Usher, smooth jams, and legacy are all synonymous. But, things were not always smoothing sailing for the R&B OG. In a new interview with Adam22 on the No Jumper podcast, Usher recalled having his first hit three years after being signed—which we all know means an artist made it, right?
“I’ll never forget having my first hit record, and I was broke as fuck,” Usher said. “I ain’t had no money.” At this point, Adam asked Usher how it felt to land a hit from a penniless position. Usher, of course, said, “It felt great, [laughs] because I had intention and I knew where I was headed.”
To recap: Usher landed his first real hit, “You Make Me Wanna…” in 1997, three years after he signed with Sony and one year removed from his self-titled debut album. Sure, Usher may have been 19, but he was already well into his creative career. Hits are special, but they are not immediate, no matter how talented an artist you may be.
Let this be a reminder to all artists that getting signed does not mean you are guaranteed a check, a hit, or a career. Rappers are not rich, and often times chasing hits or crafting albums sets them very far back in the red. Though breaking in rap seems easier than ever, the financial barriers to success persist all the same. Even if you get your hit and your paycheck, a feat in itself, holding on to that money is the next in a long list of challenges.
Usher's newly-released album, "A", produced in-full by Zaytoven, is out now.
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