Usher has shared an emotional but powerful new song, “I Cry,” which was inspired by the recent wave of Black Lives Matter protests.
The song boasts a piano-led pop-soul groove that places Usher’s voice and lyrics front and center: “I cry,” he belts during the hook, “For the sons without fathers/And the pain that their mothers/Hold deep inside/So I’ll fight/For the future we’re making/It’ll change if we face it/’Cause these tears won’t dry.”
Usher shared a note on social media to accompany the song’s release, saying he wrote it in part because he wanted to teach his sons that it’s OK for a man to “feel emotions deeply and to cry.” He admitted that he was raised to keep such feelings in check, and his desire to proffer a different way forward for his kids came about while quarantining during the COVID-19 pandemic and watching the deaths of George Floyd and others — and the subsequent wave of Black Lives Matter protests.
— Usher Raymond IV (@Usher) June 26, 2020
“Like many, I grew increasingly frustrated by how slow things have been to change,” Usher said. “I became very depressed thinking about all sons who have lost their fathers to police brutality, social injustice and violence; the daughters and mothers, too. So I returned to this song and realized it was intended for this time, so I finished it and here it is.”
Usher will donate his proceeds from “I Cry” to the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, which provides grants and support to community-based organizations and minority-owned small businesses that have been hit particularly hard by COVID-19. Usher will perform the song live for the first time Saturday, June 27th, during the Global Goal: Unite for Our Future concert special hosted by Global Citizen.
“I Cry” marks Usher’s third new song of 2020, following “SexBeat,” featuring Lil Jon and Ludacris, and “California,” featuring Tyga. His last solo album, Hard II Love, arrived in 2016, while in 2018 he partnered with the producer Zaytoven for a collaborative record, A.