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.