Earlier this week Black Twitter sat ringside as an R&B titan clashed with a Canadian pop star.
The Weeknd shared why he feels his alternative style affected music in a new interview with Variety, specifically noting that he thinks Usher’s work had been influenced.
“I heard ‘Climax,’ that Usher song, and was like, ‘Holy f*ck, that’s a Weeknd song.’ It was very flattering, and I knew I was doing something right, but I also got angry,” he told the industry magazine.
“But the older I got, I realized it’s a good thing,” The Weeknd, whose birth name is Abel Tesfaye, added.
Usher initially responded by flexing his falsetto on the ‘gram after songwriter Eric Bellinger, who has collaborated with Usher frequently, kicked off the #ClimaxChallenge. Bellinger invited The Weeknd and other singers to try and hit the remarkably high notes that Usher does in the single.
“Y’all think @theweeknd will accept the challenge?,” Bellinger asked to a fan in his Instagram comments.
Usher answered the call from isolation, recording a clip of himself flawlessly hitting every key of the hit song—laying down no less.
After getting a bit of backlash from Usher fans, The Weeknd quickly hopped on Twitter to clarify that he hadn’t meant any disrespect.
“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,” wrote The Weeknd before signing off with his signature, “XO.”
Diplo, the popular EDM producer who conceptualized the track, also set the record straight on Twitter about the song’s inspiration.
“The production on Climax lends itself to House of Balloons era @theweeknd. 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,” wrote Diplo.
“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,” he added.
Usher seemed content to let his decades-long track record do the talking. He ended the matter by asking the age old question on Twitter, “Have you ever seen the moon bark back at the dog?”
No Ursh, we haven’t.
After the back and forth, however, Usher thought it was the perfect time to bless fans with new music. A new collaboration with Lil Jon and Ludacris, “Sex Beat,” is out Friday.