In the lead up to Friday’s hugely anticipated release of The Weeknd’s new album Starboy, the singer, born Abel Tesfaye, has meticulously crafted a distinct aesthetic universe to go along with his new music. It’s an ultra-violent, bacchanal world lit by harsh neon lights, and populated with fast cars, femme fatales, and a giant black panther. We first got a glimpse into that world in the Grant Singer-directed video for the album’s eponymous lead single. On Wednesday, The Weeknd dropped the culmination of his collaboration with Singer, in the form of a 12 minute short film called Mania.
Unlike his counterparts, many of whom prefer to keep the majority of their album under wraps until release day, The Weeknd has been in a very giving mood. On top of the aforementioned “Starboy,” and the previously released tracks “False Alarm,” “Party Monster,” and “I feel It Coming,” Mania gives us our first listen to two new off of his third studio effort. First, there’s “All I Know” featuring Future, on which Tesfaye sings “I ran out of tears when I was 18, so nobody made me/ But the mean streets ’cause too many people think they made me/ Well if they really made me, then replace me,” in his trademark falsetto.
We also get our first taste of “Sidewalks” featuring Kendrick Lamar, which soundtracks The Weeknd’s long journey to the club. Once there, he meets a mysterious woman played by French model Anais Mali, and dance floor chaos ensues. There’s blood, there’s violence, and only two people are left standing. We’ll let you guess who they are.
Watch The Weeknd’s ‘Mania’ above.