This song is very much about what it sounds like: making love in a club. Usher takes us through the process: sweet talking the girl, buying her a drink and tackling the logistics of just how to have a sexual escapade in a public place (solution: it doesn't matter who's watching). He even overcomes a classic obstacle many guys encounter when trying to pick up a girl in a club - her girlfriends. Usher has an answer for this too, as he's got his wingmen standing by to take care of them.
In 2007, Usher got married and had a baby, so it's unlikely that he'll be making love in a club anytime soon. Usher's marriage got a great deal of media attention, and instead of detailing his personal life on this song, he went in another direction. Usher told Entertainment Weekly: "After all of the talk about my relationship, I wouldn't come out with a song about my relationship, because you already know about that. And I'm never gonna make love in a club with a girl. I can't say that I never have, but that's in my past."
The song's producer Polow Da Don leaked "Love in This Club" online in February 2008. He admitted to MTV News: "I actually leaked it. I'm the culprit. It's no secret. I told him when I saw him that I had to put my relationship on the line. 'If it fails, I know you probably gonna be mad at me. I know you probably won't f--k with me anymore. When I spoke to Usher, he was like, 'Maaaan, why'd you do it?' He knew I leaked the record, he didn't have to ask. I was like, 'What?' He said, 'You know you leaked the record.' But he was getting good calls on it too. He wasn't mad, but he was like, 'Why'd you do that?'" Polow added that he put the song out there as he was tired of waiting on label politics. He basically followed the example of Lil Jon, who leaked "Yeah!
" before Usher's Confessions
Polow told MTV News that he was inspired to make the beat for the song after visiting Las Vegas for the VMAs. He said: "If you listen to the beat, the synths and everything has a Vegas feel to it. Making love in the club, people in Vegas are kinda wild. Vegas had that 'I don't care, I'm living life' attitude. When I came back [from the awards], I was like, 'Man, clubs gotta be like that.' I wanted to bring that environment to the 'hood. It's like a Euro, worldly type of sound, but it blends with the 'hood sound. I was like, 'This is perfect for Usher.' I played it for Usher, told him my experiences, how girls feel about him now that he's married. This song helps him do what a few greats have been able to do. Denzel Washington, Brad Pitt. When they get married, they make the girls still want them."
Polow also told MTV News about the song's lyrics: "The Atlanta party scene is back. I'm not married, I'm living the life. I had to get Usher out the house a couple of times to show him what it is to be out and about. It was right around the time he was having his newborn. We made the record trying to grab the moment, grab the people and shock people. The song is not really all about having sex in the club, it's about having that urge. It's about meeting somebody for the first time, and you kinda wish nobody was there. You're like, 'You're the one.' Lust at first sight."
This features the southern rapper Jeezy. According to MTV News, Young Jeezy, as he was known at the time, pleaded with Polow da Don to be included on "Love In This Club." He happened to be in the same recording studio as Usher when he heard the song and Jeezy asked Polow if he could be on it. Usher's producer recalled to MTV News: "I was like, 'Man, I don't know.' He said, 'Just let me do the verse, dawg. If you don't wanna keep it, cool.' I played the version that night at [Jermaine Dupri's] club, and Usher went crazy. That was the first time he heard it."
When this leapt from #51 to #1, it became the third biggest leap to the top in the history of the Billboard Hot 100. The two songs that made bigger jumps to #1 than "Love In This Club" were: "Makes Me Wonder
" by Maroon 5, which sprung from #64 to the summit in May 2007 and "A Moment Like This
" by Kelly Clarkson, which rose from #52 to the top in October 2002.
The girl in the video is Keri Hilson, who sang on Timbaland's track "The Way I Are
." Hilson released her first solo album - In A Perfect World
- in 2008.
Usher explained to MTV News about Young Jeezy's appearance on this track: "Well, there weren't many people that we considered to be on the record. It's an ATL record, so it was very different. It was 'OK, you've got an ATL-sounding record, so you've gotta get one of the guys from Atlanta that really puts it down.' It was [producer Polow Da Don's] concept to put him on it. I think that Jeezy is one of the greatest MCs of our time, especially given his credibility. He has a very grounded fanbase, and to get him on this song and make it better, take it to the next level, was a compliment. So it was a good move on Polow's part."
Usher explained to Artist Direct why he decided to make this the album's opening track and its first single: "Well, it was twofold. One, it is strategic, you know, in a way, because you want to make a record that is relative to what I think the pace of life is and the beat of life is. But the greatest part about it - it kind of worked to our advantage because what I'm doing by having 'Love in this Club' as my first single is I'm taking you back to the beginning of this story, well, the story of the journey that I'm getting ready to take you on, the story of my life, the story of the guy who was the hustler and a player in the club and finding his way for the moment, making his way through a lifetime. And life will see you through many seasons and high peaks and low valleys. And then life will give you tons of, you know, seasons, sometimes when it's raining or sometimes when it's shining. But, ultimately, the end of the story leads to a lifetime. And that's what the entire project is all about."