“Heartless” by The Weeknd
On this song, the narrator (The Weeknd) is being brutally honest about his lifestyle and mental disposition. That is to say, as the title suggests, he presents himself as a “heartless” individual. And according to The Weekend, this heartlessness manifests itself primarily in two different ways. One is that he carelessly engages in sensual affairs with a bunch of different women. Some of these ladies are groupies, while others are just naïve enough to be ‘sold dreams’ by the celebrity. And secondly, The Weeknd is what can be classified as a substance addict. Or put euphemistically, he regularly enjoys the consumption of hardcore intoxicants.
And it is clear that he perceives such a lifestyle as being imperfect. He knows there’s no happy ending in sight, even as he parties his life away in the present. Thus he wants “to be a better man”. By this, he is insinuating that he yearns to overcome the aforementioned drug abuse and womanizing, even if at certain points the opposite appears to be true. And at one juncture in the song, specifically the bridge, he is addressing someone whom he was disassociated with for a while but has now ‘come back in his life’. And this individual, whom the singer feels he doesn’t deserve, appears to be someone who actually has an effect on him powerful and inspirational enough to assist him in undergoing the desired changes. All in all, the general insinuation is that said person is a romantic interest, i.e. an ex-girlfriend.
So the song ultimately concludes with the vocalist once again touting himself as someone with a lot of flaws. He sees himself as a “low life”, “heartless” individual with little chance, indeed even inclination, of changing his ways. However, there is at least a glimmer of hope out there for him. And this hope is specifically in the form of the aforementioned person who obviously has the potential to help him turn his life around.
Is “Heartless” about The Weeknd’s relationship with Bella Hadid?
In essence “Heartless” is not about a breakup or any romantic relationship for that matter. Rather it is about The Weeknd’s unfulfilling partying lifestyle. However, it is arguable that at certain points, specifically the bridge, he may be addressing and acknowledging Bella. He’s apparently addressing her as a person who has stuck with him through thick and thin in the past. Furthermore, he sees her as possessing the potential to help him undergo positive changes into the future. Or simply put, it may be deduced that certain parts of “Heartless” allude to the idea of the singer wanting to get back with his ex.
Relationship between The Weeknd and Bella Hadid
The Weeknd and Hadid have had an on-again/off-again relationship throughout the years. In fact according to the internet, despite the two of them being involved from 2015 to 2019, during that time span they were only officially together for approximately three years, as they broke up for about a year and-a-half in between before breaking up again in August of 2019. And throughout their intermittent romance, Bella in particular is on record for having dated quite a few other guys. That being said, according to “Heartless”, we see that The Weeknd has been quite active also.
But aside that, Bella is still recognized by most people as being The Weeknd’s girlfriend. In other words, they are widely known as a couple, more so than with anyone else the two of them may have dated. So it is very much plausible that if The Weeknd is talking about any singular romantic interest in a positive light as mentioned above, it would be her.
In conclusion, The Weeknd’s “heartless” lifestyle does not come off as if it is a direct result of breaking up with the woman he loves. Rather he presents it as being more or less his general mode of operation, which some of his earlier songs can verify.
Facts about “Heartless”
In terms of the person whom The Weeknd is touting as the one who “never gave up” on him and may be able to help him change, fandom seems to agree that from a real-life perspective he is talking about Bella Hadid. Hadid, a famous model, is the closest The Weeknd has had to a long-term romantic partner. The two have had an on-again/off-again relationship dating back to 2015. In fact their last breakup was as recently as a couple of months before this song was released.
And after spontaneously teasing the song via Instagram on 25 November 2019, The Weeknd eventually dropped “Heartless” on November 27th, 2019. The song came out as his first solo track since early 2018.
The Weeknd co-wrote and co-produced the song along with Metro Boomin and Illangelo. And the other co-writer is another accomplished industry vet, Dre Moon.