Yeah, Usher…Ummm…Maybe That Wasn’t The Best Sweatshirt Slogan Choice » VSB

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Yeah, Usher…Ummm…Maybe That Wasn’t The Best Sweatshirt Slogan Choice

@Usher via Instagram


***A conversation with Usher and his team of advisers and close friends from last weekend***

Usher:I really want to make a statement about the importance of voting; one that resonates and connects with people!

Person One: “That’s great that you’re making a political statement! It’s definitely necessary, and with someone with your platform and influence, it’ll…

Usher:So I took the liberty and had this sweatshirt made through Teespring! It clearly communicates the message I’m trying to convey, which is that remaining silent during political times is a way of co-signing wrongdoing.

(Clearly pleased with himself, a grinning Usher reaches into his LV bookbag and pulls out the sweatshirt. The women in the room gasp. The men shake their heads and look down. Someone leaves the room to make a phantom phone call.)

Usher:What? You think I should have gone with a bolder color, huh? Maybe a red shirt with white letters. I’ll do that the next time.

Person Two:Umm…that’s not really it. I…just…I…

Usher:OHHH! You know what would be great? A camo consent shirt. Just to evoke that this is a battle. A war! And we can’t afford to take no for an answer.

(Person Two takes out his phone and starts typing furiously. The team thinks he’s responding to a text, but he’s really updating his Linkedin page.)

Person Three:So, we love the idea man — your heart is definitely in the right place — but we collectively think you can come up with an even better slogan. Like ‘Go Vote, Man!‘ Or even ‘Vote Or I’ll Kill These Puppies.’ Or literally anything other than the slogan on that shirt. So let’s go back to the drawing board and brainstorm a bit before we do anything publicly.

Usher:Nah, this slogan is fine. It’s direct and to the point, it uses words that people understand, and on a sweatshirt it looks good with Levi’s. And Jesus appeared in one of my dreams yesterday, and told me it would change lives. Plus, I already posted it on Instagram a half hour ago, so now we just have to figure out different color schemes for more sweatshirts. I really like the camo idea. Maybe even camo polkadots, so H&M can carry them. We still have connects at H&M, right?

(Entire management team gets up, holds hands, walks to the window, and proceeds to jump out. It’s only a three foot drop to the ground, though, so they’re not committing mass suicide or anything. They’re just leaving.)

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Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a columnist for And he's working on a book of essays to be published by Ecco (HarperCollins). Damon is busy. He lives in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes. Reach him at Or don't. Whatever.

  • LadyJay?

    I did not understand this. What consent is he referencing to?

    • Kas

      He is saying that if you don’t vote you are agreeing to whomever comes into power. Poor choice of words considering consent is heavily tied to rape/sexual assault.

      • grownandsexy2

        I love me some Usher, but someone should have pulled his coat tails.

        • Kas

          Also I was wrong as what it related to. Apparently it’s about the oppression of POC. Shrug

    • Jacqueline

      `Racism” Police Brutality.

  • HouseOfBonnets

    I mean have you not seen his latest projects? Usher is stuck in here I stand/ Raymond vs Raymond limbo…. No one should be surprised at this point.

    • TheCollinB

      He, like Alicia Keys, doesn’t know who he is as an artist and so he’s ended up riding this wave of black people speaking up. And ended up with this shyt show of a shirt. I’m surprised the n*gga doesn’t have purple dreds.

      • Val

        Pretty sure AK has been speaking up for a pretty long while.

        • TheCollinB

          Val you looooove Alicia for why?????!!!

          • Val
            • TheCollinB

              this our second time of me being right and you being wrong about this woman. If you’re a Key’s Stan it’s time to fly your flag.

              • Val

                Lol How’d you get to be right? Not a stan, just a fan.

  • Negro Libre
    • Blueberry01

      Yo, I remember this!

  • OSHH

    I kinda wanted to like his lastest album, but it didn’t resonate with me.

  • Asano Sokato

    If silence is consent and he doesn’t say what that means, then all speculation on the message is legitimate.

    • He did say what it meant when he posted it on his instagram and when he wore it on stage.

      • TheCollinB

        But that’s the problem Boy in Da Hood, he had to talk about what it meant in the first place. Statement clothing should be self explanatory, not “ok what I mean by this is…” cause then you just end up looking like he looks now.

        • Disagree. All activism needs context even if you believe the language is unambiguous.

        • -h.h.h.-

          but if he explained it when he displayed it, that’s one any/everyone else it you take it out of context, no?

      • MsSula

        A random person looking at this picture does not have all those context clues. The English language is rich enough to make those points without needing the extra asterisks.

        • Negro Libre

          Eh bias plays into the interpretation of words too, English isn’t the exception to the rule. It’s why such things as definitions exist.

          • MsSula

            I am missing your point. What exactly are you saying? Because of MY interpretation of what you are saying.. you are saying the exact thing I am. Since bias exists, try to find the best approach to convey your meaning. Now my bias maybe playing into it, I don’t know.

            • Negro Libre


              • Yea but we know what he means…ppl just want to feel offended.

                • Epsilonicus


                • MsSula

                  I don’t think anybody is offended. Everybody is telling him it was the wrong choice of words.

                  • I don’t know…I just…I don’t care enough about it to even be moved to tell him it was wrong. I mean like…it was a poor choice of words but…like it’s all so bland.

                    • Epsilonicus

                      Woke police doth protest too much.

              • MsSula

                But he is though. He is a walking brand. So he should be careful about misconstruing messages, no?

                • Negro Libre

                  It’s actually because he wasn’t trying to sell anything that he made the shirt: i.e. he tried to be a person lol. If he was trying to “sell”, it would have probably gone through a team first.

  • Other_guy13
  • God, I hope his PR team gets fired for this hot mess. This reeks of trying to be intentionally provocative.

    • miss t-lee

      He ain’t go no PR team…lol

  • Sigma_Since 93

    Excellent thought but flawed execution.

    • Conrad Bess

      It’s all hindsight here, but all he had to do was replace “consent” with “approval” and we’d all be here waiting on an Agatha contribution.

      • MsSula

        Exactly. I mean I know the English language lacks some nuances but vocabulary wise, it’s pretty ok. Loll.

  • tiggatae

    At first sight of that shirt, everyone involved should have said “No.” and “No.” and continued following up any rebuttals with “No.” Smh…

  • TJ

    Bruh. This is the same issue with Jesse Williams’ tweet last week…we know what you meant, but we know what this also means.

    So many of these celebs don’t have good people on their teams…people that have FORESIGHT. Because a person remotely in touch with rape culture would’ve shut it down. Same thing with these media outlets and these articles and headlines…where were the minorities and women when you pressed “published”?

    • HouseOfBonnets
    • Cleojonz

      I missed it, what did Jesse do?

      • NonyaB

        See link in my reply to L8Comer

    • BmoreLikeLA

      yep, I missed it too?

    • Hammster

      IDK man. Maybe publicists are too expensive these days. That 60k (I’m guessing) they make can probably best be spent making it rain on some random at a random strip club or on 6 pairs of Yeezy’s.

      • KMN

        But his momma kept him in check though…he wasn’t doing not of this silly mess until he fired her…

    • inYOface

      FORESIGHT … put that on a sweatshirt! (rolling my eyes and neck)

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