The Apples of My Eye: Throwback - Usher featuring Jadakiss

 - Patrick Nash

This song is one of my all time favorite Usher tracks. It also has one of my favorite Just Blaze beats as well as a dope verse from Jadakiss. In an article featured on Billboard Just Blaze breaks down the timeline of the song. Originally meant for Dr. Dre's Detox album as a exit record (using the sample "you're gonna want me back" from Dionne Warwick's song "You're Gonna Need Me") the track was eventually given to Usher once the realization came that Detox was not going to be made. Usher was looking for a hip hop track to record for his Confessions album. The sample that was used ended up going well with a break up concept for the track's final version with songwriting duties handled by Patrick "J. Que" Smith and Rico Love and of course production handled by Just Blaze. Jay-Z was originally approached for a verse on the song but was on tour at the time and wouldn't have made it back to record prior to final mixing. Jadakiss was then approached but he was also unavailable due to finishing up his own album. The original version of the song was released with no rap verse on the first release of Confessions. Jadakiss later on added a verse to the song and it was added to the re-release of the Confessions album.

Now that the history of the song has been established I want to go into why I like this song. First off is the song's relatability. Everyone has experienced something along the lines of this song. Everyone has had a breakup that they regret and which they could redo. Music is a huge part of my life so finding a song that I can relate to in some way or another makes the song better. Jada's verse paints a perfect picture of how most guys handle the situation. A tough front for others to see while being broken when no one is around. 

The beat itself has an old feel to it. The crackle and pop of a record in the background of the track sets the mood along with the before mentioned sample of Dionne Warwick singing "you're gonna need me" and "you're gonna want me back" has you feel an ending. The mellow opening of the track and during Usher's verses allow clarity and allows there to be no distractions from the words. The intensity of the track ramps up not only during the chorus of but also a little over halfway through Jada's verse and it expresses the desperation felt by a relationship seemingly ended prematurely. 

Add everything together and you get a great song of love lost and longing. Something that I'm sure everyone, whether they want to admit it or not, has experienced. Thank you for setting aside the time to give this a read. If you enjoyed this hit the like button. If you have any feedback leave a comment. And on that note....