Having flashbacks to 2004 – Usher’s Confessions album just dropped and I bought that shit immediately. Yeah was a great hit, a great song and a great video. But the entire Confessions album… man I loved it.
I had just started with the girl of my dreams. I wanted to fuck her so bad, but she wasn’t going to play it like that. Of course I should have been fine… I loved everything about her, I’ll never meet a more talented and wise person. But all I could think about was fucking… fucking this beautiful young perfect girl.
I have a distinct memory of one night, dry humping to Confessions. The album was on repeat and it played twice in a row. I remember we laughed about it – 120 minutes of dry humping. Clearly she liked me. Who the fuck would dry hump to Usher for 120 minutes otherwise? This was completely lost on my 16 year old self. She was so beautiful in every way, but all I could think of was how bad I wanted to fuck to Usher.
I like every song on Confessions. A 2000s R&B masterpiece. In many ways a lot of the songs were quite apt in the span of relationship which lasted in one form or another to the day she died. (I can’t remember the year she died and I have no desire to figure it out.)
Themes of love, loss, partying, cheating, and appreciating what you have and what you’ve lost. Universal themes for sure but thats the whole point.
I took her to see Usher on the Confessions tour, Kanye West was the opening act. It was a great show and I’m fairly sure that we fucked like the teenagers we were after. Interestingly, I have no distinct memory of that… nothing as clear as dry humping to Confessions on repeat.
There are so many things about Confessions I could comment on the amazing Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis and Jermaine Dupri productions or Usher’s great R&B croon. But those things aren’t really the key to it the album’s place in my heart. It’s much more temporal for me, more personal less musical. The album was background music to my drama and comedy.
In many ways I can thank Jermaine Dupri for the strategy which eventually led me to be able to date such an magnificent girl.
I’m not sure if you know this but Jermaine Dupri is not an attractive man, and at the time he was married to Janet Jackson.
I read a story somewhere in which he recounted how he was able marry Janet, the girl of his dreams – persistence.
Apparently Janet was not very interested in Dupri at first, but he didn’t let up. He called her everyday, stayed polite but firm in his instance that she should be his girl, or at least go on a few dates with him. He even sent her a cell phone when she stopped answering his calls.
Although I had the intuition that she liked me the girl of my dreams wasn’t very responsive to my initial advances. But I kept Dupri in mind and from then on we were in each other lives for better or worse. I didn’t let up and I’ll never regret it.
As I sit listening to Confessions, reminiscing about my first love, writing this, I’m grateful for those times, those years, and the music that we listened to.1
We had many confessions for each other – horrible and wonderful up until the day she died.
We had infinite love for each other – forever – for all of time.
We loved to party together and she will always be my bad girl.
She will always be my confession.
Music Snob Note: We listened to huge span of music. Many more artists, genres, time-periods than Usher’s Confessions. Never mind all the music we played together. She was an amazing musician, I will never come close to being half of the musician that she was. ↩