Usher Rejected "Yeah!" Until L.A. Reid Threatened Him, Rico Love Claims

Even though both the singer and the producer both thought the track was a little cringe, Reid saw a hit and would not take no for an answer.

BYGabriel Bras Nevares
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Usher, like the true soulful superstar he is, doesn't think that R&B is dead, but if he had gone with his gut back around 2003, he might not have been the king of the genre to make that belief have weight in the first place. Moreover, according to TMZ, producer Rico Love recently went to Home Grown Radio to talk about his big break writing for Usher's 2004 album Confessions. In addition, he also gave an interesting claim about the backstory behind the smash hit "Yeah!" While it's not a traditional R&B cut, it's still one of the Dallas native's biggest hits, one that Love claims he didn't want to record at first.

Apparently, Rico Love was there when Usher first heard the demo for "Yeah!," which Sean Garrett wrote. Initially, he did not like the song at all, and he rejected any advances to record the track for his then-upcoming 2004 project. The producer thought that it was a little cringe, and so did the Super Bowl's upcoming halftime show performer. Not only that, but Love even said that the opening lines "Up in the club with my homies/ Tryin' to get a little V.I./ Keep it down on the low-key" made him burst into laughter.

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Rico Love Recalls L.A. Reid Allegedly Pressuring Usher To Put Out "Yeah!": Watch

However, L.A. Reid had something else to say about "Yeah!" as a then-music executive and the President of Arista Records at the time. He thought the record sounded like true-blue hit, and staunchly suggested that Usher release it as the first single instead of "Burn." Allegedly, as Rico Love recalled, he fought back against these pressures until Reid simply said "Do the f***ing song!" and hung up on him. In addition, he apparently also left the SKIMS collaborator no choice but to put the song out, through other means that weren't just a phone call.

Meanwhile, we're sure that he will be able to see the real love that people have for "Yeah!" during his upcoming tour. The 45-year-old surely has different thoughts on the track these days, now that hindsight is 20/20. It would be interesting to hear him respond to this claim, and look back on the choices he made that propelled him into music's upper echelon. With that in mind, stay posted on HNHH for more news and the latest updates on Usher.

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About The Author
Gabriel Bras Nevares is a music and pop culture news writer for HotNewHipHop. He started in 2022 as a weekend writer and, since joining the team full-time, has developed a strong knowledge in hip-hop news and releases. Whether it’s regular coverage or occasional interviews and album reviews, he continues to search for the most relevant news for his audience and find the best new releases in the genre. What excites him the most is finding pop culture stories of interest, as well as a deeper passion for the art form of hip-hop and its contemporary output. Specifically, Gabriel enjoys the fringes of rap music: the experimental, boundary-pushing, and raw alternatives to the mainstream sound. As a proud native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, he also stays up-to-date with the archipelago’s local scene and its biggest musical exponents in reggaetón, salsa, indie, and beyond. Before working at HotNewHipHop, Gabriel produced multiple short documentaries, artist interviews, venue spotlights, and audio podcasts on a variety of genres and musical figures. Hardcore punk and Go-go music defined much of his coverage during his time at the George Washington University in D.C. His favorite hip-hop artists working today are Tyler, The Creator, Boldy James, JPEGMAFIA, and Earl Sweatshirt.