2015 is coming to a close and The Weeknd had his best year yet, musically. He had two number-ones, a sold-out arena tour and has been nominated for Record of the Year (“Can’t Feel My Face”) and Album of The Year (Beauty Behind The Madness) — but more than that, the Canadian R&B star now has a brand. The Weeknd’s brand is sleek, sexy, a little dangerous and a whole lot of fun. His newest music video “Into The Night” is a continuation of that brand.
The Weeknd plays opposite current-girlfriend Bella Hadid in a gangster love story complete with strip clubs, assassinations, slit throats and mass amounts of sexual tension. The song explores dark themes of sexual abuse and sex work. Hadid performs as a young woman under the thumb of a ruthless gang, as The Weeknd yearns to help her out of her detrimental situation. The music video climaxes as the Weeknd feels a gun pointed at the back of his head in the hands of the gang’s leader. Just as viewers come to grips with the death of the video’s protagonist, “Into The Night” twists the narrative as a bullet punctures the back of the gangster’s head. Hadid emerges from an abandoned building and the two ride off “Into The Night” on a motorcycle.
The video’s plot isn’t pioneering, but with the MJ-inspired sound, tangibile content and trippy imagery, paired with the failure to paint Hadid as a damsel in distress, the video adds one more success under the Weeknd’s year.