Usher, Ludacris And Lil Jon Reunite After 16 Years For “Sex Beat”

Back like they never left.

Reigniting their chemistry on wax since 2004's "Lovers and Friends" and "Yeah!" Usher, Ludacris, and Lil Jon finally released the long-awaited "Sex Beat" that was teased during a "Verzuz" battle between T-Pain and Lil Jon earlier this month. The melody turns seduction's level to hot and heavy with each word, upping the ante for another full-length R&B project from Usher.

The “Stay At Home” singer recently had a chat with Apple Music’s Zane Lowe where he gave props to Ludacris style of rap and why the trio is the perfect blend of a vocalist, lyricist, and producer.

“So easy for us to disregard how incredible of a lyricist Ludacris is because they moved on to the new idea, the new... But when he comes out over the tracks that we do, he always comes with vengeance,” Usher said. “His wordplay and just his execution is amazing, right? And I think that when Jon he produces, he produces with a very specific idea of how broad our reach is, right? And me as a vocalist, I'm always trying to make sure that you said it, the sweetness is there. We can give these blows with fists closed or we can close right at impact.”

It's been quite a week for Usher, who inadvertently made headlines when The Weeknd stated his House of Balloons melodies seemed to have influenced Usher's "Climax" song, which was produced by Diplo. As all three music industry heavyweights chimed in, the #ClimaxChallenge took off showcasing various people's falsetto capabilities, even Usher casually hit his notes to show why his longevity in the industry can't be touched. In another interview with Lowe, Usher explained, in length, the process behind "Climax" and why he was at first apprehensive to record it.

I think Climax was one of those ones because I felt like it was so advanced in the nature of what it was. Me and Diplo, we were trying to do something that would raise the bar for R&B. Yeah, I made R&B hit records before and, yeah, Diplo, he could do many things. But I said, 'Is there any way to tie these two worlds together?' This world that was happening as an emotion for EDM, but do it in a way through using R&B. And he's like, 'Yo, I think that this...' And it took me forever to be okay with letting it go, to just like, okay, offer it to the world and care not what people think, just put it out knowing that...In it, by the way, was an under story. I was literally in a relationship with a person who I wouldn't commit to and would not get to the place of like, all right, let me commit to you and make this more than just something that's frivolous and something that is a physical thing. And it just so happened that the climax was there too. But the reality is, 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 and is going to freak people out who are more alternative. I think that it's going to...' Because people don't sing in falsetto when you get to that level. They just don't. They don't go in that area. So, yeah, but that was one.

Listen to "Sex Beat" above.

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“So thankful for all the support on #DOIT it means everything us!!! Ya’ll like it? Keep watching, streaming x dancing,” the pair tweeted on Friday (May 15). “We’re sooo looking forward to sharing the album with you.”

sooooo thankful for all the support on #DOIT it means everything us!!! y’all like it? keep watching, streaming x dancing. we’re sooo looking forward to sharing the album with you. much much love 🖤🖤💍💍 https://t.co/vPaeglZ5uE pic.twitter.com/TfV8WV2lvl

— chloe x halle (@chloexhalle) May 15, 2020

In honor of “Do It,” Balmain will host an Instagram Live event on Sunday (May 17), featuring a 30-minute set from Chloe x Hall.

Watch the “Do It” music video below.

 

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Teyana Taylor Gives Sneak Peek Of “Bare Wit Me” Music Video

Teyana Taylor is giving fans a sneak peek of her music video for the single, “Bare Wit Me,” off her upcoming project, The Album.

The Michael Jackson-inspired teaser, released on Thursday (May 14), went viral almost immediately, wracking up more than 1 million views on Taylor's Instagram and millions of views across Twitter.

In the video clip, Taylor pays homage to the King of Pop’s “Smooth Criminal” (and possible nods to Janet's “Alright” music video) with a colorful spin. “No games this time around,” the Harlem native wrote on Instagram.

Last week, Taylor unveiled the cover art for The Album, featuring Grace Jones-esque imagery.

 

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“THE ALBUM”• June 2020 📸: @danielsannwald

A post shared by Jimmy Neutch- Shumpert (@teyanataylor) on May 7, 2020 at 9:52am PDT

Taylor's new project is a followup to her 2018 debut studio album, K.T.S.E. (Keep That Same Energy).  In an Instagram Live interview with Red Bull promoting her documentary, Assembly Required: Teyana Taylor’s House of Petunia, Taylor announced that The Album is officially done.

“Y’all gonna be so happy,” she said last month. “This album is definitely more of a vibe. I don’t really do fast songs like that. There are some head-boppers. It’s not super-fast. You can dance and you can cry and you can ride.”

The Album is scheduled to debut next month.

Check out the “Bare Wit Me” teaser below.

 

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A sneak 👀 peek of “BARE WIT ME” from #THEALBUM #JUNE2020 no games this time around. S/O to da squad! DIR: @aspiketeyjoint DP: @afilmdirector EXECUTIVE PRODUCED BY: @theauntiesinc PRODUCER: @busynocupcakin STORY PRODUCERS: @aspiketeyjoint @coco_gilbert ART DESIGN: @hannahcarlene WARDROBE BY 👇🏾 KEY STYLIST: @teyanataylor CUSTOM WARDROBE BY: @beeombi CUSTOM JACKETS BY: @beeombi ARTWORK ON JACKETS BY: @inkbydregilly GLAM BY 👇🏾 MAKE UP: @japanesefaces HAIR: @realangelinarose @snobmobb CHOREOGRAPHY BY 👇🏾 KEY CHOREOGRAPHER @teyanataylor ASSISTANT CHOREOGRAPHER: @empress_neekqua DANCERS 👇🏾 @daniellecarty (Blue Ranger) @maggyvandenheuvel (Purple Ranger) @empress_neekqua (Green Ranger) @coco_gilbert (Red Ranger) @teyanataylor (Yellow Ranger) EDITED BY 👇🏾 KEY EDITOR: Chris @chrismonsanto Assistant editors: @coco_gilbert @Aspiketeyjoint

A post shared by Jimmy Neutch- Shumpert (@teyanataylor) on May 14, 2020 at 10:26am PDT

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Jill Scott (L) and Erykah Badu (R) perform with The Roots at the 2018 Essence Music Festival at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on July 6, 2018 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
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Erykah Badu And Jill Scott's Music Streams Grow 300% After 'Verzuz' Battle

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According to Billboard and Nielsen Music/MRC Data, Badu and Scott's digital music catalog "saw a combined rise from 2 million to 6 million" in streaming after Saturday’s highly-anticipated Instagram Live session. On the Thursday and Friday prior to the event, the ladies tallied a total of 2.1 million streams. On Saturday and the following day, Badu and Scott's respective catalogs raked in 6.7 million streams in the United States.

Of the songs in Badu's discography, Badu’s most-streamed song was her debut single “On & On” (1996) which grew by 129%. On Scott's end, "A Long Walk" (2001) received the most spins and rose by 232%.

On top of their songs gaining traction on streaming platforms, Badu and Scott's magical 3-hour "battle" (which was more of a music appreciation session) garnered over 1 billion impressions. With Babyface and Teddy Riley's Verzuz session having yielded streaming growth and Swizz Beatz's and Timbaland's well-curated battles joining the ranks of must-see programming on social media, it's safe to say that "The Verzuz Effect" is very real.

Who's next up on the Verzuz battlefront? Ludacris and Nelly go toe-to-toe on Saturday, May 16 at 7 pm ET on their respective Instagram accounts.

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