Living the College Life



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5/1/12

Artist You NEED to Know About: The Weeknd

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Get your ears tickled by the new beats The Weeknd brings to the table.

  • Abel Tesyafe.
  • XO.
  • The Weeknd. (Pronounced like “Weakened”)

He goes by many names, has a loyal following, critical acclaim, and yet –  people barely know who he is.

The worst part? Those who are his fans (me included) know almost nothing about him.

So here’s what I can tell you:

His real name is Abel Tesyafe. He’s only 22, and he recorded his critically acclaimed House of Balloons mixtape when he was 20.

He is part of Drake’s crew, and the moniker OVOXO is a collection of Drake (OVO – October’s Very Own (Drake’s birthday is in October)) and The Weeknd (XO = Ecstacy and Oxycontin).

He has 3 mixtapes that will be soon released as The Trilogy, they are:

  • House of Balloons
  • Thursday
  • Echoes of Silence

If I had to rank them, I would go HoB, EoS, Thursday. And Thursday isn’t close to the quality of the other 2.

So why should you listen to him? Well because Complex Magazine listed House of Balloons as the best album of 2011…OVER WATCH THE THRONE and of course beat out Drake’s new album.

What’s his music like? It’s R&B about sex and drugs. But better. The beats and ambience really give you a feel of his life and partying. Most of the action is set in his “2 floor loft in the middle of city,” which he references a lot. You can download his free mixtapes on his website (which crashed like an hour after he released Echoes of Silence).

 

So without further ado, here are my TOP 20 WEEKND SONGS that you need. NOW…

 

1. Wicked Games (HoB)

This is the song that put him on the map (Drake tweeted about it) and is in my opinion his best song. It’s about leaving his girlfriend for a drug-fueled relationship with another girl. It really shows off his vocal range and is one of my favorite songs of 2011.

Click to listen

 

2. D.D (Dirty Diana) (EoS)

This is his cover of Michael Jackson’s song about a groupie. Abel absolutely KILLS IT. He sounds almost just like Mike. This is my sing-along song of 2012.

Click to listen

 

3. Next (EoS)

Another amazing song about turning down a stripper who only wants him because he is soon to be famous. Has the epic sequences:

“Girl I might be 21/But I got memories to prove/that I’ve seen your kind before/and I know/Exactly what you want”

and

“Who you callin soft? Don’t make me smoke up all your kush/don’t make pop your cheap ass pills/I used to do this for the thrills”

Click to listen

 

4. The Morning (HoB)

Another party/after party song about sex and mixing a lot of cocaine and pills. Catchy rap chorus -

“All that money/The money is the motive…girl put in work/girl girl put in work”

Click to listen

 

5. The Knowing (HoB)

This is the only song that has an official video to it, which happens to be amazing. It’s like an 8 minute long short film. The song is about finding out that his girlfriend cheated on him, so he cheats on her back and moves on. Song is great for 2 reasons, 1.

“So I’ma let youuuu/taste her/I ain’t washin my sins/I ain’t washin my sins”

and the way he hits the high notes on the lines

“And these tongues don’t/twist/like/they did/before.” Amazing voice.

Click to listen

 

6. House of Balloons/Glass Table Girls (HoB)

This song is about doing cocaine on glass tables in his loft and samples late 70′s/early 80′s punk band Souxie Sioux and the Banshees. Great ambience

Click to listen

 

7. The Party and the After Party (HoB)

Drugs. Sex. Good Song. See a trend?

Click to listen

 

8. Loft Music (HoB)

Sex. Drugs. Good Song. The Morning/Glass Table Girls/The Party…/Loft Music are all very similar. The reason I really like House of Balloons as an album is because you can listen to it straight through without skipping around. There isn’t a lot of change in theme.

Click to listen

 

9. High For This (HoB)

This is the first Weeknd song I ever heard and I HATED it. I almost didn’t give a chance because of it…BUT it grew on me and now I sing it around all day. It was also featured in Entourage.

Click to listen

 

10. Montreal (EoS)

This song is basically about what it’s like dealing with women and fame. He throws some french in the background and really shows off his singing.

Click to listen

 

11. Same Old Song (EoS)

Great song about dealing with the same shit over and over with the same girl. Also can be interpreted as him running through girls and drugs with it all kind of running together.

Click to listen

 

12. Coming Down (HoB)

Fits well with the rest of HoB, and is about craving his ex-girl only when he is coming down from drugs.

Click to listen

 

13. The Zone (Thursday)

Best part of this one is at the end with a great verse from Drake.

Click to listen

 

14. What You Need (HoB)

“He’s what you want/I’m what you need.”

Yep.

Click to listen

 

15. XO/The Host (EoS)

Really cool beat with this one. I could probably rate this one higher, but honestly all 20 of these songs are amazing. 9-15 could possibly interchangeable. They’re seriously all good. To further explain – I like listening to music that I can sing along to. I almost know NO lyrics to songs 4-20 on this list and I still love listening to the Weeknd. Dude has an amazing way to tap into emotions and create a picture. I’m serious when I tell you that you can picture yourself high in a dingy loft after listening to this. It also makes you wonder where he finds all of these fucked up girls that blow coke and pills and are still alive? Anyway…

Click to listen

 

16. The Fall (EoS)

“I ain’t scared of the fall.” Another great one.

Click to listen

 

17. Initiation (EoS)

He changes the pitch of his voice with a computer throughout this whole song, which I thought was dumb at first, but after a while you get used to it. The song is about “initiating” his girl into his group of friends through heavy drug use. The pitch change helps control mood.

Click to listen

 

18. Outside (EoS)

Don’t get me wrong, just because this song is #18 on the list doesn’t mean I don’t love it. Another great sex and drugs song. This one has some like xylophone shit going on with lyrics like “Baby when I’m finished you won’t wanna go outside.” Seriously another great song.

Click to listen

 

19. Echoes of Silence (EoS)

This one is much slower than the rest of his songs, and is the last song on Echoes.

Click to listen

 

20. Rolling Stone (Thursday)

There’s some Spanish background going in the background while he compares himself to a rolling stone. Like Bob Dylan on 45 different pills.

Click to listen

So there’s your Weeknd Top 20. Right now he’s touring, but finding tickets is tough. Fan following is starting to get huge and cult-like. He was also at Coachella and threw down a 52 minute set, which was inconsistent due to the fact that he’s barely ever performed live.

So as Biggie once said, “If you don’t know, now you know.”


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About the Author

Armani Alejandro
Amory Blaine. Except in Real Life.




 
 

 
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