Usher Claps Back at The Weeknd, Drops New Song With Ludacris and Lil Jon
By Antoinette Bueno
Usher isn't backing down from an unexpected beef with The Weeknd.
The drama between the two singers started when The Weeknd claimed Usher copied his musical style with his 2012 hit, "Climax," in an interview with Variety. The 30-year-old singer was discussing his extremely popular 2011 mixtape, House of Balloons, and its influence on the music industry.
"House of Balloons literally changed the sound of pop music before my eyes," he said. "I heard 'Climax,' that Usher song, and was like, 'Holy f**k, that's a Weeknd song.' It was very flattering, and I knew I was doing something right, but I also got angry. But the older I got, I realized it's a good thing."
Since then, 41-year-old Usher has been subtly clapping back, without directly mentioning The Weeknd. The singer showed he was clearly unbothered, posting a video of himself on his Instagram Story singing the challenging chorus of "Climax" and encouraging others to give it a try with the "#ClimaxChallenge."
And thanks to all the drama, "Climax" actually re-entered the U.S. iTunes chart earlier this week eight years after its debut. On Friday, Usher also dropped his new song, "SexBeat," with Ludacris and Lil Jon. The song marks a reunion between the three hitmakers 16 years after their 2004 smash, "Yeah!"
The Weeknd has since clarified his comments on Usher after the internet had a field day with his comments, with many backing up Usher and noting his long career before the Canadian singer stepped onto the music scene. On Thursday, the "Heartless" singer replied to a tweet by music producer Diplo -- one of the writers and producers of "Climax" -- who tweeted that he was in fact influenced by The Weeknd's music at the time. Still, Diplo praised Usher's vocals.
"The production on Climax lends itself to House of Balloons era @theweeknd," Diplo wrote. "When I heard those early records they blew my mind -- soulful in their silences, and a spacey iconic voice that felt uniquely internet. The idea of R&B having dark edges was what I wanted to bring to @usher, one of my favorite voices of all time. I'm glad @usher, Ariel, Eric, and I all got together to make that epic song. I remember I had the title of the song before I had the beat. It was conceptual from the beginning."
"It was a song that always had a crescendo but never felt like it reached the peak," he continued to explain. "Kind of like some relationships never make it to where you want them but for a moment it could feel like ecstasy."
The Weeknd re-tweeted Diplo and called Usher a "king."
"Of course media blows things out of proportion and takes things out of context," he wrote. "Usher is a King and always an inspiration so it was flattering to hear what him and Diplo did on climax. XO."
Of course media blows things out of proportion and takes things out of context. Usher is a King and always an inspiration so it was flattering to hear what him and Diplo did on climax. XO https://t.co/GdLX4xD58a