Usher cut his first self-titled LP at 16. He rose to national prominence in 1997 with his sophomore effort, My Way. Since then he’s accumulated a shelf full of awards and accolades, and sold more than 45 million records worldwide. His latest pulsating, synth-injected dance club track, “DJ Got Us Fallin’ in Love,” is the first single from the 2010 eight-song EP, Versus. It’s Usher’s 39th Hot 100 single and 14th to hit the chart’s Top 10.
The song’s story is pretty straightforward: An overworked and fatigued guy looks to the club scene to reinvigorate him and remind him what he’s living for. “So we back in the club/Get the bodies rockin’ from side to side,” Usher tells us. “Thank God the week is done/I feel like a zombie gone back to life.”
Once the DJ’s rhythms perk him up, however, he can’t help but look around and notice a pretty young thing he thinks maybe he’s seen before (“I think I remember those eyes, eyes, eyes”). Soon “love” is in the air along with the dance beats.
Why do I put love in quotation marks? Because here’s what he’s thinking: “Keep downing drinks like there’s no tomorrow/There’s just right now, now, now/Gonna set the roof on fire/Gonna burn this m‑‑‑‑‑f‑‑‑er down, down, down.” (The f-word is partially censored.) A couple of empty glasses later and Usher’s sure he’s in “love.” This time those quotations mean he’s eager get the girl’s “hands on my body.”
Featured rapper Pitbull then steps in to mess things up even more. Depending on which of two versions of the song you listen to, his contribution could be classified as nasty and nastier. The radio and video version of the song has Pitbull telling the “lucky” girl on the dance floor, “Yabba dabba doo make her Bedrock/Mami on fire, red hots/ … I’m a hustler, baby, but that you knew/And tonight it’s just me and you.”
In an earlier version still available online, he delivers a rapid-fire rhyming blend of English and Cuban Spanish that’s far less coy and more explicit about his sexual intent: “In the cover the music/Get naked baby/ … Be your gyno, no, not your doctor.”
I don’t think it’s quite fair to blame DJs for inspiring that kind of “love.”
After spending more than two decades touring, directing, writing and producing for Christian theater and radio (most recently for Adventures in Odyssey, which he still contributes to), Bob joined the Plugged In staff to help us focus more heavily on video games. He is also one of our primary movie reviewers.