Usher – OMG (featuring will.i.am) (2010 – Part 6)

Usher’s 6th studio album was seen as a comeback. Released in March of 2010, Raymond vs Raymond is named after the Kramer vs Kramer film and was recorded only a few months after the R&B singer divorced his wife, Tameka Foster. So if his previous full-length album found his love life in full blossom and as a result contained too many slow ballads, then Raymond vs. Raymond is a return to the more club-oriented dance songs that made Usher famous.

Three other singles were released from the same album before the fourth topped the charts. The first one was called Papers and presented a direct account of the aforementioned divorce (as in divorce papers). In only attained the #31 chart position, which was a sign of worry for an artist that had accustomed his fans with #1 leading singles for the past 3 albums. The next two ones, Hey Daddy (Daddy’s Home) and the Nicki Minaj collaboration Lil Freak didn’t do much better either. It fell upon the shoulders of OMG to annihilate any doubt that Usher is still relevant within the pop industry.

And it certainly did. The song was written and produced by The Black Eyed Peas’ will.i.am and among its most noticeable features are the sample mimicking sports arena chanting and the auto-tuned vocals. The latter split opinions among listeners, with many criticizing the over-use of the effect in popular music during that period. A small controversy arose when a few DJ’s from radio station Y101 noticed the musical similarities between one of Usher’s lyrics (“Honey got a booty like pow, pow, pow / Honey got some boobies like wow, oh wow) and a Christmas carol that character Homer attempts to write in the Simpsons episode Dude, Where’s My Ranch? (“Christmas in December, wow wow wow. Give me tons of presents , now now now.”).

OMG spent 4 non-consecutive weeks at number one in Billboard Top 100, first being dethroned by Eminem’s Not Afraid and second by Katy Perry’s California Gurls (feat. Snoop Dogg).

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