Last week, The Weeknd premiered “Starboy,” the lead single off his upcoming album of the same name. Featuring Daft Punk, the track finds Abel at his most boastful and confident, with tongue-in-cheek references to a banner 2015 and the opulence it afforded.
Today (September 28), the record's Grant Singer-directed visuals have arrived, and they're a perfect visual representation of a fully realized Weeknd taking the reigns of his rightful spot as a superstar, and at the same time destroying any preconceived notions about him you might have held on to post Beauty Behind the Madness.
As the video opens, we see The Weeknd we’ve come to know and love looking just like we'd expect. The Basquiat-esque dreads, a clean tuxedo—Abel looks like he just got home from winning a couple GRAMMY awards.
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But who’s this shadowy character with the Zippo across the table?
Within the first 45 seconds of the video, The Weeknd as we know him is dead, snuffed out by a new version of himself in a frighteningly literal representation of artistic evolution. Abel 2.0 emerges from his ski-mask and goes about destroying the chic interior of his former self’s home with a laser cross that resembles Jesus' lightsaber.
It’s clear that the new Weeknd doesn’t give two shits about the accomplishments of old Weeknd, and has a fresh hunger for greatness at any cost, especially the expectations of his fans.
As the video closes, he casually sets fire to his previous incarnation both literally and figuratively and speeds off into the night in his luxury vehicle (with a Panther, apparently), leaving any trace of doubt about his destiny behind.
With “Starboy,” Abel warns us that we’ve created a monster. He’s tasted success, he’s realized his potential, and he’s hungry for more.