The Weeknd Accused Usher Of Copying His Sound Back In 2012, And Now It Looks Like They’re In A Feud


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Just because everyone is in quarantine doesn’t mean there isn’t any drama.


And to promote the album, he gave a candid interview with Variety where he talked about a bunch of different topics, including the moment when he realized his music was having an impact.

Nbc / Getty Images

The Weeknd said he knew he was changing the sound of music when, according to him, Usher copied the sound of his 2011 mixtape, House of Balloons, saying:

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

He went on to say that he was angry at first, but now, in retrospect, he realizes it was a positive thing:

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.

While Usher didn’t directly respond to the Weeknd’s claim, he did post this video of himself singing “Climax” two days ago on his Insta story:

Pop Crave@PopCraveMusic

Usher takes to his Instagram stories to sing his hit song “Climax” after The Weeknd claimed he copied his style in the song.

Embedded video

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This then inspired — as Stereogum pointed out — R&B singer-songwriter Eric Bellinger to create the #ClimaxChallenge on Instagram last night. Bellinger, who has worked with Usher in the past, was basically doing this to say the Weeknd doesn’t have the range:

FaceTime interview earlier today with Apple Music’s Beats 1’s Zane Lowe, where he talked, among other things, about “Climax” and how he and Diplo (who co-wrote and produced it) created the track — but he did NOT mention the Weeknd at all.

Jean-baptiste Lacroix / Getty Images

Also, he took time to praise the Weeknd’s fellow Canadian, Drake, as a “young legend.” Drake also had a long-standing feud with the Weeknd. *sips tea*

But, also earlier today, Diplo took to Twitter and didn’t deny that HoB was an influence on “Climax”:

Thomas Wesley

@diplo

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

2,863 people are talking about this

Thomas Wesley

@diplo

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.

Thomas Wesley

@diplo

It was a song that always had a crescendo but never felt like it reached the peak. kind of like some relationships never make it to where you want them but for a moment it could feel like ecstasy.

374 people are talking about this

And, as Variety points out, it’s important to note that Diplo (as part of his group Major Lazer) also recently contributed a remix of the Weeknd’s “Blinding Lights” to the expanded edition of After Hours.

XO

So there is clearly a mutual respect between Diplo and the Weeknd.

But it doesn’t end there! Ariel Rechtshaid — who was also a co-writer on “Climax” — then responded to Diplo’s tweet by refuting it:

Thomas Wesley

@diplo

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

Ariel Rechtshaid

@arielrechtshaid

i tweet this with the utmost respect to all parties involved. climax was inspired in the room without any subconscious or conscious outside influence.

168 people are talking about this

And it still DOESN’T END there! The Weeknd responded to Diplo with this tweet in which he called Usher “King” and said he was “flattered” by what they did on “Climax”:

The Weeknd

@theweeknd

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://twitter.com/diplo/status/1248326577504407561 

Thomas Wesley

@diplo

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

8,110 people are talking about this

So, yeah, I guess interpret that however you want.

If you’re anything like me, this is probably your reaction to all of this:

XO

Okay, now I want to know your opinion. Who do you believe in this? Also, let’s keep it classy, folks, as we love them both!

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