Diplo, who produced the track, acknowledges House of Balloons‘ influence.
Social media is abuzz after some controversial comments surfaced on Wednesday. In the latest issue of Variety, The Weeknd turned heads when he compared Usher’s 2012 single “Climax” to his early mixtape work.
“House of Balloons literally changed the sound of pop music before my eyes,” he told Variety’s Jem Aswad. “I heard “Climax,” that Usher song, and was like ‘that’s a Weeknd song.’ 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.”
Twitter users quickly responded in outrage. After hours of tweets, Eric Bellinger took to Instagram to launch the #ClimaxChallenge. Usher even joined in on the fun.
— SHEAnaa Lathan (@Shea_L_H) April 9, 2020
He even sent a thinly-veiled shot on Twitter.
Have you ever seen the moon bark back at the dog?
— Usher Raymond IV (@Usher) April 9, 2020
On Thursday, Diplo–who produced the track–logged on to Twitter to respond.
“The production on Climax lends itself to House of Balloons era @theweeknd,” he wrote. “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, one of my favorite voices of all time.”
WATCH: The Weeknd Gets Decapitated in “In Your Eyes,” The Latest Installment in His After Hours Saga
Diplo tweeted that he, Usher, Ariel Rechtshaid, and Bellinger worked together on the track a year after House of Balloons‘ release.
“I remember I had the title of the song before I had the beat,” Diplo continued. “It was conceptual from the beginning. 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.”
Singer-songwriter Elijah Blake stepped in to correct Diplo. According to Blake, it was he, Diplo, and Rechtshaid. On Thursday morning, Blake posted his #ClimaxChallenge, along with a take of his own.
“What day is it Thursday?” he wrote. “I wasn’t Abel to wait till the weeknd so it’s only right I partake in the #climaxchallenge…PS. Idc who tweeted what from Diplo’s acct. Wasn’t namn soul in the studio thinkin bout The Weekness when we did that song.”
View this post on Instagram
What day is it Thursday? I wasn’t Abel to wait till the weeknd so it’s only right I partake in the #climaxchallenge s/o my guys @usher @ericbellinger for kicking it off right 💪🏽🙏🏽🔥 another PS. Idc who tweeted what from Diplo’s acct.. Wasn’t namn Soul in the studio thinkin bout The Weekness when we did that song 🤷🏽♂️
A post shared by Elijah Blake /¥\ (@sirelijahblake) on
“Bro who is tweeting from your account?” Blake tweeted. “Lol cause you just said Eric who is also my bro and did several on the album but wasn’t even in NY when we did that record.” Rechtshaid confirmed Elijah’s account, adding that “Climax was inspired in the room without any subconscious or conscious outside influence.”
Bro who is tweeting from your account? Lol cause you just said Eric who is also my bro and did several on the album but wasn’t even in NY when we did that record 😂😂😂 https://t.co/OeItEFVU2z
— Elijah Blake (@SirElijahBlake) April 9, 2020
The Weeknd replied to Diplo’s thread, assuring the public that there are no hard feelings.
“Of course media blows things out of proportion,” he tweeted. “Usher is a King and always an inspiration so it was flattering to hear what him and Diplo did on Climax.”
After Hours is available on all major streaming platforms.