“If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music.” ~ Albert Einstein
“The times you lived through, the people you shared those times with…nothing brings it all to life like an old mix tape. It does a better job of storing up memories than actual brain tissue can do. Every mix tape tells a story. Put them together, and they can add up to the story of a life.” ~ Rob Sheffield
As The O’Jays stated back in the 1970s, there is a message in music. This is one of the reasons why black music was taboo during the segregation era, although Elvis Presley and 1960s rock bands emulated black blues music laced with raunchy sexual innuendos. As decades passed, lyrical substance which was once prevalent in music had died somehow. Musicians and lyricists are two different things and while I acknowledge this, lyricists hardly exists anymore. Even musicians have simplified the sound of music with over-usage of keyboards instead of real instruments (this has become the norm in the genres of pop music, rap music, techno and even nightclub anthems). A guy I knew in high school blamed this on the age of simplicity; an age where people choose the easy route, yet expect great rewards. That said, most people enjoy songs exclusively based on the music instead of the lyrical content that is offered. Most musical lyrics have no substance. This is one of the reasons why a man like me appreciates an artist like The Weeknd. My relationship with this man’s music is much more intricate than many could ever relate to, regardless of how many times this article may be read by someone who tries to cope, like someone born with OCD.
I had discovered The Weeknd’s three mixtape albums once they were compiled into the Trilogy and released in the States. Immediately upon hearing this three-part album, I knew this would be the music to get pussies wet and dicks hard (at the risk of me sounding vulgar). Equally importantly, the lyricism speaks to the audience in a toilsome, yet esoteric form. Though Abel Tesfaye’s lyrical content may require a certain segment of his audience to either ask questions or look deeper into the meaning of certain lines (thanks to a website like Rap Genius, one can perform this without any discrepancies), you do not have to be Sigmund Freud or Charles Darwin to understand that each and every song in this man’s back catalogue exclusively deals with sex, drug abuse, overspending, prostitution, past and present flings and, yes, even psychologically abusive revenge sex (The Knowing deals with Mr. Tesfaye knowing his woman stepped out on him, yet, she has no idea he is aware. So, he has unprotected sex with another woman and goes back to his woman and she unknowingly tastes the juices from another woman’s genitalia off of his dick via oral sex).
Based on my own interpretations, The Weeknd has had a head start in the field of “the dark side of human nature”. I only call it “the dark side” supremely due to the lack of societal acceptance/approval of seedy adult nightlife and all of the things that are included, regardless of whatever joys or pains that may be included. (I am reminded of a conversation I’ve had with the owner of the website, myslutwife.com about the secret life of interracial swingers and hotwives. Before our conversation, his first words were “Do not think for one minute that this behavior is acceptable, even by today’s standards!”) No misinterpretations about it, there is a huge possibility that Mr. Tesfaye engages in this lifestyle due to emptiness, some previous heartbreak or misfortune which may have broken his spirit and as a result, he becomes a mild example of the cliché of how “hurt people hurt people”. This can be assumed while one listens to the lyrics of tunes, such as The Knowing and Wicked Games. But this possible assumption which is sparked in the mind of a segment of the human populace – and I am extremely sure of that – causes me to come to these terms: Even if a person has come across heartbreak or other forms of emotional injury in this lifetime, it naturally causes a person to learn, grow from it and strengthen themselves, plus develop a set of boundaries. Not every disappointed soul chooses to lash out. That said, could it ever be possible that for those who lash out do so because when they were children, society had given them false promises of a life without failure and pain in the first place? This reality is brought to light in one of Tesfaye’s lyrics in The Professional, which states:
“Had you blaming yourself all when life did you wrong
Now, you’ve got it made”
I am not writing this to boast or purposely compare myself to Abel Tesfaye. However, I can honestly say that I can relate to much of the lyricism of nihilistic hedonism. I, myself, have become a proud and active nihilistic hedonist (I am unsure of Mr. Tesfaye is a proud one). My past summer of 2013 was a summer laced with alcohol addiction, loud colors, hot and nasty sex with escorts and treating one of my former bedfellows with mild cruelty via the silent treatment, in addition to separating myself from gomers via isolation. The difference between myself and The Weeknd is that I have never engaged in drug use, even though alcohol is considered a gateway drug. After witnessing how women in the Western dating world play men like cellos, I became not only fed up, but bored with regular girls, even most of those on my social network profiles. Even those who craved my attention, they believed they could never compete with whomever I shared my bed with, though these women were never totally aware of my bedfellow’s identities. Talk about real insecurity!
I can also relate to the risqué behavior of a man falling for a prostitute (a feeling which The Weeknd describes in Belong To The World and The Morning), knowing she is not “…the kind of girl you’ll be seeing in the morning”, yet you know she could be the best you’ve ever had. Which for me, I have visited most paid girls in the AM hours, though we’d never spend night with eachother physically. I will admit that there were two in my list who have spent the night with my, psychologically. Working girls’ desire for money supercedes love in many scenarios and it is similar to the male species incorrigible desire for sex and inebriation, whether or not they are used as forms of escapism (though some women choose this lifestyle because they also enjoy those situations that much). I, however, managed somehow to develop semi-personal relationships with several paid girls – they would go as far as telling me about their relationships with their parents, their kids and showing me their homes. Of course, this behavior is seen as morally apprehensive, but though I have ethics, morals are made to screw people over and disingenuously.
In regards to lashing out or revenge sex, I am thankful to say that I have not reached that point in my life, yet, if ever. The most abusive thing I have done to the opposite sex was telling a psychotic teenage girl to “Suck my dick and eat my come!” This took place when I was in high school and though she was a year older than I, she tried to attack me by swinging a vase at my head and chasing me with a butcher knife. While I had no sexual relations with her, she tried to show her attraction to me in the most psychotic, unhealthy sense. I’ve also revealed how pathetic one of my bedfellows was (A Canadian Threesome) and how I avoided her like a death sentence. So, I have not fucked over a woman in the sense of Abel’s doing in The Knowing. I know that brings an abhorrent picture frame into the average psyche, but this is not the first time I have heard of that sort of degrading, spiteful type of revenge sex where a woman who has done her man dirty gets hers back by tasting another woman’s secretions from her man’s cock. I have heard it happen to a close female friend of mine. Though I have crossed paths with some fucked-up women, no woman has driven me to that point yet.
The riskiest thing I have done in regards to my sex life is having sexual relations with a stripper who had a severe drug problem, who passed away months ago. I witnessed her literally crushing up Xanax and consuming it through her nostrils before she had given me head. I mean, my sexcapades were never as soft as those of David Shade, nor embarrassing and disgusting as Dave Glenn’s encounters (Sexcessful Failures). But they are increasingly bizarre, even by today’s promiscuous standards. Unlike some of the ladies that The Weeknd describes, I never slept with a woman who was totally unresponsive, almost like the spirit of a corpse (though I have had two females who were sexually feeble). What is also disheartening is the fact that a man’s preferred lifestyle may eventually cause his mother to either experience severe disdain or to attempt to destroy her own son’s life. While my mother has tried both on me, she eventually had to learn to deal with it. Tesfaye also brings this natural feeling of damnation, disappointment and disdain to light in The Fall:
“Mama, I understand why you’re mad
and it hurts to accept what I am
and how I live and what I do.”
The Weeknd’s general art of storytelling may have been influenced by horror film directors. During an interview with Complex, he came up with the concept for the album Kiss Land via inspiration of film directors, such as David Cronenberg, Ridley Scott and John Carpenter (the song Kiss Land is a two-part journey filled with chants in foreign languages and random screams – the second part of the song is actually named after John Carpenter). “[T]hey know how to capture fear.”, he states in the interview and said that these film directors’ style of disturbia were used as influence for the album’s concept. I would like to say that this is done for the sole purpose of The Weeknd creating more of a sexy-but-creepy undercurrent/aura to his compositions. I would also like to say that there could be a possibility that some of Bjork’s music and even the cinematic storytelling of David Lynch may have had an impact on him. Only Tesfaye can inform us if this is also the case or not. Either way, I am thankful he was not inspired by the likes of Billy Tang (a Hong Kong Chinese horror film director who showcased the ugliest side of human nature, which involved necrophilia, the incineration of children and repeated sexual assault against the mentally handicapped). This is how sex music is supposed to sound. As Harley Brown pointed out in her review of The Weeknd’s Trilogy, this is how sex music is supposed to sound. I can also relate to Brown when she said that it no longer makes sense to use Barry White or Marvin Gaye as sex music, because as music has become more sexual and explicit over the years, old-school R&B is now rendered as “seduction music”, even though there are sexual innuendos in their lyrical content (Barry White is one of my heroes and I listen to him every summer season. Hell, I would listen to Barry White before and after fucking one of my bedfellows in the Summer). However, depending on my own carnal mood, I would personally go as far as to use Miles Davis’ Big Fun as a soundtrack to my roughest sexual encounters.
The creepy sexuality of The Weeknd’s music can be seen as a godsend and similar to most non-monogamous, casual sex encounters which are seen as morally repulsive, it proves to warn that nothing laced with high sex appeal and carnal pleasure is meant to be angelic, nor innocent and will always have some form of horror or extensive inhibited ambience hidden deep inside of it. It’s like trying to find a sane genius and there is no such thing.