Usher and The Weeknd

Usher Responds to The Weeknd’s ‘Climax’ Controversy

The Weeknd and Usher’s feud has reached the “Climax.”

The R&B crooners are clashing over Usher’s 2012 hit following The Weeknd’s controversial comments. Speaking with Variety, the After Hours singer said Usher’s Grammy-winning song reminded him of his early sound.

House of Balloons literally changed the sound of pop music before my eyes. I heard ‘Climax,’ that [2012] Usher song, and was like, ‘Holy f–, that’s a Weeknd song,'” said The Weeknd. “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.”

Usher responded by posting a series of videos of himself listening to vocal attempts at the “Climax” falsetto before delivering a flawless rendition that sounds like the original. At the end of one video, he seemingly takes a shot at The Weeknd with some revised lyrics.

“Can’t take it back, ni**a, we reached the climax,” he sings.

He captioned it with the hashtag #ClimaxChallenge, inviting fans to share their own videos of themselves attempting to recreate his falsetto.

After the social media debate, Diplo and Elijah Blake, who produced and wrote “Climax,” addressed claims that Usher copied The Weeknd. “The production on Climax lends itself to House of Balloons era @theweeknd,” said Diplo. “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.”

The controversy couldn’t come at a better time. Usher is set to drop his new single “SexBeat” tonight. The Jermaine Dupri-produced track finds him reuniting with his “Yeah!” collaborators Ludacris and Lil Jon.

UPDATE: The Weeknd has downplayed his original comments, while giving props to Usher. “Of course media blows things out of proportion and takes things out of context,” he tweeted. “Usher is a King and always an inspiration so it was flattering to hear what him and Diplo did on climax.”