R&B heartthrob Usher Raymond may, finally, be done issuing the kind of proclamations that shine on music recordings but tarnish in real life. The Tennessee native has made mistake after mistake since marrying cougar-friendly Tameka Foster years ago, resulting in the out of control spiraling of a career that seemed as squeaky clean as a Dexter Pittman Miami Heat uniform. As the once-Pop icon calls himself “naive” in the wake of admitting to cheating on his then-wife during a marriage, we all may question whether the often uninhibited singer has tarnished his own image, but in reality, this has become common practice with the new age of adult men.
Also making this more intriguing: women will likely accept it, much like it’s accepted with Joe Regular, who has his significant other paying his cell phone monthly bill, while he continues to roam the streets with other women.
It’s a regular thing these days in urban society.
There were no raised eyebrows with Raymond’s revelation, no slack jaw, no change in expression.
At first glance, Raymond’s revelation timing may seem strange, even out of place, in the face of news that a surefire icon had been linked so directly to infidelity and marriage scandal. But in truth, it was almost perfectly in line with the revelations of many around the entertainment world. The twin body blows of the Tom Cruise and Chad Johnson scandals in recent months had brought the industry — already reeling from allegations about numerous celebs in recent years — to its knees, but if there was a knockout punch to come, this is surely not it.
In fact, the only thing surprising about the Usher news was that it wasn’t surprising at all. Unlike some who have been ensnared in this controversy, there had not been a presumption of innocence about Usher. There was the cartoonish way in which he ‘grew’ up, the dramatic stark in his musical direction that coincided with the marriage and ‘no more young fans please’ era, and the fact that the women who helped him maintain a squeaky clean image were already a part of the rogues gallery. All conspired to leave Usher in the unenviable position of a presumed cheater for whom getting caught only served to confirm what everyone widely expected.
What’s more, the news about Raymond hardly matters. While the Cruise and Johnson storylines have overshadowed the rest of the year, this news will have a relatively minor impact. Since Usher is has lost significant appeal in the music world, there will be nothing to affect a possible new album to endure a swirl of controversy every day. No breathless media debates about the state of R&B.
There will also be no further debate about Usher’s place in the upper plateau of great performers of his generation.
Nor is this the last time a high profile artist will be similarly unmasked. That means there are still more than a few names in the R&B world are also playing these same rules, and even though none of them should ever see the light of day beyond their small audiences, it is a certainty that there are more to follow, and those are likely to be active performers with the capacity to harm the business present and future, while Raymond can only mar the past.
That popularity is gone now, once and for all, and so too is the hope that at R&B’s most desperate moment in decades, it was being rescued by honorable men.
Usher and his too-good-to-be-true image are now just the latest wreckage from the tidal wave of bad news that is the still-widening 90’s R&B era. This is the tsunami without end. Every time it appears the industry is starting to dry off from the latest revelation, another wave comes crashing onshore to drown the business anew. R&B and its millions of fans know that the waters will recede eventually. The hope is that that day is coming soon, and once it finally does, it will have washed the last of the wreckage out to sea for good.
Too bad that men who have already been practicing what Usher has been doing for years now will feel ‘validated’ in their daily conquests, and as long as their female counterparts allow it to happen and continue, this will be accepted as x_____ being x_____ (insert random male name twice).