The Weeknd has come a long way since the days in 2011, when those who were hip to The Weeknd — and the fact that Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye didn’t spell his famous moniker like “Weekend” — had already spotted something special about the Canadian musical artist. That’s when The Weeknd dropped songs like “Morning” and caught the ear of those who began turning others on to the raw lyrics mixed with the man’s amazing vocals.
Now that The Weekend will join Margot Robbie for the season premiere of Saturday Night Live on October 1, there are other songs from The Weeknd that are coming to life a good five years later.
Those of us who fell in love with the raw honesty of The Weeknd in songs like “Often” are among the ones who drove the below NSFW “Often” official video from The Weeknd into views that tally more than 203 million as of this writing.
It’s not just the seemingly drugged, dazed, and direct way that The Weeknd walks around the video among beautiful girls, explaining how he’s so attuned to a woman’s desires that he can see in her eyes that she’s ready to have sex again. It’s not the troubling way The Weeknd sings of a girl who is so overjoyed that the crew is back in town she’s prepared to perform fellatio for an entire hour.
Perhaps it’s the fact that The Weeknd doesn’t pull any punches about drug use in his lyrics — and sex acts — with honesty that is all at once hurtful and refreshing.
Warning: The below videos might be offensive to some viewers.
The Weeknd is enthralling.
Many of us probably got our first glimpse of him on a larger scale when The Weeknd intensely stared at the bodies of the dancers — or one particular dancer, up close — in the “Earned It” video. It was the version of The Weeknd’s song from the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack that actually featured Abel’s amazing voice, and not just the instrumentals of the song.
Following up that killer song with “The Hills,” The Weeknd further opened up his soul to expose his wild affair with a “boo’d up” woman — rumored to possibly be Ariana Grande, as reported by Genius. Folks on Reddit looked for clues that The Weeknd and Ariana may have hooked up.
How many men would confess to a woman he’s about to have sex with that he’d just recently had sex with two other women, so she’d have to do it at his tempo? The Weeknd would, that’s who.
His “the hills have eyes, hide your lies” lyrics that asked others who they were to judge the wild antics of The Weeknd indeed made listeners fall in love deeper — scars and all.
Then came The Weeknd going layers deeper with “Tell Your Friends” — a song that featured him singing about the time he was homeless. However, with his monetary success, The Weeknd was able to ride back in town in style — and offer a choice of drugs he sang about placing on a table for his paramours.
Despite his riches, The Weeknd kept “repping for that low life” and turning luxury hotels into trap houses — singing about taking himself out of a ghetto situation, but not necessarily leaving the “roaches everywhere like we forgot to take the trash out” mentality behind with his new rich life.
Now finally The Weeknd returns to SNL, after his previous memorable SNL performance. So memorable, in fact, that the way The Weeknd upped his falsetto on the line “found out I was coming, sent your friends home” remains in this writer’s brain — and makes me wish the original version of “The Hills” sounded that way.
Will The Weeknd top his previous SNL performances? If the video to “Starboy” is any indication — that answer would be a resounding, “Yes!”
Gaining on 20 million views in the three days since the video was uploaded to YouTube, that three days is apropos symbolism — seeing as though The Weeknd puts to death his old dreadlocked self in the video, resurrects as a shorter-haired “Starboy,” and slings a neon Christian cross around.
Not only does the “Starboy” slay things in his path — like all the trophies The Weeknd earned — with the Christian cross, he also drags it around upside down on the floor. That is known as a sign of atheism, but also as a sign of belief — seeing as though the Bible mentions references of Peter saying he didn’t deserve to be crucified right-side up like the Savior, but upside down, as reported by Bible Gateway.
With a Christian cross around his neck in the video, The Weeknd’s new song puts to death old things — but calls himself a “motherf****** starboy” and sings about praying for fancy cars as he drives away with an animal in the front seat.
So the man who wrote “RIP” to his old self, as reported by Genius, is undergoing a new era — and even if the Christian cross prominently displayed by The Weeknd in “Starboy” seems left behind, it is left behind atop a treasure chest.
Abel wrote about fans killing the “Starboy” art, with The Weeknd posting an Instagram rendering of the fancy car driving straight for a Christian cross.
Check the Saturday Night Live YouTube channel for videos of The Weeknd’s performance.
[Featured Image by PRNewsFoto/Victoria’s Secret]