Leigh MichaelTuesday,24 September 2013

The Snap:

The Weeknd (moniker for artist/producer Abel Tesfaye) has released a music video for “Pretty,” a track off 2013′ Kiss Land. With his characteristic slow, sensuous lyrics providing the soundtrack, the film walks us along with a man as he gets off a plane, eats Chinese food, and kills his ex-lover and her new boyfriend.

You can watch the video below. Fair warning: This isn’t work or kid-safe.

The Download:

The “Pretty” video really, really pisses me off. And the more I watched it to write this post, the angrier I got. The Weeknd is famous for his molasses-esque tracks, which seem like R&B on muscle relaxants. They’ve got a huge alt-undertone that makes each one really unique… And, for the most part, I really like his stuff.

Tesfaye also has a cool story. He first released songs on an anonymous Youtube account, hiding behind the moniker “The Weeknd.” Most of his fans were built on pure talent — and I think that is a very rare, and neat, thing.

But this video infuriates me. It romanticizes death, it sexualizes murder, and it makes extreme violence seem “normal.”

No, no, and no.

The last half of the video is devoted to blurred lines — is his ex-girlfriend’s expression the result of pleasure while she’s, erm, romancing with her new lover? Or is it pain because he’s shooting the both of them in a cold-blooded frenzy through the bedroom window?

The fact that Abel Tesfaye is the one playing the killer only exacerbates the situation. Is he living out a dream here? A little fantasy? Cool, dude.

This is not the first sick video that has ever been produced, and it definitely won’t be the last. But that doesn’t make it any less offensive – and to me, romanticizing jealous shootings will never be cool.

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Hat Tips:

Youtube, Pitchfork, The Weeknd, Image Credit: Flickr

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