Song of the Day: Usher “Whatever I Want”
Leading into his fourth full length release in 2004, Usher Raymond IV was already an international superstar having sold over 16 million on his first three outings. He smashed that with Confessions, breaking the diamond threshold for over 10 million sold and launching singles like “Caught Up” and “Yeah” into the canon of party jams that will never die.
For this leveling up of his career, Usher and his team labored to turn in 40 tracks to contend for the final cut of Confessions. Starting with day one collaborator Jermaine Dupri, the production team eventually expanded to include heavy hitters like Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Just Blaze, Bryan-Michael Cox and others. With a crowded slate of contributors, especially considering the surprise success of Lil Jon‘s crunk-n-B offering of “Yeah”, some quality material just wasn’t going to make it to the finish line. And that’s where we arrive at Washington, D.C.’s own Rich Harrison.
Harrison crushed dancefloors in the early aughts with a supremely funky formula of chopped drum breaks and stabs layered over synth chords that hinted at the go-go music of his formative years. He had a killer run that included bangers for Amerie, Jennifer Lopez, Toni Braxton and of course Beyoncé.
“Whatever I Want” is right in that same irresistible pocket of Harrison’s massive dance records from that era and has remained a favorite of mine since I first caught a bootleg of it in 2004. Of course since major record labels weren’t trying to leave any money on the table back in the days when people still bought albums, “Whatever I Want” landed on a Euro release of Confessions as well as a separate EP called Rarities.
This joint still GOES.