Mystery has a charm that people are naturally drawn to. It’s the thrill of discovery and the excitement of an unveiling that makes the enigmatic so interesting. Mystery is the reason that I’ve spent the past 24 hours revisiting The Weeknd’s music videos. Not all of them, just the ones released for Beauty Behind The Madness. “The Hills,” “Tell Your Friends” and “Can’t Feel My Face” are dark, cryptic, mysterious, and mesmerizing—everything that The Weeknd embodies. The videos are connected by a puzzling narrative that’s difficult to decipher.
It’s a story of the singer and his connection to a devil-esque deity. The two are connected, but how is never revealed. Having to guess what the bigger picture is without any hints from the artist is why the internet is full of speculation, theories, and conspiracies surrounding the videos and what The Weeknd is trying to convey. The Toronto singer recently released two new videos for singles “Star Boy” and “False Alarm,” which have once again caused the internet to ask more questions in an attempt to figure out how they connect with the previous three.
The devil deity doesn’t have a name, but because of how he sets The Weeknd on fire in the “Can’t Feel My Face” video it’s believed he’s some form of Lucifer. The fire doesn’t burn The Weeknd but instead causes him to heat up the nightclub that he’s performing at. A crowd that was once disinterested erupts in excitement once the singer is engulfed in flames. I believe this is supposed to be their first meeting, the deity showing The Weeknd what his power is able to give him: popularity. Since The Weeknd never acknowledges him, it’s as if he gifts him just a taste of what he’s capable of. Since the music industry is a business where souls are sold, what better place to scout than a nightclub, and who better to offer fame than an aspiring singer who’s having a terrible set on stage?
The deity also appears again at the end of “The Hills,” a video that begins with The Weeknd escaping a terrible car accident with two women. He’s wearing the same clothes that can be seen in the “Can’t Feel My Face” video, possibly indicating this is the next event in the narrative. When he enters a fairly nice home, it’s the deity waiting for him, and in his possession are the two girls that are seen in the beginning of the video. Once again you can see the girls as gifts to The Weeknd; objects for his affection. There’s no shock or surprise on his face, and the video ends as they lock eyes. “Tell Your Friends” is the last time we see the two together, a showdown in the desert that ends with The Weeknd shooting the mystery man with a gun. I could easily have the order of events wrong, but this makes the most sense. The question is: if he’s supposed to represent the devil, how is he killed with a gun?
“Starboy,” the self-titled single from Weeknd’s upcoming album, has a music video that doesn’t feature the devil-esque character, but it does have a cross-wielding Weeknd who looks more like a Jedi than a pop star. The cross seems to hold a lot of significance, as there's also one around The Weeknd’s neck that is clearly displayed throughout the video. It’s the same cross that can be seen on The Weeknd’s album cover. Religion has never played a big part in his music, but if the unnamed man is the devil, then it has played a part in his music videos.
“Starboy” begins with The Weeknd tied to a chair, and he’s eventually suffocated by an unknown man. The man turns out to be The Weeknd, except without his signature hair. Not only does he kill his old self, but goes on a rampage destroying all the trophies and accolades that he acquired during Beauty Behind The Madness. Of course, this represents The Weeknd’s reinvention and killing off his old self, but it also could have a much deeper meaning.
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In the very beginning of “Tell Your Friends” there’s a bush burning. In the bible, it is said that the bush was on fire, but not consumed by the flame. That relates to how The Weeknd appears in the “Can’t Feel My Face” video. The bush can also be a sign of God’s presence, and it could be that a higher power is what allowed The Weeknd to kill the deity in the desert. It's possible that's why he wears the cross now. What also occurs in the beginning of “Tell Your Friends” is The Weeknd burying himself alive. I don’t understand what this represents, but after he finishes the burial, The Weeknd joyously dances away. In “Starboy,” the same thing happens after he finishes suffocating his old self―there’s a celebratory little dance he does. In both the “Tell Your Friends” and “Starboy” visuals, The Weeknd does a spin move that would make Diddy proud. Both spins come after the murder, a small similarity that stuck out to me. The question is, why does The Weeknd keep killing himself, and why does he get some kind of sick enjoyment out of it?
I came across a theory that suggests “Starboy” is someone who became a famous star through an elite group that you could draw parallel to the Illuminati. The success he’s acquired comes at the price of his freedom, and he’s ordered to commit death and destruction using the most known Christian symbols. I think it’s rather far-fetched, but also very possible. There’s nothing angelic about The Weeknd, and there’s nothing Christian about murder. If we’re following this theory, I would say the chronological order to view the videos would be: “Can’t Feel My Face,” “Tell Your Friends,” and “The Hills.” He meets Lucifer, attempts to kill him in the desert, and he appears before him alive in well. “Starboy” could very well be what happens after he becomes a soldier of the underworld, though it still doesn’t explain why he’s forced to kill himself like Jet Li in the movie The One.
The Weeknd is now a “starboy”, a boy who was hand picked by the elite to become a “higher level” star. Because of this, he owns a bunch of cool things that he brags about in his songs, making his fans jealous of his success. This success however comes at a cost. He is still owned by the elite – those who initiated them. To become a starboy, he has to kill his old self while wearing a cross and he must pledge his allegiance by ritualistically destroying his possessions using a cross. Using this Christian symbol to commit death and destruction is part of the soul-selling process.
Starboy is therefore not about The Weeknd becoming Christian or “changing his style”. The video is in perfect continuation of his previous videos where he was “discovered” by Lucifer and was made a star. At the next level of initiation, things get very serious. While The Weeknd boast about his “P1 being cleaner than your church shoes”, the video tells us that he is still owned by Lucifer – the morning star. And The Weeknd is his starboy. - The Occult Meaning of The Weeknd’s “Starboy”
“False Alarm” is an incredible music video. It’s shot as if you’re watching someone play a first-person shooter video game. The video follows a group of bank robbers as they try and escape the police after a successful bank hit. There are guns, violence, car crashes, and betrayal—everything you could want in a video game storyline. It’s not until the end, however, that we learn we're watching the events from The Weeknd’s perspective. There’s a scene at the end before he places the gun to his neck where he reveals the same crucifix that he wears in “Starboy.” This is where things becoming puzzling. Why does he have the cross? There’s no reason for The Weeknd to be pulling off bank heist if he’s a famous pop star. Also, we are lead to believe that he takes his own life at the conclusion of the video. In each video, the only person to kill The Weeknd is The Weeknd. What is the significance of death if he’s the murderer each time? So many questions, so few answers.
There’s a possibility that “Starboy” and “False Alarm” represent a completely different universe than the videos shot for Beauty Behind The Madness. If you look at the Starboy album cover, it seems very comic book inspired. It’s a possibility that “Starboy” is a character that he created to exist in various different universes. I can’t think of any other reason that would justify a bank robber having the same crucifix as the pop star. It could also explain why he’s able to kill himself. I think it will take a few more videos before the big picture reveals itself.
The Weeknd boasted that he comes alive in the fall. Fall is considered the transitional period between summer and winter. This is the time of year that you see the leaves change colors and eventually fall from the branches. In a way, fall represents evolution and death. It’s a cycle of change: endings, and then the beginnings that come once winter is finished. The Weeknd is just like fall: constantly transitioning, changing, and reaching his end just to start a new beginning.
The fall is upon us and so is The Weeknd.
By Yoh, aka Star Yoh, aka @Yoh31