OK, first the good news: Soft-moaning Toronto R&B auteur The Weeknd (aka Abel Tesfaye) has dropped his second mixtape, Thursday, following March's outstanding debut House of Balloons (about which more here and here), and in advance of a third mixtape, Echoes of Silence, planned for the fall. Download the new one here, assuming his site is back up after last night's overload.
Gotta get down on Thursday
So far--I'm 2/3 through it right now--it's more of the same: chilly, spacious R&B beds over which Tesfaye alternately croons worked-up come-ons and dispenses deadpan, emotionally hollowed "real talk" about fucking and getting fucked up. More than his reverb-distant whine or his icy, slow-grinding productions, it's this distance between heartfelt desire and sociopathic detachment that animates the Weeknd. (I'm listening to the back half of "Gone" right now, and it sounds, you know, like daylight breaking in through the curtains and showing you how cheap and shitty-looking the hotel room from the "party" the night before really is and shit.) Anyway, you know, listen to it or whatever.
Now the bad news: Apparently, sensitive fucker the Weeknd is obliquely responsible for Tommy Hilfiger scion and aspiring rapper Rich Hil landing a major-label deal (as if those strings wouldn't have gotten pulled eventually, but still)--the New York Observer reports:
Last month, Rich announced that he'd signed a record deal with Warner Bros. Records. The story goes that Warner Bros., trying to woo the Weeknd--whose House of Balloons mixtape blew up in a big way this spring--asked him which artists he'd like to work with. He said Rich, they signed Rich, who performs under the name Rich Hil, and they flew him to Abel's native Toronto the next day.
Which, OK, whatever, right? But beyond the general Connecticut-repping, prep-school-bred, silver-spooned, full-body-tattooed embarrassment of this guy, there's the fact that dude basically talks like every teenage jock who wore his dad's logo'd apparel at my high school--of a stint in rehab, he has this wisdom to share:
"Yeah, I learned that alcohol and coke? Is kind of for faggots. You know, like, in my eyes. I'll drink alcohol to get a lean, don't get me wrong, but, like, something about the people who are addicted to alcohol and cocaine, they seemed like fags to me," he said. "Not 'fags' as in 'gay.' I have nothing against gay people. Mad people in my family are gay."
Sigh . . .
He texted with the Weeknd, and we asked if he had a quote for The Observer. "Fuck them, bro," he told Rich.
Cool quote, bro.