"Seems @theweeknd have said there is no sample used or enough likeness to "Machine Gun" to warrant any infringement... or credit," head Quaker and Portishead mastermind Geoff Barrow angerly Tweeted early Wednesday morning. It sounds like Abel Tesfaye (The Weeknd) initially asked Barrow and Portishead for permission to use said sample and upon being denied clearance, loosely re-created "Machine Gun"'s ferocious, almost Tribal-sounding drum pattern. But honestly, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense... since The Weeknd and Portishead are both signed to Universal Records, plus Geoff Barrow and Beth Gibbons are self-admitted Hip-Hop supporters. "Belong to The World" is actually The Internet's second taste of The Weeknd's upcoming "sophomore" album, Kiss Land.
In what seems like an effort to foster more of a prominent public image, Abel Tesfaye granted Complex his first full-fledged earlier in the week (as well as making REAL music videos now, too). Even title track "Kiss Land" blatantly samples a Main Attrakionz beat, "Nothin' Gonna Change." But I guess it's producer Silky Johnson feels slightly less threatened than Geoff Barrow and let it's uncleared usage slide. Director Anthony Mandler has delicately re-shaped "Belong to The World" into an almost 8-minute-long short film/music video in the same vein as early 90's Michael Jackson or Prince. It takes place in some sort of weirdly futuristic post-modern world that's vaguely reminiscent of "Rhythm Nation;" a place where expressive dancing is supposedly still a thing ha. While details are still pretty scarce, The Weeknd's upcoming Trilogy follow-up, Kiss Land, is currently slated for a tentative August 27th release.