PA Volume 15: The Extendo Weeknd Review

PA (short for "Profound Assholes") is a series on SpeedontheBeat.com where I have a no-punches-pulled conversation with a friend about a hot-button issue (yay cliches!). That friend is usually none other than Drizzle Sez formerly of DrizzleSez.wordpress.com, who co-created the PA format (go check out his site. It's still live and still kicks much ass to this day). Today, we're talking The Weeknd's latest release in an extended version of my #300WordsorLess Review found on DefineARevolution.com.



Drizzle: Ahem. I've been drinking. I'm off today. My girl ain't with me. It be what it be. However! First and foremost, fuck you Speed.

Speed: What'd I do this time?

Drizzle: You reviewed The Weeknd without me? Fuck you. I showed you The Weeknd. I gave you House of Cards. I gave you a signed copy of R4 by BIG K.R.I.T. 'cause he's awesome--

Speed: But, I knew who Weeknd was before that random Christmas Eve in 2011 when you, me, and [another friend] were out HoCo because my car broke down. But, I'll give you the fact that you kicked the door open. Anywho, let's get into the actual review--

Drizzle: The REAL ONE! COMMENCE! Profound Assholes Volume whatever, y'all--

Speed: It's the fifteenth.

Drizzle: Whatever! But, because I can...(shows the following and suggests Speed include in the post, because reasons)



Speed: Super Saiyan Biden. 

Drizzle: So, what'd you think of the album, sir?

Speed: Well, Drizzle, my good man...I found the album to be a great mix of eclectic production, drug-addled amazement, and a grand showcase of growth from The Weeknd. We were given a project which showcased him as a man who, in some ways, reinvented himself--in addition to reviving himself in the face of stereotypes. Additionally, "Angel," "Dark Times," and "Tell Your Friends" are goddamned perfection. The whole album is...but especially those songs. 

Furthermore, I enjoyed his use of non-rappers. Many of his fans thought that Kanye'd rap on "Tell Your Friends." Either that, or we'd get an OvO/XO reunion with Drake. And while Drake introduced the world to The Weeknd, to a degree, it was nice for Weeknd to step outside his comfort zone without completely reinventing himself and becoming something unrecognizable, as he did in some ways throughout Kiss Land

I've had it on repeat since this morning. So, I could probably speak on the album for a while--

Drizzle: Rip out thoust tongue. Once again, this is The Weeknd being The Weeknd. That means all fucks are on the other side of the fence. It's bloody and real. It's passionate and real. 

Speed: Like that you pointed out "bloody," considering "Dark Times."

Drizzle: It had all the "fuck yous" embedded into its being. With this album, The Weeknd has achieved something on his own that the harmonic groups of the '90s could not. It's the same reason why I like his music: he sang his middle finger in salute to the record execs. And before you, or anyone else says he's "MJ-like," no. He's not MJ-like. He, however, appears as if he were given MJ's blessing. He emphasizes this middle finger salute in "Tell Your Friends" when he says "I'm that nigga with the hair, singing 'bout poppin' pills, fuckin' bitchs, living life so trill."

He doesn't pretend to care about your feelings. He doesn't pretend to care about what you think he should say. He gives you him so raw that you may get pregnant. And that is something that music's missed for near a decade.

Speed: I would say "MJ-like" in some ways. Obviously not in others. But, both artists sang about what they wanted with both middle fingers fully saluting people. Only thing is, Jackson did it while smiling and singing "Beat It"--

Drizzle: The Weeknd blew up an '85 Lincoln Continental--the most pimp car of all-time--and it was awesome. He doesn't make dance music. He sings about shit that most people can't relate to. But, it's so raw and honest that you can't stop listening. He says "here I am. Take it or fuck you." In an era of a general lack of good R&B, The Weeknd came and put the world back on. But, let's make this comprehensive--or try to. The last person who opened himself up to us and made us vibe with it--wait for it--was Donell Jones.



Songs about the difficulty of breaking up, cheating, chasing women he has no business being with. Jones spoke on shit people who didn't wanna relate to, they related to it.

Speed: True. But he was still, in some ways, cleaner than Weeknd. And no. I'm not referring to the drug talk--or at least not exclusively. But, I will agree that Jones is one of the last artists who's opened up, in R&B, to that level.

Drizzle: And then BBTM hits. And...it touched me. I felt something. There were moments where I wanted to jam. And there were moments where I wanted to grow tear ducts. Why? Because I'm so manly, I sacrificed them to grow a more-awesome beard.


Speed: There were "lump in the throat moments" on this album, for sure. 

Drizzle: So, "Real Life." Opine, sir.

Speed: I relate to the track, a lot. Probably because my mom's said the same shit to me. And, in some ways, she was right. Otherwise? It's a dark, moody intro that sets the "IDGAF" vibe for the rest of the project.

Drizzle: Everyone who has turned on a TV was expecting this album.

Speed: But, I don't think they were expecting that an an intro.

Drizzle: Right. No one expected his, essentially, his antithesis to the "I'm a rich pop star" intro track. Now, he did say "I'm a rich pop star." But, he conveyed that he was a guy with guy problems. Then said he fucks and does drugs to escape, but hey! We've all been there. 

Speed: He subverted the trope. "Losers" also does this. You think it's going to be another "I'm a fuck-up" song. But then, we get Weeknd and Labrinth turning the idea of what it means to fuck up on its head and say "hey you! Yeah you! The tightwad who's following all the rules they set up for you--whether it be love or otherwise--you're the fuckup because you're following along blindly and not really experiencing life. You're the loser." It's kind of rebellious as hell. Kind of like The Weeknd hitting MJ steps at the VMAs--

Drizzle: Miley Cyrus' voice sounds like she smoked all the crack on Earth.

Speed: Along with a humongous Newport, just for good measure. Also, staged or not or what-the-hell-ever, kudos to Nicki Minaj for going on Miley for being stupid. Nicki did and A$AP Rocky to a degree. That whole show was messy.

Drizzle: Twitter was hilarious during the VMAs. #Kanye2020. But, anyway, the album! This being us, I have to. "Losers," it's likely going to be an anthem for real-life fuck-ups. People who drop out of school and be nothing. So, no, Speed, not us (laughs). People will miss the point. The Weeknd is hurting. Like a lot of us, he wants what he can't have.

Speed: Preaching to the choir.

Drizzle: For him? It's a meaningful relationship. I mean, the line "only losers go to school" is right. You can't find your soul in a classroom.

Speed: But, you can find your soulmate--

Drizzle: No. We know his soulmate. Well, at least we know, at one point, he longed for a girl whom he could never tell he loved. But, that's null and voided because it's The Weeknd's experience with love. So, that makes him say that love is stupid. But, real talk? It was good, artistically. Now, onto "Tell Your Friends." The beat alone screams "KANYE!!!"

Speed: Yep.

Drizzle: But, once Weeknd starts singing, Kanye goes away. He just lays it down and tells us about it. 

Speed: (sings like The Weeknd) Abouuuut it--

Drizzle: Saw what I did there? It was like he was reintroducing himself to us and telling people who he is.

Speed: Agreed. Hence me saying it's the standout of the album--

Drizzle: No. "Dark Times" is GOAT.

Speed: (pauses) You're right.

Drizzle: No shit.

Speed: It's different from the rest of the album. But then again, it's kind of not. Ed Sheeran is fucking...wow. The storytelling on it? Yeah...

Ellipses-riddled sentences aside, the track is glorious.

Drizzle: It literally is the words to how I was feeling in the way back.

Speed: You mean that time you--

Drizzle: That whole "I can't be loved because I'm insane" shit. Also, yes, that whole time I, well, yeah. But, I heard the track was going down, like, three months ago. And I looked forward to it. But when it hit, at damn near the end of the album, I was like "dayummmm." But, it's how the song is framed as a conversation between a guy and his girl after a bar fight--something I have massive experience with since I was a bouncer.

Speed: And I was a patron and all the fun stuff which came with being best friends with a guy who was a bouncer.

Drizzle: And the girls would always be like "I hate it when you fight." 

Speed: But, they don't get it. Hell, sometimes, we don't get it. The bar brawl, as batshit insane as it is, it's American. It's as American as cherry pie, football, and forty-five year old entrepreneurs doing coke lines off of fake titties and landing strips.

Drizzle: Tweed.

Speed: Oh, hell yeah, it's tweed. You know what else is tweed. The Terps are actually shaping up to be good this year--

Drizzle: No.

Speed: Even the football team. Almost makes me want to go to a game--

Drizzle: No.

Speed: I won't, obviously. Maybe basketball. But I just don't wanna be "that dude"--

Drizzle: Noooooo-e!

Speed: "E" for "emphasis," I assume.

Drizzle: Si. 

Speed: But, yeah. I don't wanna be that dude. The former--kind of--hothead guy who's in his 40's in Bentley's only to gawk at barely legal asscheeks. I mean, shit. That's what porn's for. Also, that's the reason why I stopped going back to City. No, not ass cheeks. But, I know that me returning to my former schools always ends in some shit in some way. But, anyhow, "Dark Times" is GOAT and should be a single. Hell, the entire album is single-worthy. "Acquainted," the re-vision of that "Girls Born in the 90s" leak is a thing of beauty. It's everything people love about the guy, but fresh and new. "Prisoner" talks on some real shit, as it should (considering the title). Bruh, my fanboy may be showing brightly, but Beauty Behind the Madness is one of the best albums for me this year.

(Ed. Note: It was at this point where Drizzle and Speed started going on tangents unrelated to the album).

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