There are few things that I love more than a good CD. A really good, really well produced CD except maybe a really good artist who has solid entertainment value and morals, who I can believe has his/her best long term interests at hand and is clear on their role as a member of the black public community, and I can let my Kid hear – age appropriate of course.
I say all of this because I am pleased to say Usher has climbed a little higher up my list of “he’s not so bad” artists out there. I know, I know, I too saw the VH1 Fabulous Life of…Usher. From the shows web site and I quote:
When Usher hits the hottest spots in Hollywood, Hotlanta and
NYC, he never travels lightly. He always packs an army of bodyguards, a doting
entourage, the finest cigars on the market and a pocket full of serious cash.
When it comes to parties, this playa spares no expense. From exotic animals to
masquerades to free-flowing Dom Perignon, his star-studded soirees make history.
And when he needs some down time he cools off in his five bedroom
Georgia estate, tricked out with a recording studio, luxury pool, fully-loaded
guest house and driveway crowded with the ultimate fantasy cars. Even when he’s
far from home, Usher stills lives like a prince in presidential suites at five
star hotels. At the $3,800 a night Beverly Hills L’Hermitage, he is pampered by
staff that know how treat their elite guests.
I know you watched it too, in the middle of the night with your crew like “What are you making us watch?” I know I was like “why does any one man need over 500 hundred pair of blue jeans?” ummm… really? I need Usher to send me a memo and explain it to me. You can really get by on like 10 pair, if you ballin (and I’m not) MAYBE 50 for your personal wardrobe. but dang to buy every pair in the store whether they are you size or not – just so nobody else can have them (until they get a new shipment- did we forget shipment comes EVERY Thursday Usher?) Anyway – before he climbs back down my list let me continue on my quest to give this man a positive spin.
Why you ask? Because we as a people need to find the positivity where ever we can. Most people aren’t aware how much of the wealth among African Americans is held by entertainers and athletes, by no means all of it but enough of it to warrant some education among those who hold that wealth and among those who watch them. SO this is my moment of positivity for Usher who while is a spend-a-holic, actually has some sense.
On the Forbes website they have a article
about Mr Raymond in which they highlight the bling bling thought process of your average entertainer. They also note the tendency of our major starts to find themselves in court trying to figure out just how much of their bling a chapter 13 will salvage. (TLC, M.C.Hammer and Michael Jackson are mentioned most notably) But the positive aspect of the Usher article was not necessarily him in anyway. It was his surrounding cast. Ushers MOManager has assembled a strong team of business managers, investment persons,image consultants , ect who are totally responsible with her for her sons image. As they should be, it is not Jus the artist we should be working to educate it is also the cast of people who create them. She chose smartly people who are more concerned with Ushers development as a man than just as a icon. The article mentions his lack of father figure, (while I do want to mention the number of black men stepping up and being active fathers in growing by leaps and bound – thank you brothers) but also mentions the fact that his business manager while of couse is concerned with his fiscal self is more concerned with his mental financial education and development. Usher says he has spent less than 10% of his total earnings, squirreling away the rest in fixed-income investments, blue-chip stocks and real estate, why? His Business manager is a stickler for sound spending, they understand the difference between generating cash and creating wealth and they are trying to teach our young stars. Why do I even care? Because in todays world that is flashed at our kids full of bling bling and ads and how to spend and what to inquire – I want my child to see that long term spending and planning is more important than what you want right now (see previous post
about our home buying) Our people should want that as a whole. White people with any base of money – uppermiddle class and the like are very clear on what wealth building is. Black people are about generating cash and it is the most major crippling aspect of our community.
Sorry got a little off point back to my point: Usher.
Why do I care? I care because we need more media coverage on artists who are trying to build a better base for themselves and our communities. Do you even know Usher put up one million dollars for an african american bank and he owns part of an NBA team? But we know how much he spends on cars, and alcohol. I know Master P has a car with a Gucci paint job but I don’t know what his investment habits are. And our kids need to know that life whether it be the fiancial good life or the “ohh my god you make how much?!?” life all comes with limits and responsibilities and video hoes and gold teeth are not where it is at. I need Jay-Z to make an album talking about investment strategies and the hustle that got him to the head of Def Jam, not the drug dealing he did to get by when he was 17, we got that album – I need some more from our artists and media outlets, and I’ll take this article from Forbes and
Usher as a down payment.
Usher is a good kid. I have alot more respect for him after reading this article, I’ve always loved his music and style. He clearly comes form a good family and has a lot of things going for him. And he’s only 26. Your twenties are for making STUPID mistakes, I know I got a bunch back there, (like I’m not right with Usher in age) but being smart is keeping people around you who can keep you grounded and are smarter than you. Good luck Usher, I’m rooting for you.