This is a small taste of probably a bigger take in the future I’ll do, but for now I’ll stick with this.
There are three types of artists. There are the artists who produce their own music with minor help. There are artists who need a bunch of good producers to really make good music. Then there are artists who need one or two “in-house” producer/producers to make great music.
The Weeknd is the last one.
R&B artists such as PND can produce their own music. This allows them to harness their sound and perfect it. It’s no coincidence that some of the best artists are singer-songwriters/producers. The Weeknd on the other hand is NOT a producer. I’m sure he writes his own stuff, but I can clearly see when he makes bad music it’s due to being without the right producer. When he works with these men right here:
He makes his BEST music. These two are Doc Mckinney and Illangelo. They are the genius behind that of which is The Weeknd. Now before I go any further let me say that I’m not saying this hinders The Weeknd by having to have to have the right producer. In a way it could, but in another way it doesn’t. See some artists once they find that one or few producers that help give them their best music they don’t have to keep searching. Drake and Noah and Boi-1da. Kendrick and Thundercat (among a few others). Jay and No ID. Maybe here and there a producer or two is added, but I feel it can be a good thing to have a producer (or two) in the mix that you know is going to help you make your best music.
Proof? Here’s some duds (at least I think) of The Weeknd’s that WERE NOT produced by Doc or Illangelo. I’ll just give two:
The entire Kissland album wasn’t that great. Not terrible, but not good or great and I think the lack of Doc and Illangelo’s presence really shows up here:
Here’s another song that I think is trash by The Weeknd, and again lack of Doc and Illangelo here:
Now I know what you’re thinking. “I’m a hater.” Just wait a minute here.
Even The Weeknd himself kind of admitted he makes his best music with Doc:
“Shout my n---- Doc, that’s a mentor. Had some bad business, nothing personal. But now the word out that we back on some young Quincy Jones, dark skin Michael Jackson.”- The Weeknd
Now before the hate comes in...
Here’s the song itself produced by Illangelo. Listen:
Do you hear how much better that sounds?
Here’s one produced by Illangelo as well as Doc:
I’m not saying The Weeknd doesn’t make good music, and I know it seems like I’m a hipster.
“I remember him before he was cool.” Though I will say there are people out there who hear “Often” or “Earned it” and think he’s the shit. And if so then hey good, because those are the bottom of the barrel songs to me. If you like those then you’ll love the stuff he does with Doc and Illangelo. This is why while Trilogy was great (though technically it was just his mixtapes put together), but Kissland was terrible, I think this next album (Beauty Behind The Madness) will be great.
Also, I must mention that The Weeknd probably went into the Kissland direction to appeal to a bigger audience. Now this album it looks like he’s going back to his roots.
Anyway post your opinions below.