The latest episode of Stepping Into The Shade Room features Part 2 of our sit-down with Usher, and he made sure to give R&B its flowers while chatting with host Thembi.
The 44-year-old superstar hit the scene in 1994 with his debut album, and his sophomore project, My Way, was an instant hit that catapulted him to success. Of course, projects like 8701 and Confessions further cemented his legacy, and Usher continues to prove himself as a force in the industry. In fact, some have even crowned him the “King of R&B” — but does he claim this title?
What Does Usher Think About The “King Of R&B” Honor?
During the interview, Usher acknowledged other people granting him the honorific title, and Thembi inquired if he personally agrees.
In turn, Usher noted that “confin[ing]” himself to being the King of R&B is “too short-sighted.”
“If I confine myself to just being a King of R&B, that would be too short-sighted. I love R&B — R&B is a segue to [so many] things.”
Nonetheless, as “people have given [him] that title,” he says that he’ll “take it.” However, he points out, “It’s so much more than being that.”
Instead, Usher noted that he’s more concerned about keeping the genre going strong and ensuring it “doesn’t fade away.”
“I’m more invested in making certain that it doesn’t fade away.”
He further explained that, as he sees other genres decline in popularity over time, he hopes “R&B never does that.” As a result, Usher says he “want[s] to continue to encourage people to listen to it.”
“Genres of music that were very popular at one time, they’re not as popular. Not as potent — they don’t hold as much excitement. I hope that R&B never does that, so I want to continue to encourage people to listen to it.”
He Gives The Genre Its Flowers: “The Son Of R&B is Hip Hop”
While on the subject, Thembi proceeded to bring up the continual conversation about how R&B is supposedly “dead.”
In turn, Usher declared that he doesn’t agree with this sentiment at all. Instead, he said, “I think there’s just many different sides to it that might be being looked over.”
He also acknowledged R&B’s influence on the hip-hop game.
“When I think about how R&B has really been the breath that breathes life into hip hop. Let’s not forget that if it didn’t exist, hip hop wouldn’t.”
The artist wrapped up by adding, “Therefore, the son of R&B is hip hop.” You betta preach, Usher!
Catch Part 2 of Usher’s Stepping Into The Shade Room sit-down above! Also, be sure to watch Part 1 if you haven’t already.