POPSCREEN: Usher

'Trading Places,' Dir. Chris Robinson

Usher is back and more woman than ever.

Yes, you heard me right. Your favorite piece of male eye-candy has returned with another steamy video, “Trading Places.” In this, the newest single off his fifth album, Usher has managed to reinvent himself in an unimaginable fashion. He is no longer that R&B crooner, oozing sex appeal as he glides across the dance floor.

Well, actually, he still is. But now, he is also much more: Usher is the woman in the relationship.

You see, Usher can relate to every struggling female out there. He identifies with the adversity women face every day at the workplace and at home. So, he has taken it upon himself to reverse these stereotypes and give women the power they deserve. Thankfully, we all have the good fortune of viewing his experiences as documented in this borderline pornographic “music” video.

In his societal experiment/sexual fantasy, Usher plays the modern women. He placidly concedes to his partner’s every direction and he is as dull as the video’s gray hues.

What’s more, between offers of breakfast in bed and being forced into sexual relations, he finds time to serenade the viewer while playing his invisible piano.

Conversely, the lingerie-donning video vixen typifies the average male: she pushes, she shoves, she commands, and she swims through a fish tank. Confused much?

Well, fear not. Usher concludes the video by whispering the affirmation, “Stay tuned / For part two / You been me / And I been you / But we gon’ switch / This thing back / I’mma put it on your ass.” Now, that’s both a relief and something to look forward to.

This four-minute delve into gender dynamics attempts to push the envelope on a typical bedroom-themed video, but sadly, it’s the same old story. Boy meets girl, boy makes hot love to girl, and Usher dances shirtless across a shiny floor.

—Shareen Asmat

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