Game on? The Weeknd has seemingly fired back with his response to Justin Bieber after the Biebs said the former’s music is “wack.”
Late Saturday, Tesfaye shared an Instagram photo showing him holding up his middle finger while standing next to a pal.
Tesfaye seemed to riff on one of the Biebs’ past Instagram posts of himself and ex-girlfriend, Selena Gomez, with his one-word caption, “Throwback.”
A photo posted by The Weeknd (@theweeknd) on
The Weeknd appears to be reacting to Bieber possibly stepping into character as the “jealous” ex-boyfriend of Gomez, when he gave two soundbites to a TMZ photog as he left a West Hollywood restaurant on Friday night,
The cameraman asked the Biebs,”Can you listen to a Weeknd song?”
“Hell, no, I can’t listen to a Weeknd song!” the 22-year-old hammed back.
The lensman pressed, asking, “Why not?”
“That s**t’s wack,” Justin replied, with a huge smile on his face.
Check out the tongue-in-cheek — or shade — moment in the video below.
The context of all this is the recent news that The Weeknd and the Biebs’ former girlfriend, Selena, are dating.
Photos of The Weeknd and Gomez kissing behind a dumpster outside a Santa Monica restaurant after a dinner date surfaced on January 11. Notably, the eatery is well known as a paparazzi magnet.
In that same report, it was claimed the Biebs knows that Selena and The Weeknd are working on new music together. Subsequent reports from E! and Us Weekly confirmed this.
Elaborating, TMZ alleges Bieber sources claim the pop prince thinks his ex has an M.O. of dating famous work collaborators or celebrities before she releases new music, or to boost her star power.
So, is the Biebs really jealous of SelGo and The Weeknd’s new romance or is he just winding everyone up?
Only Bieber would know of course. However, the smart money would ask why he would be bent out of shape over a relationship he reportedly thinks is pure PR?
Meanwhile, here’s a refresher on this tangled web of young celebrities.
Hours after the “Abelena’s” photos were published, the Weeknd’s former girlfriend, supermodel Bella Hadid — unfollowed Gomez on Instagram. Although it was Bella who ended her 18-month romance with Tesfaye last November, E! News reports the model still has feelings for him.
“She is actually not over The Weeknd. She still loves him,” a source said of Bella to E!
The source continued, “They are on fine terms, but she is bitter about the romance with Selena. She was not happy when all of that gossip went everywhere between The Weeknd and Selena.”
They added, “It really hurt her seeing Selena be all up on her man. She still feels like they have a connection.”
One week later, Us Weekly reported that Bella has been telling her ex that Selena is “using” him for her own personal advantage and has a pattern of doing that.
“Bella has reached out to Abel a few times and told him Selena is using him,” a source close to Hadid told the magazine.
However, the outlet adds, “He thinks she’s just jealous and isn’t listening to her.”
— Us Weekly (@usweekly) January 18, 2017
Gomez’s “pattern?” Back in her Disney days, the starlet dated Nick Jonas, the ex of her then friend, Miley Cyrus.
Selena then dated Bieber, whom she dated for four years from 2010. Their angsty teen romance filled media headlines for years. The once-sweethearts split in September 2014. However, the pair still feature in media reports together.
In January 2015, Gomez stepped out at the Golden Globes with dance producer Zedd. The starlet and her team repeatedly teased a romance between the pair for months before dropping their track “I Want You to Know” in March that year. Tellingly, shortly after the single came and went, all talk and couple-y sightings of “Zeddlena” stopped. In December, Us Weekly reported Gomez was spotted making out with One Direction’s Niall Horan at a celebrity birthday party for Jenna Dewan Tatum.
Last May, the rumor mill started linking Charlie Puth with Gomez during the build up to the release of their duet “We Don’t Talk Any More.” However, it’s not thought they ever hooked up.
We all know a Selena pic.twitter.com/5vlRTW5Tim
— Sexual Gifs (@SexualGif) January 16, 2017
Fast forward to now. TMZ previously reported that Bella felt “betrayed” that her former boyfriend and Selena moved on so quickly. Also, the model reportedly thinks Gomez broke “Girl Code.”
Gomez, Bella, and her supermodel sister Gigi are all members of Taylor Swift’s infamous “squad.” However, after Bella’s “Girl Code” accusation, Selena’s PR team moved quickly and rolled out statements via Us Weekly, People, and the pro-Gomez E! News which downplayed Selena’s ties to the Hadids to “acquaintances.”
These denials of closeness between Gomez and the sisters went some way to counteracting the widespread incredulity that Gomez — who was previously friendly with the Hadids — and Abel, left Bella to find out they were a couple through paparazzi pictures.
It isn’t just paparazzi shots of Selena and The Weeknd that have been causing a stir.
On the same day the pics rolled out, Abel tweeting out a teaser for his “Party Monster” music video.
The next day, (January 12), a photographer posted a topless pic of Gomez wearing a gold thong.
It provided a handy viral visual for a lyric seemingly referring to Gomez’s rear in The Weeknd’s music video which dropped later that night.
Gomez was subsequently spotted attending Hillsong Church in Los Angeles last Sunday.
In her hand, the pop princess held a phone which just happened to show she was listening to The Weeknd’s latest Billboard chart-topping Starboy album.
Coincidence or calculation?
— E! News (@enews) January 22, 2017
Not surprisingly, Gomez’s cheerleaders E! are hyping Selena and The Weeknd as a new “Power Couple.”
“[The Weeknd] always had a thing for Selena,” a source reportedly shared to E! “He thinks she is extremely talented and sexy. They recently started talking before the holidays but she has been on his radar before.”
The confidante added, “They are on the same level with expectations and think the other is really fun. They are taking things slow and getting to know each other.”
Whatever your views on the authenticity of the seeming new romance between Gomez and The Weeknd, one thing is undeniable: “Abelena” is off to a very public, publicity and headline-grabbing start.
— E! News (@enews) January 18, 2017
[Featured Image by Charley Gallay/Getty Images]