"Motherfucking Usher is here!" With those words, ecstatically shouted by Lizzo, Lorene Scafaria's Hustlers begins its most outrightly joyous scene, featuring one of the best cameos you'll see all year. Because, yes, motherfucking Usher is here, on screen, striding into the strip club, throwing hundred dollar bills in the air as his song featuring Young Jeezy, "Love in This Club," blares. Those, by the way, were actual Benjamins.
"At one point I was looking at the money on the stage -- the prop girl was resetting them every single time -- and I was like, 'These look real,'" star Constance Wu told Thrillist. "She looked at me and she was like, 'They are.' Lorene just thought the fake money looked too weird. It was so much money."
Hustlers' narrative about a group of strippers who start to steal thousands from wealthy men most nights can essentially be broken into two parts: pre-recession and post-recession. Or, rather, pre-Usher and post-Usher. Before the stock market crashes in 2008, the Manhattan nightlife industry is thriving, with Wall Street bros flooding the strip club where Wu's Destiny and Jennifer Lopez's Ramona, among others, work. Speaking with a reporter portrayed by Julia Stiles, Destiny describes the last great night she remembers before the economy dipped: It was the night Usher came to town. And sure enough, there's the real-life Usher, playing a mid-aughts version of himself, making it rain and watching as a stage of women that includes Lopez, Wu, Lizzo, Cardi B, Keke Palmer, and Trace Lysette dance for him.