FTK: The Weeknd – more than just boning tunes?

19 11 2012

 

It’s been a hot tick since we put on our apron and dished out a fresh music souffle for the people.

Last week The Weeknd, one of the biggest up-and-coming R&B singers of the last two years, released his first album, titled Trilogy. Officially called a “compilation album” because along with some new music, it features a bunch of stuff from past mixtapes, it all in all totals 30 jams. Actually I’ve yet to pick up the album, mainly because there are only three new songs. But I streamed the shit out of it today and I figured it’s a good time to spill my thoughts on the man they call The Weeknd.

Any of you not familiar with The Weeknd yet, here’s a little background on the dude. His real name is Abel Tesfaye and he’s a 22 year old from Toronto, Canada. In early 2011 the cat started dropping songs on youtube, gained a following and within a few short months he was blowing up large. 2011 was a monumental year for Abel, by December he had three mixtapes under his belt, including a couple critically acclaimed feature songs. In early 2012, many of the country’s biggest music publications were singing his praises. The Source even called him “the songbird of our generation”. He may be worthy of the songbird conversation, but let’s be real that title clearly belongs to R. Kelly.

Quick shout out to Moses Malone aka Roy Mahoney for the heads up on The Weeknd. Kid drops R&B knowledge on my dome time and time again.

If you’ve heard any of TW’s tunes before, you know he’s built his unique style on a heavy old school influence (see: Michael Jackson). Not necessarily unique in the sense that it’s never been done before, but unique in that it’s getting back to what R&B used to be. TW is everything Usher and Taio Cruz and Trey Songz’s new wave Rhythm & Bullshit is not. I’ve heard people call it narco-R&B in that the music is tranquilizing as shit. Certainly, to say his style is laid back is a massive understatement. But pulsating bass-lines and catchy hooks somehow make it upbeat enough to not put you to sleep. His sound is often distorted, but that’s doesn’t mean there’s any sort of auto-tuned, machine-produced vibe to it. Bottom line is the guy can fuggin sing your face off. Some of the notes he hits make my wiener tingle. Plus, he’s proved he’s down with hip hop collaborations and as you can imagine, a few slick verses on a Weeknd song is a dope recipe.

All that aside, circle back and state the obvious. The Weeknd makes straight up sex music. I haven’t heard a TW track I didn’t immediately envision myself plowing to. Even if his subject matter is not in line with coitus, by the end of most TW songs my pants are off. Probably shouldn’t be streaming this album and work right now. Carla in sales is going to start filing harassment claims and I don’t even work with a Carla in sales. That’s how intensely sexual TW’s tunes are. But. And keep in mind I say but. He’s got a weird way with his music where even though I really want to get down and start fucking any time it comes on, it’s chill enough to pop on in the car and roll to, or listen to when I’m hanging out. I can’t explain it. Let’s call it The Weeknd phenomenon.

So whether you’re looking to slip into 48 hour sex coma wit your girl after crushing some turkey and pie on Thursday, or you’re wound up tight and need to relax on your drive back home, do yourself a favor and check out The Weeknd. If for no other reason, the dude used to rock a killer flat top:

Here are a couple of my favorite cuts:

 

– JD

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