“Yeah!” is the only R&B record on this list.
I had to make an exception and include it. This record was huge! The album Confessions was bigger. A personal album that features Usher opening up about his infidelity was a huge success, commercially and critically. The album was the opposite of “Yeah!,” which was a catchy, dance, radio single featuring the “hit” producer of the period, Lil’ Jon.
As soon as I heard that “Yeah!,” I knew it was going to be a huge record.
I remember getting the song and putting it on a CD for my older brother. We were in his Nissan Xterra on a cloud or rainy night, and then voila, it was his first time listening to the song. I sat back and witness and studied what his reaction would be. He just shrugged it off. He didn’t’ immediately hear a number one record like I did. I remained quiet because I knew in my head this was going to blow up the music world. It felt like I was holding on to the music world’s best kept secret.
The success of “Yeah!” transition successfully into Confessions, as the nation flocked out to purchase his album, buying over a million albums in a week, a truly remarkable accomplishment.
“Yeah!” was undeniable, there wasn’t a radio station, television channel or club (well, at least I think—I was under eighteen) that didn’t play the record.
From the beginning you can witness the song’s catchiness. That four bar loop is too great to not want to either bob your head or mimic the sound. The back and forth screaming of ‘yeah’ between Usher and Lil’ Jon during the chorus is great. Plus, Lil’ Jon adds a little flavor element to the song that only his adlibs can do. After all that, we get a Ludacris guest verse that helps bring the song complete.
“Yeah!” is a masterpiece.
(Photo Credit: Usher’s Instagram)