After breaking the record for the most pre-saves in Apple Music history with 975k, The Weeknd premiered his fourth studio album, After Hours, on Friday, March 20.
Most of the album was produced by Illangelo, Oscar Holter, Max Martin, Metro Boomin and The Weeknd himself. There's also a touch from Kevin Parker of Tame Impala fame on "Repeat After Me (Interlude)."
Listening to the record's lyrics, it's pretty apparent that The Weeknd, whose real first name is Abel, is torn up about his on-again, off-again relationship with the supermodel Bella Hadid.
On "After Hours," the album's third single, Abel seems to be regretful about his lack of commitment to Hadid. "'Cause my heart belongs to you / I'll risk it all for you / I want you next to me / This time, I'll never leave," he sings.
Later, on "Save Your Tears," The Weeknd seems to recall an unexpected late night encounter between him and Hadid that happened in August 2019. It was rumored the two both showed up at Catch One nightclub in Los Angeles shortly after they had split, causing Hadid to leave a few minutes after she saw Abel pull up.
The Weeknd opens the song with his perspective on the moment: "I saw you dancing in a crowded room / You look so happy when I'm not with you / But then you saw me, caught you by surprise / A single teardrop falling from your eye."
Another Hadid reference comes near the end of "Escape From LA," when Abel openly addresses her blunt yet attractive attitude as well as her affinity for Chrome Hearts, a luxury fashion brand that she's collaborated with numerous times. "She a cold-hearted bitch with no shame / But her throat too fire / She got Chrome Hearts hangin' from her neck / And them shits going wild," he confesses.
In the hours leading up to After Hours, The Weeknd dedicated the record to a day one fan of his, Lance, also known as XOPODCAST, who had passed away. "RIP LANCE aka XOPODCAST," he tweeted. "You were one of the true original backbones of my XO fan base. Can't believe I'm finding out about this today. I'm dedicating After Hours to you, my friend."
View some of our favorite interpretations of After Hours and The Weeknd's unshakeable love for Bella Hadid below. 🥰