Many of us can link a certain album to pivotal moments in our lives. Whether it’s the first record you bought with your own money, the chord you first learnt to play on guitar, the song that soundtracked your first kiss, the album that got you those awkward and painful pubescent years or the one that set off light bulbs in your brain and inspired you to take a big leap of faith into the unknown – music is often the catalyst for change in our lives and can even help shape who we become.
In this series, Music Feeds asks artists to reflect on their relationship with music and share with us stories about the effect music has had on their lives.
Bootleg Rascal – Usher’s Confessions
Usher. A humble man.
Confessions. A humble album.
Confessions, you came out at a complicated time in my life as a little human. I was just a little singer growing up in Liverpool which was full of bravado, where everyones Dad was a chippie or a carpenter. Coming from a South-American family, the culture is very romantic – and I mean cheese coloured corn to the bone. Growing up, I’d get teased about being a singer because everyone at school played rugby and wanted to be really tough. Confessions, when you came out, along came Usher – this mad dude who’s just putting everything on the table and spilling it out. Although huge to many, the way you resonated with me was deep for a 12-year-old.
The way Confessions was shaped, instead of playing the typical tough guy who didn’t care about anything and had heaps of honeys, you were the complete opposite. You were an emotional album. Confessions Part II, admitting your wrongs, making it okay to be vulnerable in that situation, you showed me that I didn’t have to be the tough guy. It was okay to be in touch with an emotional part of yourself.
I also love girls. I remember there were a few instances where I got rejected, and ‘Burn’ was always there. You helped these situations and always taught me it was okay to release that corny, heartbroken, emotional, romantic side. My Boo, oh Alicia. Little me then realised I didn’t need to have a lot of women, it was okay to be caught up on one girl in the playground. There wasn’t many people admitting stuff like this because they didn’t think it was cool but I felt the complete opposite.
But in all sadness, there was happiness. ‘Caught Up’ and ‘Yeah’, you both were major staples in my young singing self. Being a kid, if you didn’t know this song, if it wasn’t on your “this should be on So Fresh” radar, if it wasn’t appreciated in someone’s childhood, did they even have a childhood? In all seriousness though – Usher, Lil Jon and Ludacris – what else would a 2000’s kid want?
And Confessions, that was from me to you.
Catch Bootleg Rascal touring the nation off the back of their new album ‘Anònimo’ across October & November (dates below).
A smorgasbord of flavours from hip-hop, to reggae, indie-rock, dub, electronica and even gospel, the Sydney ghetto fusion lords’ sophomore LP is a feast for the ears. And true to form, it keeps us guessing, but never disappoints – Emmy Mack / Senior Writer
Bootleg Rascal 2018 ‘Anònimo’ Tour Dates
FRIDAY, 19TH OCTOBER
LANSDOWNE HOTEL, SYDNEY NSW
THURSDAY, 25TH OCTOBER
SOL BAR, SUNSHINE COAST QLD
SATURDAY, 27TH OCTOBER
THE NORTHERN, BYRON BAY NSW
FRIDAY, 2ND NOVEMBER
UOW UNI BAR, WOLLONGONG NSW
SUNDAY, 4TH NOVEMBER
SOOKI LOUNGE, BELGRAVE VIC
MONDAY, 5TH NOVEMBER
HOWLER, MELBOURNE VIC
FRIDAY, 9TH NOVEMBER
WOOLLY MAMMOTH, BRISBANE QLD