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Dive (Usher song)

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Dive cover.png
Single by Usher
from the album Looking 4 Myself
ReleasedAugust 28, 2012 (2012-08-28)
FormatDigital download
Recorded2012; Parkland Playhouse (Parkland, FL); Circlehouse Studios (Miami, FL)
Usher singles chronology
"Rest of My Life"

"Dive" is a song recorded by American recording artist Usher for his seventh studio album Looking 4 Myself (2012). It was written and produced by Rico Love, Jim Jonsin, Danny Morris and Frank Romano. "Dive" is a slow-paced R&B ballad with elements of pop music, with Usher making use of his falsetto range. Its lyrics use the metaphor of diving, which was interpreted by critics to discuss a commitment to a relationship. The song was announced by Usher via Twitter as the fifth single from Looking 4 Myself on August 21, 2012.[1] It was released to urban radio on August 28, 2012.

An accompanying music video directed by Chris Applebaum, portrays Victoria's Secret Angel model Chanel Iman as Usher's love interest, showing them being intimate and having sex in several scenes. Upon the release of Looking 4 Myself, the song debuted at number 50 on the South Korea Gaon International Chart, with sales of 6,546 digital copies. "Dive" peaked at number 34 on the US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, remaining on the chart for twelve weeks before dropping out.

Composition and lyrics[edit]

The track is a slow-paced R&B ballad with elements of pop music, that runs for a length of three minutes and 47 seconds.[2][3][4] Throughout the song, Usher makes use of his falsetto range, to which Billboard's Erika Ramirez described as "soulful".[3][4][5] Chuck Arnold of People complimented Usher's falsetto on both "Dive" and lead single "Climax", adding that the songs show"that he's a "better singer than ever".[5] Matt Cibula of PopMatters wrote that "Dive" contains a triple entendre in its lyrics: seemingly singing about diving or oral sex, "only to realize that what he's really discussing" is commitment to a relationship.[6] Trent Fitzgerald of PopCrush perceived that the song's lyrics "metaphorically compares love to the crashing waters of the ocean".[3] Carrie Battan of Pitchfork interpreted the lyrics as "explicit" which might "make you cringe if they'd come from of anyone else" in the line: "It's raining inside your bed/ No parts are dry/ Lovin' made you so wet/ Your Legs/ Your thighs".[2]

Critical reception[edit]

DJ Booth described its production as "sultry" and noted the song as a potential hit for Usher.[7] Erika Ramirez of Billboard also saw the song as a success, writing that it is "slower and more sensual" than Jim Jonsin and Rico Love's "Motivation" (2011) performed by Kelly Rowland.[4] Ramirez also praised Usher's vocals, more specifically his falsetto, the reasoning to why "we fell in love with the singer to begin with".[4] Complex's Brad Wete perceived the song as a "sexy slow-winding cut", that is "powered by Usher’s falsetto".[8] Ryan Hadfield of Consequence of Sound also praised Usher's vocals, with "Dive" and lead single "Climax" showing his "superior R&B vocal range".[9] Pitchfork's Carry Battan wrote that Usher's "vocal mastery" allows him to turn the chorus of "Dive"—which she viewed as "cornball"—into something "more specific, as if he were addressing just one woman [...]".[2] PopMatters' Matt Cibula saw the lyric's as "clever" for incorporating a triple-entendre.[6] Cibula further lauded Usher's falsetto, which he wrote Usher sings in an "urgent" whisper.[6]

Music video and live performances[edit]

Usher and Chanel Iman kissing underwater in the videos closing scene.

The music video for "Dive" was filmed in July 2012, directed by Chris Applebaum, and released to VEVO on August 25, 2012.[10] In the video, Victoria's Secret Angel model Chanel Iman plays as Usher's love interest.[11][12] Set on a luxury Yacht in the open sea,[13] the video begins with Usher talking, before showing him singing the first verse. The video intercuts to Iman, and Usher inside a cabin with water gushing in. For the chorus, Usher and Iman are being intimate, with water further entering the singer's cabin. Usher and Iman are once again being intimate for the second verse, sat outside of the Yacht, with water now level with Usher's waist inside the cabin, entering the second chorus, where Usher and Iman make love. During the bridge, both are romancing within the cabin's bathroom, with the video intercutting to different romantic scenarios. Further scenarios are shown in the final chorus, with the water now fully submerging the cabin and Usher. The video closes with Usher swimming to safety, but before reaching the surface, he and Iman approach each other, embracing in the water. Opening the 2012 iTunes Festival, Usher performed "Dive" for the first time along with "Can't Stop Won't Stop", "Twisted" and "Numb" and other songs.[14]

Credits and personnel[edit]

  • Vocal recording – Parkland Playhouse, Parkland, FL; Circlehouse Studios, Miami, FL
  • Mixing – Parkland Playhouse, Parkland, FL

Credits adapted from the liner notes of Looking 4 Myself, RCA Records.[15]


Upon the release of Looking 4 Myself, due to digital downloads, "Dive" entered the singles chart in South Korea. It debuted on the South Korea Gaon International Chart at number 50 on June 10, 2012, with sales of 6,546 digital copies.[16] It debuted at number eight on the US Bubbling Under Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles chart for the chart issue dated September 8, 2012.[17] On the US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, "Dive" peaked at number 34, remaining on the chart for twelve weeks before dropping out.[18]

Chart (2012) Peak
South Korea International Chart (Gaon)[16] 50
Ukraine (FDR)[19] 15
US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard)[18] 34

Release history[edit]

Country Date Format Label Ref.
United States August 28, 2012 Urban radio RCA Records [20]


  1. ^ "Usher Confirms 'Dive' As New Single From Seventh Album 'Looking 4 Myself'". Capital. Global Radio. August 22, 2012. Retrieved August 25, 2012.
  2. ^ a b c Battan, Carrie (June 20, 2012). "Usher: Looking 4 Myself". Pitchfork. Retrieved August 27, 2012.
  3. ^ a b c Fitzgerald, Trent (June 12, 2012). "Usher, 'Looking 4 Myself' – Album Review". PopCrush. Retrieved August 27, 2012.
  4. ^ a b c d Ramirez, Erika (June 8, 2012). "Usher's 'Looking 4 Myself': Track-By-Track Review". Billboard. Prometheus. Retrieved August 27, 2012.
  5. ^ a b Arnold, Chuck (June 12, 2012). "Usher's Looking 4 Myself Is an R&B-pop Blockbuster: Review". People. Time Inc. Retrieved August 27, 2012.
  6. ^ a b c Cibula, Matt (July 2, 2012). "Usher: Looking 4 Myself (Deluxe Edition)". PopMatters. Retrieved August 27, 2012.
  7. ^ Richard. "Usher - Dive". DJ Booth. Retrieved August 28, 2012.
  8. ^ Brad, Matt (July 12, 2012). "Review: Usher's "Looking 4 Myself" Dares To Be Different". Complex. Complex Media. Retrieved August 28, 2012.
  9. ^ Hadfield, Ryan (June 15, 2012). "Album Review: Usher – Looking 4 Myself". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved August 28, 2012.
  10. ^ "World Premiere Of Usher's "Dive" Video – Watch Now!". Archived from the original on August 29, 2012. Retrieved August 29, 2012.
  11. ^ Bustos, Kristina (August 27, 2012). "Usher unveils 'Dive' music video featuring model Chanel Iman - watch". Digital Spy. Nat Mags. Retrieved August 30, 2012.
  12. ^ "Usher Happily Drowns In His "Dive" Music Video–". Idolator. Buzz Media. August 24, 2012. Retrieved August 30, 2012.
  13. ^ "Video: Usher – 'Dive'". Rap-Up. Rap-Up, LLC. Retrieved August 29, 2012.
  14. ^ "Usher Hails Crowd At iTunes Festival 2012 Show: "I'm Really Happy to Be Here" - Audio". Capital. Global Radio. September 2, 2012. Retrieved September 19, 2012.
  15. ^ Looking 4 Myself (inlay cover). Usher. RCA Records. 2012.
  16. ^ a b "South Korea Gaon International Chart" (in Korean). Gaon Chart. Select week 2012.06.10 – 2012.06.16 from the drop-down menu. Archived from the original on January 2, 2014. Retrieved July 3, 2012.
  17. ^ "Bubbling Under R&B/Hip-Hop Songs Chart History". Billboard. Prometheus Global. Retrieved August 6, 2013.
  18. ^ a b "Usher Chart History (Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs)". Billboard.
  19. ^ "Ukrainian Chart" (in Ukrainian). FDR. Archived from the original on May 6, 2014. Retrieved April 6, 2014.
  20. ^ "Urban/UAC Future Releases". AllAccess. Archived from the original on August 30, 2012. Retrieved August 30, 2012.

External links[edit]