Top 20 Usher Songs

Last summer I broke my streak of only writing about sports to give my Top 20 list of Kanye West songs. I had a lot of fun doing it, and apparently enough people liked reading it because it’s now my 12th-most read post ever.

Now it’s Usher’s turn.

Kanye is the greatest artist of our generation, but Usher was the first artist I ever saw live (with my good friends Reed Payne and Ryan Melton), and he put on the greatest performance I’ve ever seen in concert. The best part was undoubtedly when he brought a girl on stage and sang Trading Places on top of her.

Making a Top 20 list was pretty difficult (I’d love to see all your lists too) because I had to leave off some really good songs. U Remind Me, My Boo, Scream, OMG, and More, just to name a few.

And like last time, if you don’t want to read about my musical preferences, that’s just too bad. Skip this post.

Of course, this is my personal list of favorite Usher songs that are going to be different than everyone else’s. Everyone has their own personal preferences, so I don’t expect you to love every one of my picks. The real point of this post is to start a discussions about some of the best songs of the past decade plus.

20. Euphoria

Looking 4 Myself — 2012

Looking 4 Myself – 2012

Euphoria is definitely more of a new-school Usher song since he teamed up with Swedish House Mafia to make it more or less an EDM song instead of just relying on his vocals. This song is a lot of fun, and I like what Usher did on his latest album, Looking 4 Myself, which is why I have this song in over older classics like My Boo and U Remind Me.

Highlights:

“Cause the fire don’t fear the water
And the night don’t fear the thief
It’s just you and me together
Here we are, we are, we found euphoria”

“Re-introduction to a feeling I don’t wanna know
Yeah I been running but it caught me somehow
The rule was never fall in love, I did it anyway
You make my heart beat keep pumping
Why the hell you turn it up so loud?”

Favorite Part of the Music Video:

There is no music video. Sad.

19. DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love

Usher1

Raymond v. Raymond – 2010

This song cracks my top 20 despite featuring Pitbull, which is a feat in and of itself. DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love didn’t quite peak as high as fellow Raymond v. Raymond song OMG (#4 versus #1), but I’ve always thought OMG had a bit more annoying lyrics. This song isn’t particularly deep, but the hook is infectious, Usher can really sing, and just like Euphoria, it’s a lot of fun.

Highlights:

“Yeah baby tonight, the DJ got us fallin’ in love again
So dance, dance like it’s the last, last night of your life, life
Gon’ get you right”

“Keep downing drinks like there’s no tomorrow
There’s just right now, now, now, na-na-now, now
Gon’ set the roof on fire gonna burn this
Mutherfucker down, down, down, da-da-down, down”

Favorite Part of the Music Video:

Either when he does the Guitar Hero-esque slide in front of the windows or when the crowd just starts doing really weird things.

18. Caught Up

Usher_-_Confessions_album_cover

Confessions – 2004

Usher’s been making club-friendly hits for a while, even if his EDM phase is new. This one is have heavy on brass and percussion, which is the exact type of music I’m a sucker for. This song basically brags that Usher never falls in love but just did when he saw this girl, which is kind of odd because every other song of his is about being in love. But anyway, great song.

Highlights:

“I’m the kind of brother
Who been doing it my way getting my way for years
In my career
And every lover
In and out my life I’ve hit, love and left the tears
Without a care”

“Until I met this girl who turned the tables around
She caught me by surprise
I never thought I’d be the one breaking down
I can’t figure it out why”

Favorite Part of the Music Video:

Either when he dresses and looks exactly like Ne-Yo in the beginning or when he dances in absurdly baggy dress pants.

17. Show Me

usher-looking-for-myself

Looking 4 Myself – 2012

This song has more of an old school feel on Usher’s newest album. Just like the first three songs on the list, it’s a really fun song (and heavy on percussion) and doesn’t have the deepest or most emotional lyrics. I can’t help but smile when I hear this song, though, so that’s why it’s up so high.

Highlights:

“The night is young, you know
We’ve just begun
Let’s have some fun until the moon turns to the sun
Look out the DJ’s got this party jumping
It’s easy to let loose when you sipping something
Relax, it’s what you deserve
There’s no need to be reserved, no”

“Telling you can’t control what you can’t have
You’re here, to enjoy yourself
What time, in the back of your mind
Spending what left of it on the floor”

Favorite Part of the Music Video:

What a lazy artist, that Usher. Can’t make a music video for every one of his songs.

16. Bad Girl

Usher_-_Confessions_album_cover

Confessions – 2004

Bad Girl is essentially the musical version of Dikembe Mutombo’s (apparently false) quote “Who wants to sex Mutombo?” If that isn’t enough for you to listen to the song, I don’t know what you’re looking for in entertainment.

Highlights:

“Players, when you see me
Act like you know me
I keep a dollar worth of dimes
You know pimpin’ ain’t easy”

“What sexy lady is
Coming home with me tonight?
I’m ready to be bad
I need a bad girl
Super bad, baby
Get at me, bad girl”

Favorite Part of the Music Video:

This seems like a big missed opportunity for a great music video, but performing it live with Beyonce will just have to do.

15. Confessions, Pt. II

Usher_-_Confessions_album_cover

Confessions – 2004

Five songs in, we finally get a sad song. Confessions and Confessions, Pt. II are really one continuous song Usher wrote with Jermaine Dupri, and since the second part comes up first on this list, I’ll go ahead and ruin Confessions. Usher confesses to cheating on his girl in part one (apparently not based on his own life) and confesses that his side chick is pregnant in part 2. For some reason, though, he thinks there’s a chance the two of them will stick together. Probably because he’s Usher.

Highlights:

“The first thing that came to mind was you
Second thing was how do I know if it’s mine and is it true
Third thing was me wishin’ that I never did what I did
How I ain’t ready for no kid and bye bye to our relationship”

“Just when I thought I said all I could say
My chick on the side said she got one on the way
These are my confessions
Man I’m thrown and I don’t know what to do
I guess I gotta give part 2 of my confessions
If I’m gonna tell it then I gotta tell it all
Damn near cried when I got that phone call”

Favorite Part of the Music Video:

This is a tough choice between his surprisingly powerful chair kick and him trying to get back with his girl by grabbing her ass.

14. Stranger

Usher1

Raymond v. Raymond – 2010

Stranger is a song about how a girl isn’t treating Usher right because of a poor relationship in her past, which is a pretty common theme in his music. This one’s a little different from songs like His Mistakes, though, because he’s trying to get to know this girl instead of thinking about ending things. Great beat on this song.

Highlights:

“Say you’ll never give away your heart again
I’ll be knocking ’til you let me in
I know you told me, you rather be lonely
You don’t even know, that’s why I no longer want to be a stranger”

“Girl you independent as hell and doing by your self but
What you gon’ do when the night time gets cold?”

Favorite Part of the Music Video:

Stranger has never been particularly popular, which makes it no surprise this song lacks a video. I don’t think it ever cracked the Billboard 100.

13. His Mistakes

Hereistand

Here I Stand – 2008

Here I Stand has four great songs on it, two of which are pretty sad, the other two of which are very… love in this club-y. His Mistakes falls into the “pretty sad” category, and Usher gets pretty emotional in this song. Personally, I think it’s one of his better musical songs. Then again, what do I know about music? I played percussion.

Highlights:

“And it’s killing me girl knowing you compare me to him
Always guilty before the sin
I can’t win, I can’t win
I’ll do anything to prove I love you
Baby girl would I refuse to
Pay for something I didn’t do”

“I know he did you wrong
But tell me what does that have to do with me
Trying to show you something real
Figure out what is going on
Before you look up and I’ll be gone”

Favorite Part of the Music Video:

…no music video.

12. U Got It Bad

Usher8701Cover

8701 – 2001

U Got It Bad was Usher’s third ever number one single and the earliest to appear on my Top 20 list. If you haven’t heard it, the title’s misleading because he’s really just saying that love makes people really change for one another. But like in a good way.

Highlights:

“I’ve been there, done it, fucked around
After all that – this is what I found
Nobody wants to be alone
If you’re touched by the words in this song
Then baby
You got, you got it bad”

“All my people who know what’s going on
Look at your mate, help me sing my song
Tell her: ‘I’m your man, you’re my girl
I’m gonna tell it to the whole wide world’
Ladies say: ‘I’m you girl, you’re my man
Promise to love you the best I can'”

Favorite Part of the Music Video:

Really I just wish I could dance like Usher.

11. Numb

usher-looking-for-myself

Looking 4 Myself – 2012

Numb is the other song along with Euphoria that Usher made with Swedish House Mafia. This one better shows off Usher’s great voice, has a better beat, and is just better overall. It’s the only song on this list that’s not about love, but it’s such a fun song. I’m honestly surprised it didn’t peak higher than 69th in the US.

Highlights:

“I’m just saying that what don’t kill only makes you strong
If you don’t recognize what is real
Then forever is a long, long, long, long time”

“Keep on doing the same old thing
And you expecting change
Well is that really insanity
Or just a losers’ game
I only trust in the things I feel
Some may say that’s strange
You better recognize what is real
Cause forever is a long, long, long, long time”

Favorite Part of the Music Video:

A lot is going on in this music video, but Usher starts it off by saying “I feel like a failure, hopeless, paralyzed, numb.” USHER NO!!!

10. Confessions

Usher_-_Confessions_album_cover

Confessions – 2004

I give Confessions the edge over Confessions, Pt. II because his first verse is so iconic (Every time I was in L.A. I was with my ex-girlfriend…) and he shows off his musical range better. I also love when he backs himself up singing toward the end of the song, kind of like Ne-Yo at the end of So Sick.

Highlights:

“Every time I was in L.A. I was with my ex girlfriend
Every time you called I told you ‘baby I’m workin’
I was out doing my dirt
Wasn’t thinking bout you getting hurt
I was hand-in-hand in the Beverly Center like man
Not givin’ a damn who sees me”

“Everything that I’ve been doing is all bad
I got a chick on the side with a crib and a ride
I been telling you so many lies
Ain’t none good it’s all bad
And I just wanna confess
It’s been going on so long
Girl I been doing you so wrong”

Favorite Part of the Music Video:

Usher didn’t make one just for Confessions, but he used that first verse in his Confessions, Pt. II video, so I’ll go with his totally convincing transition from talking to singing to start the song.

9. Lemme See

usher-looking-for-myself

Looking 4 Myself – 2012

Usher really shows off his falsetto here in a song about bringing a girl home. His part is pretty simple lyrically which contrasts Rick Ross’ clever lines at the end well. Ricky Rozay manages to drop a Trayvon Martin reference, find a rhyme for LeBron, and end with a clever ice/hot line in his 16 bars. It’s also pretty hard not to like the beat for this song.

Highlights:

“She says she wanna take her skirt off, be my guest
I decided to take my shirt off, and show my chest
And we’ve been sipping on that Merlot
So you know what’s next
Working intermissions, switching positions
We so explicit, oh….”

“You’ve been saying all night long
That you couldn’t wait to get me all alone
What you gon’ do to me?
Don’t talk about it, be about it
Let me see, let me see, let me see”

Favorite Part of the Music Video:

The changing tattoos on the girl (which may have given inspiration to the album cover) are pretty sweet, but really who doesn’t like to see a shirtless Rick Ross? I’ll pick the scene where the girl’s tattoo spills onto a shirtless Rick Ross.

8. Love In This Club Part II

Hereistand

Here I Stand – 2008

It’s no Love In This Club, but Part II is still very good and includes guest appearances by Beyonce and Lil Wayne. That’s Lil Wayne back when he was still good, and he has two nice allusions to his best song: Lollipop. The hook of the song isn’t great, which is why it’s so low on the list, but Usher and Beyonce’s duet is so well done.

Highlights:

“Now baby girl there ain’t nothin more that I can say
You know by now, I want it more than anything
If I walk away and just let you leave
You’ll be stuck in my head like a melody”

“I know, we here together
So this must be something special
Cause, you could be anywhere you wanted
But you decided to be here with me
No coincidence, it was meant to be
Don’t be shy, come let ya boy get in
So you can tell all of your friends
He was on the remix”

Favorite Part of the Music Video:

Not making a music video for his song about having sex with Beyonce is undoubtedly the biggest mistake of Usher’s career.

7. Burn

Usher_-_Confessions_album_cover

Confessions – 2004

Like both parts of Confessions, Usher wrote this song with Jermaine Dupri, although this one actually is based on his life. He wrote this song as he was nearing the end of a two-year relationship with Chilli from TLC, which must have led to some awkward conversations at home. “Hey, have you been working on any new songs lately?” “Yeah, I’m working on one about how my relationship is going poorly and I should end it soon.”

Highlights:

“Tell me why I should stay in this relationship
When I’m hurting baby, I ain’t happy baby
Plus there’s so many other things I gotta deal with
I think that you should let it burn”

“Man I don’t know what I’m gonna do
Without my boo
You’ve been gone for too long
It’s been fiddy-leven days, um-teen hours
Imma be burnin’ till you return”

Favorite Part of the Music Video:

His girl diving into the pool and him jumping off the bed as they light on fire are pretty cool moments, but my favorite is when all the palm trees start burning and raining down flames. Fire is so great.

6. Moving Mountains

Hereistand

Here I Stand – 2008

What a heartbreaker of a song. Usher is trying his hardest but he can’t get through to his girl; it’s too hard for them to continue. These are some of his better lyrics, and he absolutely belts them, which makes for a really good song. I probably have this higher than most people because this was the second Usher song I ever got hooked on (after Love In This Club).

Highlights:

“But I keep climbing and hoping things would change
And the sky turns gray
And the water from the rain washes progress away
It’s like moving mountains”

“I love you, and I shouldn’t complain about it
I should take it like a man and walk up out it
Cause we will never be the same, ooh
I’ve been standing in gas and you have been the flame”

Favorite Part of the Music Video:

This is actually one of Usher’s best music videos, and I don’t really have any places to make fun of it. I guess the end sequence is pretty cool.

5. There Goes My Baby

Usher1

Raymond v. Raymond – 2010

Man this is just a sweet song. That’s about all there is to it. If you don’t like this song then you’re just cold and heartless. Also: this is pretty high up there on Usher’s baby making music scale.

Highlights:

“I’ve been waiting all day to wrap my hands
Around your waist and kiss your face
Wouldn’t trade this feeling for nothing
Not even for a minute
And I’ll sit here long as it takes
To get you all alone
But as soon as you come walking my way
You gon hear me say”

“There goes my baby
Ooh girl look at you
You don’t know how good it feels to call you my girl
There goes my baby
Loving everything you do
Ooh girl look at you”

Favorite Part of the Music Video:

The music video is just as sweet as the song (and it does get borderline soft-core pornographic at times), but this scene is just impressive.

4. Climax

usher-looking-for-myself

Looking 4 Myself – 2012

I know I’ve already said a song was heartbreaking before, but this is Usher’s saddest song of all. You can just hear it in his voice. It’s almost haunting. What’s kind of funny is that Climax and Euphoria both appear on his latest album (Looking 4 Myself) and their titles mean essentially the same thing in a vacuum, but the songs couldn’t be more different in style and subject. Also, this song was produced by Diplo, whose name is apparently short for Diplodocus, which makes his three to four times cooler.

Highlights:

“I’ve fallen somehow
Feet off the ground
Love is the cloud
That keeps raining down
Where are you now?
When I need you around
I’m on my knees, but it seems we’re
Going nowhere fast
We’ve reached the climax”

“I gave my best, it wasn’t enough
You get upset, we argue too much
We made a mess of what used to be love
So why do I care, I care at all”

Favorite Part of the Music Video:

The music video is pretty sad too, and at one point he grabs a gun to shoot his (ex-)girlfriend’s new guy. USHER NO!!!

3. Hey Daddy

Usher1

Raymond v. Raymond – 2010

I know I gave it the bronze, but Hey Daddy might just be my favorite Usher song. I could pretty easily be convinced that my top three belongs in any order. This is in contention for my favorite song because Usher absolutely kills it the second and third time through the hook. I don’t know he can just sing so well. And I’m sorry if my descriptions for songs are slowly deteriorating; there are only so many ways for me to describe R&B. Also: Usher’s background singers singing “Hey Daddy” over and over is only slightly seductive.

Highlights:

“I just wanna get your attention
I really wanna be all up in your head
Yeah, cause what I got, you gon’ wanna get some
Yeah, but girl that’s only if you ain’t scared”

“I won’t knock won’t ring no bells
You just poke that bottom up in the air
Said I’ll get you hot, I know you, oh, so well
And when I walk in all that I wanna hear
Is you say ‘daddy’s home, home for me’
And I know you’ve been waiting for this loving all day
You know your daddy’s home, it’s time to play
So you ain’t got to give my loving away”

Favorite Part of the Music Video:

I think what I’ve learned from this music video is that the ladies like Usher.

2. Yeah!

Usher_-_Confessions_album_cover

Confessions – 2004

I don’t know a person who doesn’t love Yeah! Probably because I don’t bring it up in normal conversation, but whenever it comes on, people usually immediately sing along. Ludacris’ verses are pretty iconic, the beat is infectious, and the song is just great overall. It’s just the ultimate party/club song from Usher. And in case you didn’t already know, when Usher says he’s “trying to get a little V.I.” he’s not shortening V.I.P.  Sorry if I ruined your childhood.

Highlights:

“She’s all up in my head now
Got me thinkin’ that it might
Be a good idea to take her with me
Cause she’s ready to leave
And I got to keep it real now
Cause on a one to ten, she’s a certified twenty”

“Yeah, shawty got down low said, come and get me
Yeah, I got so caught up, I forgot she told me
Yeah, her and my girl, they used to be the best of homies
Yeah, next thing I knew, she was all up one me screamin’, yeah”

Favorite Part of the Music Video:

The best part of any video is when Lil Jon jumps in from out of nowhere and just starts yelling while holding his pimp cup/crunk goblet.

1. Love In This Club

Hereistand

Here I Stand – 2008

This was the first Usher song I truly got hooked on, which probably goes a long way to deciding why this is my favorite of his songs. But nostalgia aside, this is just a quality song about love. You know, with lots of other people watching. Young Jeezy absolutely kills his verse, but it’s Usher’s voice that carries the song. I’m tired of all this music analysis; Usher’s just awesome, and this is his best song.

Highlights:

“You see you’re searchin’ for somebody that’ll take you out and do you right
Well, come here baby and let daddy show you what it feel like
You know all you gotta do is tell me what’cha sippin’ on
And I promise that I’m gonna keep it comin all night long”

“Might as well give me a kiss
If we keep touchin’ like this
I know you’re scared, baby they don’t know what we doin’
Let’s both get undressed right here
Keep it up, girl and I swear
Imma give it to you non-stop
And I don’t care who’s watchin, watchin, watchin, watchin
In this club, on the floor
Baby let’s make love”

Favorite Part of the Music Video:

I was going to say “wow people used to have phones that look like this,” and then I was going to say “hey there’s a Kanye cameo and I love Kanye,” but then the end of the video leads into the Moving Mountains music video, which is SO CRAZY.

Advertisements
Categories: Other | Leave a comment

Post navigation

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: