Mr. Raymond 

As a 90s baby, Usher Raymond was one of my many crushes (yes, many). I remember when I first heard Mr. Raymond’s voice, the year was 1998 and it was something about the way he told me exactly what he was doing at “7 o’clock on the dot” that had me hooked on his music. He also sang out his name for us in that very same song, Nice & Slow, which made me dream, wish, hope, pray, etc…. of meeting him. (That day has never come, but I can still appreciate his artistry at a distance.)  

Fast forward to the present and this man is still breaking hearts and taking names. In one of his latest videos, No Limit, he gives off a vibe that he is here to stay. It seems that he tells viewers not to count him out because he can keep up (or go above) the sounds, dance moves, and fashions today. I was surprised to see that he danced with many well known dancers (Kida, Ayo & Teo, and Lil Deedee to name a few). 

It’s really unfortunate that with the more recent news about his relationships and health, that all this history is in jeopardy. I get it: we’re apart of a generation that wants to be well versed in a celebrity’s music, business, personal life…no matter what the cost. However, can artists that have solidified their careers actually have longevity if all of this is on “front street”?

What happened to when the music was what we actually looked forward to hearing from artists? We could only hope that our favorite songs would be played on the radio, we would stand in line for CDs, we even paid good money to see them in concert to get that live experience. Or even, what about when we ran home to watch shows like 106 & Park that featured our favorite artists? We had to see which videos made the countdown and which artists would be on the show.  

Our shift has taken artists’ careers to a newfound level. Yes, we all understand that being in the public eye comes with its own downfalls, but where does it say that you must relinquish all your self worth and dignity? At the end of the day these are people. Usher is a person and in my mind he is timeless, as an artist. 

Yes, he has whatever going on right now. Can we honestly have all the facts? Were any of us there? Has the internet always told the truth? Only time will tell….
-Jay