The Weeknd is setting the record straight on his so-called “feud” with Usher.
During an interview with Variety in April, the After Hours crooner said that Usher’s 2012 single “Climax” reminded him of his early sound.
“House of Balloons literally changed the sound of pop music before my eyes. I heard ‘Climax,’ that Usher song, and was like, ‘Holy f**k, that’s a Weeknd song,’” said Abel. “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 indirectly responded to The Weeknd by posting a video in which he sang “Climax” a cappella. “Can’t take it back, ni**a, we reached the climax,” he said at the end.
After stirring a debate on social media, Diplo, who co-wrote and produced “Climax,” addressed claims that Usher copied The Weeknd. “The production on Climax lends itself to House of Balloons era @theweeknd,” tweeted 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.”
But The Weeknd meant no disrespect. In an interview for the September/October issue of Esquire, he revealed that he reached out to Usher to apologize for his controversial comments and downplayed any beef with the R&B veteran.
“I hit [Usher] up to apologize and tell him that it was misconstrued,” he told the magazine. “He’s one of the reasons why I make music. Definitely. No, no, I have nothing bad to say about Usher. The sweetest, most down-to-earth guy ever.”
On Friday, The Weeknd is set to release his Calvin Harris collaboration “Over Now.” He will also perform at Sunday’s MTV VMAs, where he is nominated for six awards.