It’s hard to believe we’ve waited this long for an Usher and Drake duet. But the wait will soon be over.
The singing superstar, whose self-titled debut LP turned 20 years old in August, recently announced that he and Drake would appear on the same track on his upcoming album, UR.
The collaboration came about after Drake crashed the shoot for “She Came To Give It To You,” Usher’s new Nicki Minaj-featured single. Ursh took the 27-year-old rapper to his car and played some of his new, unreleased material. Drizzy immediately gravitated to one record.
“He was in love with the record the first time he heard it,” Usher told VIBE of Drake’s initial reaction to their eagerly anticipated song. “He said, ‘I really feel like I could do this record a service and just take it up another notch. It’s great, and I’d love to be a part of this one.”
While Usher isn’t quite ready to reveal the song’s subject matter, he insists that Drake opens up in his lyrics.
“He touched on some pretty personal stuff in it, man,” says Usher. “It’s definitely one of those really cool, vibey records.”
Usher and Drake have shown admiration and respect for each other over the years. Earlier this summer, Usher performed at the fifth-annual OVO Fest in Toronto, where he was challenged to a sidewalk dance battle by the hosting Drake. Back in 2010, Drake repurposed the outro to Usher’s classic “Nice & Slow” for Chris Brown and Tyga’s “Deuces (Remix)”; both stars appeared on DJ Khaled’s posse cut “Fed Up” that same year.
Usher has been getting busy as he embarks on his eighth studio LP. He’s already dropped the risqué lead single “Good Kisser,” and aforementioned “She Came To Give It To You,” which he performed at the VMAs last month, memorably bouncing his head and shoulders against Nicki’s backside. He’s also released the Mike WiLL Made It-produced “Believe Me,” and has collaborations with Kid Ink, Wale and Young Thug and T.I. in the stash.
“I’m at a place where I’m having fun,” Usher says. “This album I really listened to my previous albums for inspiration because I wanted to create a collective experience. I realize now looking back 20 years that I’m not just one thing. I’m all of these things. So that experience kind of derives from the place of being inspired by all of the albums of the past. It’s not about just where we are right now.”
While there’s no set release date for UR (pronounced like an acronym), fans can get their Usher fix on his upcoming tour The UR Experience, which also features August Alsina and DJ Cassidy, and kicks off Nov. 1 in Montreal, Quebec. —John Kennedy