Usher, Lil Jon, and Ludacris have done it again. The trio have released their highly anticipated new collaboration, "SexBeat," after Lil Jon teased it during his Instagram song battle with T-Pain earlier this month. The guys behind "Yeah!" are reunited, and it feels so good.
Making music is an intimate process. The kick of an 808 is a kiss on the lips, the drum check is a drawned-out moan, and so forth. Put these sounds together and you have a night of ecstasy that can be replayed ad infinitum. That's the idea at the center of "SexBeat."
This world of lilting lust opens its doors with an absolutely stunning 40-second piano solo before explaining its rules. Ludacris and Lil Jon are the tour guides and establish a rudimentary translation system. Snare claps "kinda sound like sex-sex-sex-sex-sex-sex." Sex itself is a beat, so it must be turned up extremely loud until "I blow my speakers." Lil Jon's ad-libs heighten the intensity of each bar, serving as an additional authority to let you know that what Ludacris raps is bond.
Usher gets in after Ludacris's extraordinarily explicit bars to craft the hook. The sex beat is defined as "when we get in that room and the bass goes boom." Then, the legendary singer moves away from the music comparisons to explain how excited he is that he has the moment to get intimate with a partner. "You're body language I'm translating," he sings. "I painted pictures in my mind / Tonight, I'm bringing them to life." Sex isn't just music, it's a painting as well.
Usher, Lil Jon, and Ludacris's latest tune is the third collab that they have together over the course of their careers. It follows "Yeah!" and "Lovers and Friends," which both came out in 2004. It also comes at a time of renewed interest in Usher's past work, thanks to The Weeknd.
This week, Abel accused Usher of copying his style on 2012's "Climax." "It was very flattering, and I knew I was doing something right, but I also got angry," The Weeknd revealed to Variety. "But the older I got, I realized it's a good thing."
The Weeknd responded soon after on Twitter, writing, "Usher is a King and always an inspiration so it was flattering to hear what him and Diplo did on climax.” Usher, hilariously, tweeted this without context:
Take a listen to Usher, Lil Jon, and Ludacris's new collab, "SexBeat," up above.