Papers

Album: Raymond Vs. Raymond (2009)
Charted: 31

Songfacts®:

  • This is the first single from R&B singer-songwriter Usher's sixth studio album, Raymond Vs. Raymond.
  • This track deals with the ending of Usher's marriage with Tameka Foster-Raymond, from whom the singer filed for divorce in June 2009. The working title for the song was "Filing Papers."
  • The song was written by Sean Garrett, who also co-wrote Usher's 2004 hit single "Yeah!." It was produced by Zaytoven, (Gucci Mane, OJ Da Juiceman), who told MTV News that he was unaware at the time that Usher's marriage was in trouble. He recalled: "Sean Garrett called me to the studio. He called like, 'You've got to come hear this song. I've got a hit.'" Zay added that he went to the studio and heard Garrett's reference vocals on the track "This was awhile ago," Zay said. "This is before there were any reports about Usher's marriage in the news. So I was thinking to myself, 'Is he trying to say something?' I don't know what Usher is going through, but Sean Garrett made a song about filling out papers, divorce papers. The beat, it's got a bounce to it. It's outta here."
  • Garrett maintained to MTV News that he and Usher didn't speak about trouble in the singer's marriage at the time. He said: "Let's say I wrote a record for Usher three or four months ago where I really didn't have any idea of what he was going through personally. I work really hard at creating records I feel that's gonna fit like a glove to an artist. Me and Usher have a close relationship; I tend to sort of assist certain artists in giving them a direction, where I think they need to go in their next move. I felt that was the direction we needed to go. I felt that was the question everyone wanted to know: Was [his relationship] good or was it bad? Was it right? Are you happy or you're not?"
  • A number of commentators have pointed out that Zaytoven has recycled the same beat for this song that he previously used on Gorilla Zoe's song "So Sick," a track from the rapper's March 2009 Don't Feed Da Animals album.
  • In an interview with People Magazine Tameka Foster-Raymond claimed this song is purely "entertainment," and that "people shouldn't take it literally." Tameka added that even though she doesn't believe Usher intended the song as a commentary on their short marriage, "Given what we're going through, it's in poor taste."
  • Usher told MTV News that the song was a case of life imitating art, not the other way around. He explained: "I think people would have immediately alluded to the fact I was talking about my wife when I made that record - and now my ex-wife. When the song was recorded, I wasn't divorced. It was some reality in the contrast of trying to make it all work, having to balance a career and having a normal life. Coming in at 6 in the morning and arguing was a reality when you have those type of relationships. I felt that in a way, the story did touch on certain things at the time. I didn't know how realistic it would become. I didn't know I would become divorced. I did know it spoke on the contrast between trying to balance this world of being married and having this responsibility that's like a marriage at the same time. The song spoke to that place. Unfortunately, it did become a reality."
  • The Raymond Vs Raymond album title was inspired by the classic divorce film Kramer Vs Kramer.

Comments: 1

  • Brian from Roland, Okthats exactly how I feel at this point in my life, Usher is a talented individual, who has everything anyone could want in life, and just goes to show you, he' also has feelings and goes through the same s--t us poor folks do, Thanks Usher, I believe I'll post that to my facebook, and song facts, thanks to you we have this site, Merry Christmas to all
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