The new face of postmodern panty-droppin': the Weeknd.
The new face of postmodern panty-droppin': the Weeknd.

The Weeknd at Revolution Live May 1

The art of sensual seduction via song ain't nothin' like it used to be. Back in the day, all it took was a few lines from Al Green's "Let's Stay Together" to not only get the panties droppin' but also have them flying through the air like graduation caps.

Contemporary R&B is a strange beast, though — one that films epic music videos with absurd narratives, features sex-obsessed protagonists, and employs every possible euphemism or witty synonym for fucking. Maybe that last one was always a part of the genre.

Of course, R. Kelly should be credited with introducing meta-hilarity to ballads about bumpin'. But the new face of postmodern panty-droppin' belongs to sensual space centaur the Weeknd (AKA Abel Tesfaye), a Toronto crooner who became the latest artist to hit it big with a free online mixtape, 2011's House of Balloons, which was a no-holds-barred, literary opus about doing drugs and getting down. Eventually, even Drake started to pay attention. And when Drizzy is paying attention, the object of his attention might or might not be doing something right. But that person is bound to be making assloads of dough.


The Weeknd

8 p.m. Tuesday, May 1, at Revolution Live, 100 SW Third Ave., Fort Lauderdale; 954-449-1025; Tickets cost $32 plus fees via

Straight up, though, the Weeknd is definitely doing something right. If you need proof, check out the erotic space-opera music video for "The Knowing." Or meet Tesfaye when he performs in Fort Lauderdale. Just be sure to bring an umbrella, because all forecasts point to a heavy downpour of sopping-wet panties.


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