‘That was Jamaican culture’ – Usher speaks on Nicki Minaj butt slap, Alicia Keys Super Bowl hug

Usher has finally addressed the infamous moments when he hugged Alicia Keys and slapped his head off Nicki Minaj’s buttocks, which garnered criticism from people including Boosie Badazz and Cam’ron owing to Keys’ marriage to Swizz Beatz.

During an interview on The Breakfast Club, the star artist opened up about the viral Super Bowl moment with Keys, saying, “In no way should anything done there be viewed as bad or perverted or anything like that. It was literally about having fun because of a song that me and Alicia made many years ago.”

“And we celebrated because of the legacy of it. And no disrespect to anybody or anything like that,” he said, per HiphopDX.

The host, Charlamagne Tha God followed by asking Usher if he, Keys, and Swizz had laughed at how people responded to the hug, to which he replied, “Absolutely, we laughed about it. It’s crazy how people [focused on] that. It’s all about how you present things, man. But it’s all love.”

Just after Usher’s Super Bowl performance, Swizz Beatz posted on Instagram that he didn’t mind the singer dancing with his wife, which just goes to show how he felt about the incident.

Swizz expressed, “Y’all talking about the wrong damn thing !!! y’all don’t see that amazing dress covering the entire stadium. Tonight’s performance was nothing but amazing with 2 amazing Giants ! Congrats @usher and my love @aliciakeys that song is a classic. We don’t do negative vibes on this side we make history.”

The “Caught Up” singer also discussed slapping Minaj’s backside during their 2014 MTV Video Music Awards performance, which went viral again after his Super Bowl performance.

He defended his actions with the explanation, “That was Jamaican culture. You gotta go to Jamaica, you know what I’m saying? That was just a moment that was fun. And by the way, that was me playing my bass so I would have probably bumped my shoulder or my hand, but I had my bass in my hand so I just bopped off her body a little bit.

“Go back and look at the video and you’ll understand ’cause I did it there for the first time. That was a little bit of Jamaican culture.”

Nonetheless, the R&B star conceded that he was “reaching a bit” when he slapped Minaj’s buttocks, saying, “I should not have smacked her butt.”

Meanwhile, fans could catch Usher’s Super Bowl LVIII Halftime Show performance in a new documentary produced in collaboration with Apple Music.

The 10-minute short video, directed by JAY-Z and Hamish Hamilton, was released on February 17 and was shot entirely on an iPhone 15 Pro.

Fans can witness rehearsals, studio sessions, and the astronomical number of setlist adjustments in this mini-production, which offers an insight into the amount of work that went into the production.

Dollita Okine

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