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First and foremost I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who read my post on Rick Ross last time out. The response was more than I expected and I’ve had some very interesting conversations with people on twitter in the past two weeks. If you haven’t seen it, definitely check that out here. Recently though, the homie Abel Tesfaye announced his new deal with Universal Republic Records. Abel aka The Weeknd also announced that his debut album The Trilogy (a culmination of his three previous mixtapes and some new bonus material) will hit our shelves on November 13th with the newly re-mastered “Wicked Games” being the lead single.
Annoyingly, music purists have argued that R&B has been in a pretty dour place for quite some time. Commercially, that statement may carry weight but from a personal perspective, I can only disagree. I can’t be the only one that has feasted on the vast amount of music that has been provided to us in the last 24 months from the stalwarts of the genre like Trey Songz, Ne-Yo, Lloyd, Usher and Chris Brown alongside the new cats such as Frank Ocean, The Weeknd and my personal favourite Miguel. Are you really going to tell me that in-between all of the releases from ALL of those aforementioned artists there isn’t a decent amount of fire? Really? Whilst R&B hasn’t dominated the radio and the charts like it once did, it doesn’t necessarily mean the whole genre isn’t flourishing. Get your girl over tonight, bang on Anticipation II and tell me R&B is “dead”. I dare you.
Now I’ve got that out of system I bring you to the crux of this article. With the news of the forthcoming album from The Weeknd, my mind started to wonder. What I like about The Weeknd’s small but potent discography is that he keeps things very pure. Production stays in-house, there are very few features and he very rarely strays from his neatly-crafted lane.
His three mixtapes have yielded 27 tracks. Let’s assume for arguments sake The Trilogy will be 14 tracks long (potentially longer with the new material), it will mean half of the original 27 will face the chop. As I said before, The Weeknd’s discography is small but very potent. Cutting half of his released material will be a challenge at best. I gave myself the job of sequencing the album like it was actually up to me to decide which tunes would make the cut. Hit the jump to see how that panned out. Trust me, this wasn’t easy.
Before I continue I should probably give my brief opinion on his material so far. I genuinely feel like I am the only person on this planet that prefers Thursday to House of Balloons. Now that’s not to say that House of Balloons is wack by any stretch of the imagination. I just feel sometimes that the novelty of it carried it through. When it dropped back in early 2011 it was pretty fucking refreshing. No-one had released anything like that in a LONG while. It got rave reviews and the affiliation with Drake carried him into e-superstardom. Really and truly though, Thursday is on some other OTHER shit. Echoes of Silence didn’t really match up to the previous two for me; this is partially reflected in the number of its inclusions in My Trilogy. Again though, that definitely doesn’t mean it’s wack at all. I should probably get onto the thing itself right now so without further ado, peep my trilogy below.
1) Lonely Star
2) XO / The Host
3) Wicked Games
Picking the intro was actually one of the hardest things to do in this whole process. Like Lil’ Wayne, The Weeknd knows the importance of starting his releases correctly. It genuinely wouldn’t surprise me if “High For This”, “Lonely Star” and “D.D.” featured in your top five Weeknd tracks ever but I had to run with “Lonely Star” because to me, that track is just top notch. “XO / The Host” is a personal favourite from Echoes of Silence. Many hold that as his weakest project so far and to some extent I agree. From a lyrical standpoint though, I think it’s his arguably best work. “Wicked Games” is a good first single choice, it serves as a good entrée to him as an artist. It sets up the body of my trilogy perfectly.
4) High For This
5) The Morning
6) What You Need
7) The Zone
House of Balloons takes over for the next twelve minutes. When I first heard “High For This” I was pretty much blown away. The use of it in the promo for Season 8 of Entourage weirdly made me enjoy it more too. I still fuck with that joint heavy to this day. “The Morning” and “What You Need” have to follow. I know there are dudes who fully relate to “What You Need” out there too; Abel provides a suitable soundtrack for that situation right there. “What You Need” seamlessly moves into potentially one of my favourite songs in recent times. “The Zone” is one of those understated joints that gets overlooked for no real reason. I’m still unsure as to why; it’s a staple in any “Slow Strokes” playlist and for some reason I really like the last line on Drizzy’s verse. I can definitely go on, but now we enter the third quarter:
8 ) The Birds Pt. 2
9) House of Balloons – Glass Table
“The Birds Pt. 2″ is another strong reason why Thursday trumps House of Balloons for me. The hook on Pt. 1 will resonate louder due to the ever-presence of “Don’t Make me Make You Fall in Love with a Nigga Like Me” in your over-sensitive friends twitter bio but I genuinely think Part 2 is a better fit for this Trilogy. I never appreciated HoB – GT until I heard it on good speakers too. That and “Initiation” add some tempo to proceedings before the appropriate finish.
11) Life of The Party
13) Rolling Stone
I don’t exactly check for Michael Jackson song covers but as far as “D.D.” goes it’s got to be up there with the best. Rolling Stone is one of those introspective tracks that many see as an album filler actually serves as something more (see this as another perfect example) and “Thursday” is just another reason as to why Thursday is just dope.
Many may look at that list and be peeved at the lack of “The Birds Pt. 1″, “Loft Music” and in particular, “The Knowing” but as I mentioned before, sacrifices had to be made. I tried to make it actually sound good in sequence too. If you actually give a fuck, make the playlist on iTunes, ensure you have crossfade on and hit that top-to-bottom. It sounds dope as fuck. On November 13th we’ll see how far I was from the real thing but in the meantime, feast on this beauty and let me know how you would’ve arranged this in the comments or on Twitter [@Jordie_Mac].