Ahead of his 2024 Super Bowl halftime show performance this weekend, the R&B superstar sat down with Apple Music’s Nadeska Alexis on Thursday (Feb. 8) in Las Vegas to talk about his future and how he plans to remain a “standard” for greatness while parlaying his music-industry success toward other ambitious ventures.
“I push myself because that’s just a choice. I want to be great. I want to set standards,” he testified. “I want to be a standard that is seen through my passion. My passion for music, my passion for creativity. Rather than become something that’s artistic by way of the videos that we create or the narratives that are inside of the music that then become something else [like a] TV series.”
While Usher and 50 have never collaborated, Fif has still managed to inspire the “Caught Up” hitmaker with his endeavors in the multimedia space.
“You look at 50 Cent, right, he creates Power. You heard the music first then you see the visuals,” Usher said. “I’m hoping I can do more of that with the brands I’ve created with the songs. It’s a matter of managing to monetize at the same time emotionally give people an escape. When you hear a song, you relate to it. It becomes an assistant in your emotional… It’s more than just music, it’s all of those things. Most importantly, it’s a connection.”
Ahead of his Super Bowl performance, Usher served as the latest cover star for Billboard, where he dished on the need to revamp the merchandise market for R&B artists so they can cash out to the best of their abilities.
“It’s about creating commerce in other spaces,” he explained. “Lovers & Friends [where Usher will perform Confessions in full in May] is a successful R&B festival that gives you a place to go and celebrate the songs that we make.
“We need things that you associate with R&B that you can buy into. Like with hip-hop — glasses, clothes, cars, jewelry, sneakers … ancillary things that people can access. R&B needs and has the potential to have those things as well.”
Before he takes the Super Bowl stage in Las Vegas, Usher is gearing up to unleash his ninth studio album, Coming Home, on Friday (Feb. 9). It’s a star-studded affair across 20 songs, as he’s recruited Latto, Burna Boy, 21 Savage, The-Dream, H.E.R., Summer Walker and BTS’ Jung Kook to join him.
“I put a lot of heart and time into making sure that this was curated right. Something that felt like this next chapter of my life. It’s the next frontier, the next chapter of my legacy,” the “Love in This Club” singer said of the album in a recent interview with Club Shay Shay.
Watch the full Apple Music interview with Usher below; 50 Cent talk starts around the 35:15 mark.
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