Usher's 2004 Jive album, "Confessions," has shifted 9.4 million copies in the United States, but tentative release dates keep coming and going for its follow-up, which is now nebulously slated for som

Usher's 2004 Jive album, "Confessions," has shifted 9.4 million copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan, but tentative release dates keep coming and going for its follow-up, which is now nebulously slated for sometime this year.

So what's the holdup? "He has been taking a pretty long time to put it out, but I think he's ready now," says Jermaine Dupri, who has worked closely with Usher for years but scaled back his contributions to the new album after taking the reins of Island's urban music department.

"The last couple times I've been around [him], you could tell he's got the bug to hurry up and put this record out. He wants to get back out here and give the people that. He's got that itch."

Dupri is known to have produced the track "The Realest," which was at one time mentioned as a possible first single. T-Pain produced "All the Time," while Ludacris guests on "Dat Girl Right There," which leaked last month. Dre & Vidal and Cool and Dre are also said to have contributed to the album.

Dupri declined to reveal other specifics to Track, but conceded with a laugh, "I know that I've done my songs and I know that my songs on his record are crazy."