Usher dances his way through an opulent house party in the video for “Don’t Waste My Time,” the star’s new collaboration with Ella Mai. Snoop Dogg, the singer-songwriter Eric Bellinger, and the actor Evan Ross all make cameos in the clip, which is cheerful, frothy and carefree, a jarring reminder that humans were once able to party.
When Usher was on top of the world between 1997 and 2004, his key collaborator was Jermaine Dupri. Together, the two men came up with five Number One singles during that period: “Nice and Slow,” “U Got It Bad,” “Burn,” “Confessions Part II,” and “My Boo.” Usher has endured a turbulent decade, so it’s good to see him reunite with Dupri for “Don’t Waste My Time.” The track is also co-produced by Bryan Michael-Cox, who played a prominent role in “U Got It Bad,” “Burn,” and “Confessions Part II.”
Dupri and Cox serve Usher a minimal, throwback beat that evokes an old New Jack Swing hit from the group Hi-Five. The instrumental is little more than a blurt of drum programming and a synth line, which frees Usher to sing in swooping, giddy arcs. “Don’t Waste My Time” has become a modest hit — it has accumulated around 20 million streams, and it reached an audience of 5.8 million on R&B radio last week, according to Mediabase.