After The Weeknd was quoted saying he was “angry” about the similarities between his early catalog and Usher’s 2012 single “Climax,” the After Hours singer took to Twitter to salute his fellow R&B superstar.
On Thursday (April 9), The Weeknd praised Usher and called out the media for misinterpreting his message regarding the song. “Of course media blows things out of proportion and takes things out of context,” Weeknd tweeted. “Usher is a King and always an inspiration so it was flattering to hear what him and Diplo did on climax. XO.”
In a recent interview with Variety, The Weeknd pointed out the resemblance between “Climax” and his own catalog. “I heard ‘Climax,’ and was like, ‘Holy f—, that’s a Weeknd song.’ It was very flattering, and I knew I was doing something right, but I also got angry,” The Weeknd said, according to the magazine. “But the older I got, I realized it’s a good thing.”
Usher responded by performing the throwback song via his Instagram stories on Wednesday night, after his frequent collaborator Eric Bellinger kicked off the #ClimaxChallenge. In an interview with Apple Music’s Zane Lowe on Thursday, Usher revealed his original fears of releasing the Diplo-produced track and how R&B purists would embrace the new sound.
“The conversation in it, I was like, ‘Man, I just feel like this might be too much for people. I don’t know if they’re going to think I’m overthinking it.’ I just said, ‘I just feel like I should be classic R&B. I want to sing in a way that no one else does in this time over a track that I know doesn’t fit there. It’s going to freak people in R&B out and it’s going to freak people out who are more alternative.’ … Because people don’t sing in falsetto when you get to that level. They just don’t. They don’t go in that area.”
Diplo acknowledged in a tweet Thursday that The Weeknd’s 2011 mixtape House of Balloons did inspire his production for “Climax.” “The production on ‘Climax’ lends itself to House of Balloons era @theweeknd,” Diplo tweeted. “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.”
Check out the tweets below.
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
— Thomas Wesley (@diplo) April 9, 2020
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
— The Weeknd (@theweeknd) April 9, 2020