XO/The Host 

The same way that rappers like Young Jeezy, Pusha T, and Rick Ross find new ways to talk about the same white powdery substance, Able Tesfaye, better known by his stage name The Weeknd, continues to seduce our earbuds with tales of marijuana days and cocaine nights. “XO/The Host” is a beautifully narrated tragedy that tells the story of a young girl addicted to the party life. With lines like “specially when your nose red from that K/ Special Diet Coke/ You need more bread/ Now you got no rent/ You blow that money.” The Weeknd does what he’s best at; Painting pictures of tragic lifestyles that make you want to live them out, even if the outcome isn’t a good one. “The Host” serves as a prelude to “Initiation,” in which Able tells our damsel that she must pass a “test” to get his love. This was a good smooth interlude to get us ready for the craziness that’s ahead.


This track is hands down the best song on the album in my opinion. Everything about this song, from the eerie instrumental that lurks over the slurred and sporadic pitch of the verses, to lyrics such as, “Roll that weed, blow the fire out/ Taste that lean when you kiss my mouth/ Get so wet when I eat you out” is what attracts people to The Weeknd’s music. He possesses the unique ability to croon the phrases and brash descriptions commonly found in rap music without the slightest hesitation. Women feel sexy singing it, and men still feel at home while listening to it.  Win Win.

Same Old Song 

This song could’ve easily been titled “Shot for Me pt 2." Here we find Able reflecting with a woman about how she left him when he needed her most, and now that he’s big, she’s coming around again. We’ve heard this story again and a again, and as much as I appreciate the lyrics and the overall message of this song, the emphasized belting of the hook eventually gets to be a bit much for my ears. Not one of my favorites, but still a decent song.

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