.

He sang about his divorce on “Papers.” Will the album touch more on his relationship with his ex-wife Tameka Foster?
No, not at all. I think that’s why he put out the “Papers” record to say, “Listen, this is the last time I’ll be talking about it.” I’m sure he’s going to touch on it in a few records, but I don’t want people to think that’s what it’s about because he’s way more classier than that. I can say firsthand that the album is amazing. I’m a part of it. It’s going to be one of those classic Usher albums.

So is “Papers” his official first single?
No, “Papers” is not his first single. It’s his buzz record. Sean Garrett wrote that record. I have the utmost respect for people like Sean Garrett, Ne-Yo, and The-Dream. I really am a fan of what they do and I look up to those guys.

What’s it like working with Usher?
Usher is a genius with recording and will sing songs with such enthusiam and feeling. It’s just genius the way he translates what he’s saying to make it so personal. It’s effortless. I think Usher is my number one favorite artist to record. Mario and Beyoncé will have to be a close second.

–Monique Balcarran