The Weeknd Kills His Old Self In the New Video for 'Starboy'

The Weeknd shares the music video for "Starboy," the Daft Punk-featuring lead single from his forthcoming new album.

It's here.

The Weeknd's sharing the music video for "Starboy," the Daft Punk-featuring lead single and title track from his forthcoming new album, due November 25 via XO/Republic.

The new video was directed by Grant Singer, who also directed the videos for "Can't Feel My Face," "The Hills," and "Tell Your Friends."

In "Starboy," The Weeknd—aka Abel Tesfaye—can be seen kidnapping and murdering his old self, including his famous hair-do. The new-and-improved Tesfaye walks around destroying the old Weeknd's platinum record plaques with a neon cross before driving away in an expensive ride.

Old becomes new. Dreadlocks turn to close cuts. A black cat transforms into a panther. Religious imagery. Rebirth. You get the idea.

The "Starboy" video had already been making headlines because it was curiously nominated for an MTV EMA before it was even released.

Tesfaye has previously mentioned that Amharic "will definitely be key" on his new album.

Others think the album's title, Starboy, is a little close to Wizkid's nickname.


A photo posted by The Weeknd (@theweeknd) on


6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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