Jermaine Dupri Tells All: The Stories Behind His Classic Records (Part 1)

Usher "You Make Me Wanna..." (1997)

Producer: Jermaine Dupri, Manuel Seal
Album: My Way
Label: LaFace, Arista

"LaFace came to me after Kris Kross [happened]. Usher wanted to be on So So Def at one point in time. He had a manager named A.J. that brought him to me. I was catching so much flack about doing young artists that I didn't want young artists. So I was pushing people away from me. I didn't take Usher, and he went to LaFace and did his first album. And then I did a remix for his first album, which was like his third single, 'Think of You.' On the remix, I made Usher sing his bridge over, because his voice changed, and we just did something different with the remix that made people say, "Maybe ya'll should go in the studio and work."

"That's what led to me working on the My Way album. 'You Make Me Wanna...' was the beginning of who you know Usher to be now, so it's hard not to talk about it. [Laughs.] But yeah, 'You Make Me Wanna...,' 'Nice & Slow,' all of those records were the beginning of an era that you hear now. Like the way I had him sing on all of those records is the way most R&B artists sing today.

"I was just trying to make sure the music sounded like it was fitting the time that it came out. That was it. I didn't really know, I mean it's hard to know...He didn't have a sound at that point and time. That's why the album was called My Way, because we were trying to make a point about getting it done his way. And creating his sound, that's what the whole album title was."

Tags: usher
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