Messages Behind The Madness Of The Weeknd's Music & Videos

Posted at December 6th, 2017 | by Arjun RK | in Art, Entertainment, Music, Pop, Videos, World Music

I’m sure most of you are already aware of the rising R&B pop icon, The Weeknd. He’s been on the radio stations for the last two years and produced back to back albums which have gone platinum to get to this position. His net worth has amounted to billions and earned him a position in the Forbes List of Highest Paid Entertainers.

But The Weeknd is more than just another voice. He’s done wonders behind the scenes as well in terms of the storytelling techniques which he’s used in his music videos. Especially his debut album to mainstream success, “Beauty Behind the Madness”. Still confused?. Well we’re here to sort that out.

Did you know there’s a pattern to the three music videos he’s released for the album. There’s a story behind them. Let’s take a closer look.

The first video is the teaser promo for what’s in store for us in the album to come. It starts of with a red head old man (his role will be explained further in the article) driving around in his car and stops to see a billboard picture of The Weeknd on the side. First thing he does is lights up a bottle and toss it at the board, setting it on fire. And that’s where the story begins.



The next video which was released was the signature hit “The Hills”. The video opens with a car crash and The Weeknd getting out of it, injured and not even able to stand straight. He opens the other door out of which two girls come out all agitated and injured as well. He begins to walk ignoring their current state and they just keep following him and pushing him around but he doesn’t seem to be the least bit bothered. The video ends with him walking upstairs into an abandoned house where he sees the red head old man sitting in a bright red light room. (Bear with me, his role will come real soon!)



Following the success of “The Hills”, the next video to release was the second hit single from his album, “Can’t feel my face”. The video opens with The Weeknd getting up on stage to sing the song. There’s a large aura of Michael Jackson in his voice especially in this track, that it’s unbelievable. However the audience in the video seem to be least bit interested in him and it even led to a point where they started throwing stuff at him. Again our mystery person, the red head old man appears into the scene and he observes as The Weeknd performs and after the low tempo, throws his lighter at him and sets him on fire. But the weeknd still performs and he’s got the crowd raging to him now.



The final video to release is another single from his album called “Tell your friends”. The video opens with a small fire and The Weeknd walking with a shovel in his hand and it looks like he’s burying himself in the sand. Interesting?. Once he’s done the deed, he seems really proud of his achievement and walks around with a sense of freedom. Meanwhile on the other side of the road walks our red head mystery man. And suddenly The Weeknd pulls out a gun and shoots him. Fallen right at his feet, The Weeknd shoots him again just to make sure he’s dead. Then drives off in the car.



Now let’s start putting the pieces of the puzzle together. The weeknd is known for the symbolism in his videos and it began right from his days with “Trilogy”. The weeknd loves to play games with his fans. His mystery has been his key tactic since the beginning of his career. So if we club the videos in order, it goes like this.

Can’t feel my face where the red head old man meets the struggling weeknd and gives him the added boost he needed to get recognition. In this case, setting himself on fire.

Then it cuts to Tell your friends, where the weeknd is not happy being this mainstream pop star and prefers to be what he truly is. A man known for his hair and singing about his sexual ventures and drug abuse. Hence why he buries the other guy and backstabs the red head by shooting him. He then drives off in the car.

Cut to the Hills where the same car is seen in a bad accident. However he seems to have made it out alive. Or did he?. Finally when he walks into the house is where he see’s our red headed mystery man sitting there in one piece.

So the interpretation of these three videos is believed to be that the weeknd was struggling to get recognition and fame and so he made a deal with the devil by selling his soul in exchange for fame. But after getting what he asked for, he’s not all that too content with it which is why he decides to backstab the devil and go back to his old ways. But once a deal is made, you can’t take back. Which is why in “The Hills” is where he realized he’s stuck for good. In this mad world of fame and cameras. If you’re still not convinced, the actor who plays our mystery red head devil is Rick Wilder who starred in another music video called “Dayzed Inn Daydreams” which is a song that talks about the repercussions of fame and addiction. Hence why he was the best person to play the so called devil in this trilogy series.

Interesting isn’t it?. Have a look at the videos now with this perspective in your head and notice the difference. Directed by Grant singer and working with a mastermind such as The weeknd, we can expect more great videos to come in the future.

Arjun RK


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