A Monstrosity of a Hit

The song: “Monster” by Kanye West featuring Nicki Minaj, Jay-Z, Rick Ross and Justin Vernon of Bon Iver.

Ladies getting handsy with Kanye West in the somewhat disturbing video for his "Monster."

It’s an unwritten rule of hip-hop: If Kanye West flies you all the way to Hawaii to deliver a 32-bar verse, you better deliver.

Okay, so maybe it’s not that specific, but if Mr. West decides you’re good enough to drop a verse — especially a 32-bar one — on a track of his you better bring the heat.

For a new-comer Nicki Minaj it was certainly a challenge, but boy did she deliver.

Minaj would end up providing the all-star collaboration with its signature and closing verse, showing up fellow collaborators Rick Ross, Jay-Z and even West on the track and legitimizing her burgeoning career to many critics.

Nicki Minaj's split personality is personified in the music video for "Monster."

Minaj’s verse on “Monster,” which was part of West’s G.O.O.D. Fridays collection and was eventually included on his critically acclaimed My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy album, turns out to be the finale of a song that feels like a more polished version of West’s “Forever,” tracks which both collected the biggest names in rap.

But unlike “Forever,” where verses by Drake, Eminem, Lil Wayne and West were delivered in a sequence where you couldn’t help but rank the disparate verses, “Monster” provides a more cohesive total song.

After intros from Vernon and Ross, West sets the stage over the tumbling, synth-infused beat, posing as the titular “monster” while delivering his usual chain-wearing, alcohol-drinking flow.

One of the best rap songs of 2010? No doubt.

Jay-Z enters the arena with his usual braggadocios self, favorable comparing himself to such classic monsters as Godzilla, King Kong, the Loch Ness Monster and Zombies before complaining about the lack of true “love” he gets from his fans and associates.

Finally its Minaj’s turn to delight. In a verse that was not only named Verse of the Year by HipHopDX but was also compared favorably to Notorious B.I.G.’s “Gimme Da Loot” by VIBE for its ecclectic delivery, the Young Money/Cash Money artist drops an amazing set of lyrics.

Bringing you from Sri Lanka to the Middle East while inducing her multiple personas and her critics in just over a minute of delivery, Minaj leaves her mark. By the time she’s done you barely remember that the rap heavyweights that preceded her delivered verses that would be among the year’s best if taken alone. The Harajuku Barbie is just that good.

But don’t take my word, take a listen to the “monster crew” yourself.

Feel free to play the video while reading the lyrics.


LYRICS (via)

[Intro - Bon Iver]
I shoot the lights out
High ’til it’s bright out
Oh just another lonely night
Are you willing to sacrifice your life?

[Intro 2 - Rick Ross]
Bitch I’m a monster, no good blood sucker
Fat motherfucker — now look who’s in trouble
As you run through my jungles all you hear is rumbles
Kanye West samples, here’s one for example:

[Hook – Kanye West]
Gossip, gossip, nigga just stop it
Everybody know I’m a motherfucking monster
I’m a need to see your fucking hands at the concert
I’m a need to see your fucking hands at the concert
Profit, profit, nigga I got it
Everybody know I’m a motherfucking monster
I’m a need to see your fucking hands at the concert
I’m a need to see your fucking hands

[Verse 1 - Kanye West]
The best living or dead hands down huh
Less talk more head right now huh
And my eyes more red than the devil is
And I’m about to take it to another level bitch
No matter who you go and get
Ain’t nobody cold as this
Do the rap and the track, triple double no assists
And my only focus is staying on some bogus shit
Arguing with my older bitch, acting like I owe her shit
I heard the beat the same raps that give the track pain
Bought the chain that always give me back pain
Fucking up my money so yeah I had to act sane
Chi nigga but these hoes love my accent
Chick came up to me and said
“This the number to dial
If you wanna make your #1 your #2 now”
It’s that Goose and Malibu I call it “Malibooyah”
God damn Yeezy how he hit them with a new style
Throw that motherfucker; “well what you gonna do now?
Whatever I want to do, gosh, it’s cool now”
Know I’m gonna do, ah, it’s the new now
Think you motherfuckers really really need to cool out
Cause you’ll never get on top of this
So mami, best advice is just to get on top of this
Have you ever had sex with a pharaoh?
Put the pussy in a sarcophagus
Now she claiming that I bruised her esophagus
Head of the class and she just want a swallowship
I’m living in the future so the present is my past
My presence is a present kiss my ass

[Hook]

[Verse 2 – Jay-Z]
Sasquatch, Godzilla, King Kong, Loch Ness
Goblin, ghoul, a zombie with no conscience
Question, what do these things all have in common?
Everybody knows I’m a motherfucking monster
Conquer, stomp ya, stop your silly nonsense
Nonsense, none of you niggas know where the swamp is
None of you niggas have seen the carnage that I’ve seen
I still hear fiends scream in my dreams
Murder, murder in black convertibles
I kill the block I murder the avenues
I rape and pillage your village, women and children
Everybody want to know what my Achilles heel is
Love. I don’t get enough of it
All I get is these vampires and blood suckers
All I see is these niggas I made millionaires
Milling about, spilling they feelings in the air
All I see is these fake fucks with no fangs
Trying to draw blood from my ice cold veins
I smell a massacre
Seems to be the only way to back you bastards up

[Hook]

[Verse 3 – Nicki Minaj]
Pull up in the monster automobile, gangsta
With a bad bitch that came from Sri Lanka
Yeah I’m in that Tonka color of Willy Wonka
You could be the king but watch the queen conquer
OK first things first I’ll eat your brains
Then I’m a start rocking gold teeth and fangs
Cause that’s what a motherfucking monster do
Hair dresser from Milan that’s the monster do
Monster Giuseppe heel, that’s the monster shoe
Young Money is the roster and a monster crew
And I’m all up, all up, all up in the bank with the funny face
And if I’m fake I ain’t notice cause my money ain’t
So let me get this straight, wait, I’m the rookie?
But my features and my shows ten times your pay?
Fifty K for a verse, no album out
Ya my money’s so tall that my Barbie’s got to climb it
Hotter than a Middle Eastern climate, find it
Tony Matterhorn, dutty wine it, wine it
Nicki on them titties when I sign it
That’s how these niggas so one track minded
But really really I don’t give a F-U-C-K
Forget Barbie, fuck Nicki cause she’s fake
She’s on a diet but her pockets eating cheesecake
And I’ll say bride of Chucky is child’s play
Just killed another career, it’s a mild day
Besides ‘Ye, they can’t stands besides me
I think me, you and Am should menage Friday
Pink wig, thick ass, give them whiplash
I think big, get cash, make them blink fast
Now look at what you just saw
This is what you live for
I’m a motherfucking monster

[Outro - Bon Iver]
I crossed the line
And I’ll let God decide
And I wouldn’t last these shows
So I am heading home

Thanks for the song Kanye, Jay, Nicki, Rick and Justin!

-AAA

Corked Up or Corked Out? The Tales of Corking A Bat

The question: Can you tell me the significance of corking a bat? Does it really help a baseball player hit the ball further or harder?

Could this bat contain a cork inside of it? It's very hard to tell.

It’s the “year of the pitcher” in baseball, and after the steroid era marred statistics from the past decade of MLB games, people aren’t too unhappy about the reduction in offense.

The steroid era may end up being a black eye on the reputation of Major League Baseball, but another offensive cheating technique continues to make people wonder about what exactly was legitimate from the 80′s, 90′s and early 00′s.

Corking bats, a long-used technique of power hitters, also gained attention during the steroid era. Most notably, former Cub Sammy Sosa — who hit 609 HRs in his career — was found to be using a corked bat when he broke his bat during a June 3, 2003 game.

Sosa said that he mistakenly took a “batting practice bat” to the plate with him, but do corked bats actually provide the bigger bang Sosa was looking for in BP?

There are definitely reasons to believe it does. Of course, replacing a part of the bat reduces the bat’s weight while keeping the appearance of a consistent bat. The reduced weight can allow for a faster swing speed. The placement of the cork also allows for a different center of gravity, which could make it easier to swing a bat, which is designed to be heavier at the end than at the handle.

However, with all the advantages it presents, swinging a lighter bat also means there is less momentum behind each swing. If the swing is made at the same speed, but with a lighter bat, the impact is less effective.

So which affects the swing more; the ability to swing fast, or the mass behind the swing?

The moment Sammy Sosa's corked bat broke.

It turns out, scientifically, the proposition is a toss-up and at its most basic, corking a bat does not add any real advantage to the average swinger.

In fact, in an episode of Discovery Channel’s “Mythbusters,” the build team took on the myth of whether or not a corked bat added any advantage to a batter.

They discovered that, despite the decades-long usage of the technique, corking your bat can actually have a significantly adverse effect on your ability to hit the ball further.

A bat of Pete Rose was recently x-rayed and found to have a nickle-wide piece of a foreign material in it.

Since 1970, six players have been caught with a corked bat on the field:

  • Sammy Sosa, Cubs 2003
  • Wilton Guerrero, Dodgers 1997
  • Chris Sabo, Reds 1996
  • Albert Belle, Indians 1994
  • Billy Hatcher, Astros 1987
  • Graig Nettles, Yankees 1974

And the suspension that each one of the six served seems to have been served for nothing at all…

Thanks for the question!

-AAA

Scientific Study of Corking Bats [Kettering University]
Results of Mythbusters Baseball Episode [Wikipedia]

The LOST Finale: We’re Missing A Few People!

This is second in a series of posts about the LOST finale, “The End”. How many will be in the series? I don’t know! Stay tuned to find out!

The questions: Why weren’t Michael, Mr. Eko, Walt, Ana Lucia, Nikki or Paulo in the church to move on with the rest of the Losties? For that matter where were Daniel Faraday, Charlotte Lewis, Miles Straume or any of the Kahana crew?

John Locke and Jack Shepard greet each other before they move on to their "next step."

When all was said and done, the most important characters on LOST were all accounted for in that Los Angeles-area church at the end of the LOST finale Sunday evening. But there were some notable exceptions. Why? Where were they? Who mattered? Who didn’t? WAAAAAALT!!!

Lets start off with the easiest explanations first:

Is this scene the reason that Michael was not with everyone else at the church? Probably.

Michael, who was among the survivors of Oceanic 815, and a major player in the first two seasons of LOST, had been accounted for earlier this season. His “spirit” or whatever you’d like to call it was stuck on the LOST Island itself. If the “flash-sideways” time line was an intermediary between “life” and the “next step.”

Michael’s actions on the Island (killing Ana Lucia and Libby and selling out his friends for safe escape with Walt), prevented him from even getting to the go-between of the intermediary stage. His spirit is stuck on the island, joining the “whispers” which gave the LOSTies so much trouble in earlier seasons.

Christian Shepard, in attempting to explain the plane of existence to Jack, his son, in the final moments of the finale, says they all needed to come back together before moving on because their time spent on the island was the most important of their lives. For Nikki, Paulo and Ana Lucia, this is probably not the case. Nikki and Paulo were also criminals who had killed a man in order to escape with millions of dollars in diamonds. Remember that? Yeah, probably not.

However, we do see Ana Lucia in the flash-sideways time line, but not in the church, so maybe her time will come. In the episode preceding this one, Hurley says “she’s not ready yet” so maybe her time approaches.

The Kahana crew, including Charlotte, Miles, Frank and Daniel all are absent from the church corridors as well. They may all fall into the same category as the funky bunch mentioned before, or maybe on their way to moving on. As it seems, it looks like Daniel’s mother, Eloise Hawking, is keenly aware of the reality of the flash-sideways time line and asks Desmond not to take Daniel with him. Daniel does not attend, but does have an encounter with the one person he loved and lost, Charlotte at the same concert where all the connections are made, so there is still hope for them yet.

A fan-favorite, the character of Mr. Eko had his time line cut short when the actor portraying him wanted out of his contract.

Mr. Eko and Walt are enigmas. Apparently actor Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje was offered a chance to return to the cast, but negotiations broke down. In fact, Eko was supposed to have a four-season story arc, but on-set tensions cut that way short. So did he actually deserve to be in the church? Was his time on the Island the most important of his life? We’ll also probably never know.

Actor Malcolm David Kelley, who played Walt, is now 18 and apparently looks nothing like he did when he played Walt all those years ago. And with everyone looking and feeling like they did on September 22, 2004, he likely wouldn’t fit in. So did the producers leave him out because it wouldn’t work? Or are we to believe that he falls into the “Island wasn’t important to me” category as well? Its not entirely clear, but we are left to make our own interpretations.

The crew that ends up walking through the gates behind Christian Shepard is the core group that we grew to love and cherish throughout the six seasons of LOST. What else could you want?

Thanks for the question!

-AAA

Mr. Eko Could Have Returned! [UGO]
Theories on the LOST Finale [Lostpedia]

The LOST Finale: Guys, What Just Happened?

The questions: What happened in the LOST finale? What did it all mean? Were they dead the entire time? Was the island purgatory?

sawyer juliet

Sawyer and Juliet begin to realize that they have finally found each other again, flashing back to the events on the LOST island.

You didn’t think I’d let this go without a post did you?

Near the beginning of Ask Asher Anything we answered a question about LOST theories. Now, as the series came to a close on Sunday night in an epic two and a half hour production, we have to address the question on the mind of seemingly the entire internet, what did it all mean?

The executive producers and those most directly responsible for the show, Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, intentionally left the ending open for interpretation, but if you look closely, there is one definite explanation that close inspection of the finale will lead you to.

See it turns out that no, the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815 from Sydney to Los Angeles were not dead the entire time. The internet is abuzz with people who did not understand the final moments of the episode and took Jack saying “I died too,” to his father, Christian Shepard, to mean that they’ve been dead the entire time. This is not the case.

Instead we see the real, living Jack Shepard die while he is talking to his father in what we believed to be a “flash-sideways” timeline. However, the plot device that was so cleverly disguised as what would have happened had 815 never crashed on September 22, 2004, is revealed to be a sort of after-life meeting place for those who were involved in the events of the past six seasons. For all of season six we were led to believe that two timelines had emerged. In fact, there was only the original Island time line, whatever happened, happened and this purgatory-like state where the Oceanic survivors and those important to them were able to meet.

At one point or another the survivors of Oceanic 815 all die. We’ve seen “Losties” like Boone and Locke die in the real-time events of the show’s six seasons, which ended with real-time Jack Shepard dying in the same spot he woke up after the crash. At later or earlier points in the original time line, everyone else eventually dies, including the man Jack entrusts the job of island safe-keeper with, Hurley.

shepard

Christian Shepard leads the LOSTies through a church door to their "next step"

When they have all finished their own lives, they enter the plane of existence that we had considered to be a “flash-sideways” all season long. This existence was created for the sole purpose of allowing the Losties to meet up again before they could move on. This is why those who have their realizations of the original time line see much more than a few days into the LOST series, they see their whole lives, even into what would be considered their sideways “future.” Because they are actually dead, they begin to realize their entire lives, but especially their time on the island, which Christian Shepard labels as the “most important time of [their lives.]“

When they finally are all cognizant of what their lives meant and how much the Island and their experiences there mattered, they can finally all move on, with a man named “Christian Shepard” leading the way.

So I’ll go out on a limb and ask, are there any more LOST questions you’d like to have answered? I’ll pose and answer a few more before LOST completely goes away, but I don’t want to see that day come.

Thanks for the question!

-AAA

Lostpedia’s Entry on “The End” [Lostpedia]
Watch LOST Episodes to Your Heart’s Content [ABC]

Really Fill Up a Scoreboard

The question: Has anyone ever recorded a quadruple-double in an NBA game?

David Robinson was the last NBA player to record a quadruple-double, when he did in in 1994 against the Pistons.

So you like statistics, huh? Well, you wouldn’t be the first.

Statistics, like it or not, are often the linchpin of arguments revolving around sports. Baseball to football and everything in between keep track of stats so why not argue them? And with a recent statistical analysis revolution in this forward-thinking age of sport, all the more reason to fire up the number cruncher.

But lets keep it simple, shall we?

The term “double” in basketball is a pretty simple one. If you know what a double-digit number is, then you pretty much get the concept. A “double” is achieved when any of the positive statistical categories a player can accumulate becomes 10 or more. So points, assists, steals, blocks and rebounds are all fair game.

That’s five categories. Fill two, and they call it a “double-double.” Fill three and they’ll call it a “triple-double.” Fill four and they would proclaim a “quadruple-double.”

So… have they ever had the chance to do so?

Yes, in fact they’ve done it four times (officially) in the NBA. But it hasn’t happened in more than 16 years, and has rarely even been approached since.

The last player to do so was Spurs’ great center David Robinson, whose offensive and defensive prowess in his sixth year in the league brought him the incredible stat line of 34 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists and 10 blocks. Before Robinson Rockets’ Hakeem Olajuwon (1990), Spurs’ defensive great Alvin Robertson (1986) and Hall of Famer Nate Thurmond (1974) accomplished the rare feat.

It is possible that other NBA’ers have completed the task since the league’s inception, but the statistics for steals and blocks were only introduced in the 1973-’74, so the history is incomplete. It is said that Jerry West, Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain and Oscar Robertson of season triple-double average fame may have all completed the feat unofficially.

Could New Orleans' Chris Paul one day record a quadruple-double?

In recent years only point Chris Paul has approached the mark, finishing three steals shy twice during the ’08-’09 season, but his affinity for steals make him the most viable candidate in a league. An ESPN.com article from ’09 named Paul along with LeBron James and Dwight Howard among those it believed could vie for the feat.

So will it be done again? Maybe.

However, its very unlikely that anyone will ever match Tamika Catchings’ super-human performance in high school, where the future Tennessee star recorded a quintuple-double line of 25 points, 18 rebounds, 11 assists, 10 steals and 10 blocks.

Yeah… not happening.

Thanks for the question!

-AAA

Quadruple-Double Hopefuls [ESPN]
Tamika Catchings Bio [SI]

Still Hot and Fresh Out the Kitchen

The song: “Ignition (Remix)” by R. Kelly

R. kelly

R. Kelly, having a good time in the video for his hit, "Ignition (Remix)"

Now usually I don’t do this…

Actually, R. Kelly, you’ve been doing it for a while.

Kelly has been in the game since 1989, and is responsible for a string of hits, including “Bump n’ Grind”, “I Believe I Can Fly” and the “The World’s Greatest”

But his 2003′s jam “Ignition (Remix)” was a bona fide hit, both in its immediate radio popularity and crossover appeal. A remix to the original “Ignition” from Kelly’s 2003 album The Chocolate Factory, the song begins by Kelly declaring that the remix was a preview his listeners were getting on the album.

Eventually, though, it wouldn’t be just the purchasers of the album that got a taste of a song “hot and fresh out the kitchen.” The song would go on to peak at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, just behind 50 Cent’s “In da Club,” but would reach the top spot in Australia, New Zealand  and the United Kingdom.

The song itself is simple enough, simple beat, chord progression and slow jam feel. The song describes a party, after party and hotel lobby and the after affects of such a Cristal, Coke and Rum filled night. The song offers a less sensual feeling than the original “Ignition” while still remaining true to the overall sexy feel of the first song.

Seven years later, the genius of the song is still recognized, as Pitchfork Media proclaimed “Ignition (Remix)” to be the 19th-best song of the decade and countless other decade-retrospectives have named the song as one of the best of the decade. Duke University’s newspaper The Chronicle named the song the best of the decade.

Go head Kellz, break ‘em off with a little preview of the remix:

Feel free to play the video while reading the lyrics.

Now, um ,usually I don’t do this but uh….
Go head’ on and break em off wit a lil’ preview of the remix….

No I’m not tryin to be rude,
But hey pretty girl I’m feelin you
The way you do the things you do
Remind me of my Lexus coup
That’s why im all up in yo grill
Tryina get you to a hotel
You must be a football coach
The way you got me playin’ the field

So baby gimme that toot toot
Lemme give you that beep beep
Runnin’ her hands through my ‘fro
Bouncin’ on 24′s
While they say on the radio…

It’s the remix to ignition
Hot and fresh out the kitchen
Mama rollin’ that body
got every man in here wishin’
Sippin’ on coke and rum
I’m like so what I’m drunk
It’s the freakin’ weekend baby
I’m about to have me some fun

Bounce Bounce Bounce Bounce Bounce Bounce Bounce
Bounce Bounce Bounce

Now it’s like murder she wrote
Once I get you out them clothes
Privacy is on the door
Still they can hear you screamin’ more
Girl I’m feelin’ what you feelin’
No more hopin’ and wishin’
I’m bout to take my key and
Stick it in the ignition

So baby gimme that toot toot
Lemme give you that beep beep
Runnin’ her hands through my ‘fro
Bouncin’ on 24′s
While they say on the radio…

This is the remix to ignition
Hot and fresh out the kitchen
Mama rollin’ that body
Got every man in here wishin’
Sippin’ on coke and rum
I’m like so what I’m drunk
It’s the freakin’ weekend baby
I’m about to have me some fun

Cristal poppin’ in the stretch Navigator
We got food every where
As if the party was catered
We got fellas to my left
Hunnies on my right
We bring em both together we got junkin all night
Then after the show its the (after party)
And after the party its the (hotel lobby)
And round about 4 you gotta (clear the lobby)
Then head take it to the room and freak somebody

Can I get a toot toot
Can I get a beep beep
Runnin’ her hands through my ‘fro
Bouncin’ on 24′s
While they say on the radio…

This is the remix to ignition
Hot and fresh out the kitchen
Mama rollin’ that body
Got every man in here wishin’
Sippin’ on coke and rum
I’m like so what I’m drunk
It’s the freakin’ weekend baby
I’m about to have me some fun

This is the remix to ignition
Hot and fresh out the kitchen
Mama rollin’ that body
Got every man in here wishin’
Sippin’ on coke and rum
I’m like so what I’m drunk
It’s the freakin’ weekend baby
I’m about to have me some fun

Girl we off in this jeep
Foggin’ windows up
Blastin’ the radio
In the back of my truck
Bouncin’ up and down
Stroke it round and round
To the remix
We just thuggin’ it out…

Thanks for the song R. Kelly!

-AAA

Usher Got the Voice

The question: How old was Usher when he became famous? How did he? What was the baby mama drama?

Usher is among the most successful R&B acts of the last two decades. His looks probably don't hurt.

The line rings true:

Take that, rewind it back, Ursher got the voice to make your booty go (clap).

In the R&B game since the age of 13 Usher Raymond IV — better known as Usher — has enough hit songs on his discography that validate Ludacris’s claim at the end of 2004′s most successful song “Yeah!”

But how did he get his start?

Well, just like many of discovered acts of the 1990′s, it was Ed McMahon’s Star Search that first brought Usher to the attention of the mainstream music industry. L.A. Reid, co-founder of LaFace Records, caught word of Usher’s winning performance on the show and auditioned the Atlanta, Georgia area kid at LaFace’s office.

Reid signed Usher to a contract after just one audition, and put him in touch with one of the hottest record producers of the day, Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs. Combs co-produced Usher’s first effort, Usher, and its been on and poppin’ for A-Town’s finest ever since.

Usher fought Justin Timberlake to sign Justin Bieber after the Canadian YouTube sensation blew up. Bieber eventually signed a venture with Usher, Island Def Jam and L.A. Reid.

Puffy introduced Usher to Jermaine Dupri, who would produce Usher’s first hit, “You Make Me Wanna” and its been non-stop success for Usher (good name huh?) on album after album.

Usher’s popularity crested in 2004 with his album Confessions, which has been certified diamond by the RIAA. Usher promised a deeper look into his personal life on his fourth album, and in the song “Confessions Part II,” many thought that we had gotten a first hand look into the break up between Usher and longtime girl friend Rozanda “Chilli” Thomas of all-girl R&B group TLC. Witness here:

These are my confessions
Just when I thought I said all I could say
My chick on the side said she got one on the way
These are my confessions
Man I’m thrown and I dont know what to do
I guess I gotta give part 2 of my confessions
If I’m gonna tell it then I gotta tell it all
Damn near cried when I got that phone call

Many wondered if baby-mama drama was behind the long time couple’s split. Thomas had accused Usher of infidelity during the relationship
after the break up, but never brought up a baby mama. Usher echoed the sentiment:

People assume things, because as I said, I pull from my personal experiences to make my music … I never experienced [fathering a child outside of a relationship] firsthand, but it’s something I wanted to talk about.

So who to believe? Six years later and its still not clear how truthful Usher was on his most successful album to date. But one thing is for sure, Usher Raymond IV isn’t going away anytime soon.

His 2008 hit “Love in This Club” was already covered by me HERE and his most recent release, Raymond vs. Raymond was the best selling CD in the country in its debut week, the third-straight such release from the now 31 year old.

And now, with his own career secure, he has begun reaching out to discover new talent of his own, most notably the incomparable Justin Bieber, who Usher has mentored into a force so large that it was Bieber’s My World 2.0 that knocked Raymond vs. Raymond off the top spot of the Billboard 200 this week.

And now, the third song from Confessions to top the Billboard Hot 100 chart, “Burn”:

Thanks for the question!

-AAA

Usher’s Official Website [Usher World]
J-Biebs vs. Usher [NY Times]