The video for The Weeknd’s collaboration with Daft Punk has just been released, and the video is trending on several platforms.
The video shows The Weeknd (real name Abél Makkonen Tesfaye) smashing up a trophy cabinet with a neon pink Christian crucifix before hopping into a car with a massive black panther.
There is a theme of bringing things into manifestation in bigger and better ways through intense focus. The Weeknd sees a pink crucifix in a hall in the distance before grabbing the same object and using it as a weapon. Christ was forced to carry the cross that was used to destroy him, stumbling several times as observers jeered and hooted. The Weeknd carries his own cross, but he uses it as a weapon — destroying even his own trophy cabinet.
“Look what you’ve done, I’m a motherf***in’ starboy,” Abel sings, implying that his enemies have indeed given him a cross to bear, but he has channeled his anger into achievement, rather than allowing them to crucify him.
The smashed trophy cabinet suggests that he achieved his success by ignoring both flatterers and haters. The Weeknd was neither cowed by his critics nor distracted and misled by those who flattered him.
The cross and Christ imagery has troubled some viewers, but the message of the video and song seems to be about the rewards of deep focus and the importance of staying true to oneself spiritually, as well as paying attention to the messages that the universe sends you and taking those symbols seriously. The Weeknd stalks the halls of his property and sees the neon pink lines of a cross in the distance, and these lines are later echoed in the neon features on the car he drives and the lines along the road. The tiny black cat at the beginning of the video become a black panther with icy blue eyes after it hops into the car with him. The Phantom Of The Opera-ish organ sounds that open “Starboy” are augmented by the long shot of columns set at an angle, which resemble church organ pipes. The video does not seem to be conveying a Christian or indeed a sacrilegious message, as some viewers have alleged. Metaphysically, it appears to be in sympathy with new age concepts like synchronicity, manifestation and thought-forms, or tulpas, as described by Trans4Mind and Esoteric Philosophy.
At one point, Abel’s robot dance moves perfectly mimic the lines of the cross he is holding — he sweeps his body swiftly to the side and then swiftly up, tracing out the contours of the object.
The braggadocious Canadian warns listeners in the first verse that he is about to ruin their day before going on to brag about his car, lifestyle, “main b****” and “side b****,” who are both “out of your league.” Abel describes a girl “cutting ivory [cocaine] into skinny pieces [thin lines]” on an ebony table before snorting it, adding “I love my baby.” This prompted some fans to ask whether Abel has just revealed that his girlfriend Bella Hadid is a cocaine user.
“20 racks a table cut from ebony
Cut that ivory into skinny pieces
Then she clean it with her face man I love my baby”
Geniusnotes that the juxtaposition of ebony (an ebony table) and ivory (a term for cocaine) is a clever one because the two things are often compared and used to refer to things that are very different from each other (e.g. she and her twin may have been identical but their personalities were like ebony and ivory.)
Not everyone is a fan of The Weeknd and his cocaine references. One viewer questioned how Bella Hadid, sister of Gigi, could go out with him and called his music “horrendous.” Another person said that they like the track despite the reference to “Bella snorting cocaine.”
Bella Hadid and Gigi Hadid are both models, and Gigi is dating ex-One Direction star Zayn Malik.
Gigi herself is no stranger to cocaine scandals. The model was forced to deny that she used the drug at Victoria’s Secret parties in 2015 after footage surfaced that appeared to show Gigi bending over and snorting cocaine, reports the Daily Mail. Gigi’s partner Zayn was plagued by drug use allegations throughout his time in clean-cut boy band One Direction, and a major scandal ensued when a video showing Zayn and bandmate Louis Tomlinson smoking a joint surfaced in 2014. Malik quit One Direction in 2015, citing a desire to be “a normal 22-year-old.”
[Featured Image by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for iHeartMedia, Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Global Lyme Alliance]