The latest challenge to land on social media has one of the more peculiar origins: The Weeknd’s Variety interview promoting his new album, After Hours. Amid charming anecdotes about hanging out with Jim Carrey on his 30th birthday, The Weeknd also remarked on the impact his singular musical style had on R&B, using the example of Usher’s “Climax.” Calling “Climax” a “Weeknd song,” the Canadian singer said that he was flattered but insulted that Usher would borrow “his” style.
— Accepting Deposits (@Shea_L_H) April 9, 2020
Now Usher has responded to the comments, but rather than doing so directly, he instead issued the #ClimaxChallenge, singing an excerpt from the song’s chorus on his Instagram Story. He notably did not mention The Weeknd, but the implication was clear: “You wish you could sing a song like ‘Climax.’” It wasn’t long before other R&B singers — both certified ones like Eric Bellinger and aspiring ones — were giving it a go and hashtagging their own renditions of the #ClimaxChallenge. While Usher didn’t say that it was in response to The Weeknd’s comment, others were more than happy to speak up on his behalf. In the caption of his own video (which featured a collection of other entries), Bellinger tagged The Weeknd, writing, “Now all we waitin for is you.”
We’ll see if The Weeknd responds, but until then, check out some of the entries to the challenge in the videos above.