On Witnessing His Parents' Divorce
"My mother and father divorced, but I don’t think it’s intended to be that way. I think that people should be able to work through their issues and their problems but I feel like if you’re at a place where two things together don’t create a positive exchange that makes you feel better and me feel better, then it’s not meant to be. I think I was always afraid. I’ll say this much, after making the decision to be married, if I had ever considered getting out of a situation because it was too much, the thing that made me hesitant about divorce earlier I think was just watching my [parents'] situation. My mother and father decided not to work it out so I was always challenging getting to that point. I don’t know what caused them to not work out but I didn’t want that experience because I wanted to feel something different than what I felt as a child. I wanted to know that my father and mother loved each other and that they got along and that they were positive and there was no negativity in the air in our house and I think the only thing that sheltered me from that is maybe them not being together. [Laughs] But I think children should be exposed to a positive structure. I think that them seeing dysfunctional relationships only leads them to have dysfunctional relationships in the future. So I aspired to have something different than what they had."
On The First Thing His First Son Did That Made Him Proud
"The one thing that made me the most proud about Usher [V] is he taught himself how to walk. I remember we were standing in the kitchen and I just kept hearing [makes thumping noises]. He just kept falling on the ground and I looked over the counter and I recognized he was pulling himself up on the doors of the cabinet and walking around the kitchen, and he would get himself to a point where he would turn his leg and begin to walk. So when I saw him making the effort I said, 'Cool, you really wanna walk? You ready now?' So I took him into the bedroom, this huge bedroom, long, long carpet, and I stood him up and I begin to walk with him and coach him and move him forward. I would hold his hands and let him get started and I would let him go and make him stand there and, of course, he would decide to either step back or either sit down—a lot of times he’d just fall over—but the fact that he decided that, I wanna walk now. It wasn’t like [In high pitched voice], 'Okay come on we’re gonna walk today!” He decided."
On A Song He Wished Was More Successful
"There’s this record called 'Realest One' that JD did. I really wish that it could’ve been a success. See it’s odd for me. Because maybe I’m not the best articulator. Or maybe people can’t understand my conversation. It’s hard because the only way that I’ve ever been able to speak to my audience about my life’s choices and my life direction and my feeling and where I’m headed is through music. And that probably was disconnected for a minute because people just didn’t understand my choices. ’Cause I didn’t really have a forum, like a conversation for people to misconstrue. For some reason, in music it’s undeniable to the point that they’ll believe something that ain’t even real"
On The New Artists He Cosigns
"The young artists that are blazing new trails. That ain’t just one person. That’s a formula that was set partially by myself, partially by Prince, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, the people that are following that, that’s the future of R&B. I can’t [name anyone]. Too big of a statement. It takes a lot of time to even… I wouldn’t want to be offensive to the people who actually set the form, like Prince. Like D’Angelo. Like Anthony Hamilton, who I know are incredible artists that understand the essence of what R&B is. Like Raheem DeVaughn. The people who study the classics are the ones that will be represented. It ain’t even a specific person."