When The Weeknd released his debut mixtape “House of Balloons” in 2011, he immediately branded himself as someone with a unique sound — melding various genres, including R&B, indie rock, electronic music and pop.
Since, his sound has influenced other artists. One of those artists says The Weeknd in a recent interview is Usher. That’s the thought that came to mind for the Canadian crooner when he heard Usher’s 2012 cut ‘Climax,’ the lead single off Usher’s “Looking 4 Myself” album.
Usher has since caught wind of these claims and seemingly responded to them.
Speaking with Variety, The Weeknd said “Climax” really bothered him at first. But he also took Usher’s song not only as flattery, but confirmation that he was heading in the right musical direction.
“‘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.’ ”
“It was very flattering, and I knew I was doing something right, but I also got angry,” he added. “But the older I got, I realized it’s a good thing.”
Usher seemingly took it all in stride by having a “Climax” challenge where he uploaded himself and different people singing the hit song to his IG Story. While singing, it seemed he may have taken a shot at the “I Can’t Feel My Face” singer. When he sings “can’t take it back,” he added “n—a” at the end, a lyric that’s not originally in the song.
After the interview caught wind online, many slammed The Weeknd for his opinion and said he has it all wrong.
“Boy no one even knew who you were in 2012 , don’t play with Usher,” someone wrote on Instagram.
“Boy you ain’t influenced that man not one bit more like he influenced you😭,” another person followed.
“No sweetheart. That’s an USHER song. TF?!?” wrote a third Instagram user. “This new wave of artists on something different 😧😩 What happened to honoring those that came before you?”
“That sounds NOTHING like any song on house of balloons,” read another message.