“Often” by The Weeknd
We recognize The Weeknd as an artist who is unapologetic in terms of reveling in his party-like, promiscuous, drug-fueled lifestyle. And “Often” gets those points across more effectively than many of his other tunes, as this time around he does not rely so much on metaphors.
Or rather let’s say that yes, the lyrics are to a considerable degree metaphorical. However, they are not the types that require any type of deep thought to decipher their hedonistic underpinnings.
Whom he is singing to and about is primarily a romantic interest(s). And concerning what has been put forth above, the vocalist reveals a couple of pretty astounding facts in the first verse. For instance, he wants her to ‘bring a friend’ along so that they can all have a threesome.
And he also alludes to the fact that he enjoys taking “coke”, very much so, by noting that his “god” is “white”. So it’s as if not only what he’s saying is shocking in and of itself but also the way he relays it.
And the second verse really isn’t much kinder. Here, The Weeknd admits that the reason such women tend to be interested in him, as you may have already suspected, is because he’s rich and famous. And these ladies, as personified by the addressee, aren’t single. But it’s not as if any of that matters to Abel, as when he comes around he gets top priority regardless.
And none of this is to imply that these women are anything beyond people who, excuse our French, he wants to sleep with. In fact he freely offers his homeys to also partake of them if they so desire.
The Title (“Often”)
Meanwhile in terms of the song’s title, it is meant to allude to the notion that the vocalist engages in such behavior “often”. And even though the women he is singing about may not, at his request they are “down to do it either way”. And further contributing to this track’s braggadocious nature, The Weeknd uses the opportunity to basically tout his sexual skills.
All in all…
And yes, even though this song is highly-sexualized, at the end of the day we will classify it as a braggadocious, not sex, tune. And why? This is because there are two basic notions being put forth throughout.
First is that The Weeknd, being who he is, has access to a lot of “pu**y”, as it is termed in such circles. And secondly, he proclaims to be really good – or at least invigorated – in bed. However, in the former, in terms of The Weeknd’s appeal to women, the bragging isn’t as pronounced as it would be if he were, say, a rapper. Instead it’s just like he’s objectively detailing the way he, a music star, nonchalantly deals with women.
Facts about “Often”
This was the lead single from “Beauty Behind the Madness”. Some readers will recognize that title as being the name of the 2015 full-length which established The Weeknd as a star. And “Often” was not the biggest hit from the project. However, it did help set the stage by charting in quite a few countries. Additionally, it went multi-platinum in the US (quadruple), Canada (triple) and Norway (double).
Furthermore, the track’s music video, as directed by Sam Pilling, proved pretty popular itself. That is to say that it took home three Much Music Video Awards in 2015, those being for the following categories:
- Best Director
- Best Pop Video
- Video of the Year
But it should be noted that Much is a media organization based in Toronto, which also happens to be The Weeknd’s hometown.
The official release date of this track was on 24 June 2014. That was well before “Beauty Behind the Madness” came out over a year later. And it would seem that perhaps when it was first issued, “Often” was not associated with the album.
Other notable singles released from the album in question include:
The Weeknd produced and co-wrote this song alongside fellow Torontonian DaHeala and Miami-based musician Ben Billions. But as far as authorship, there are quite a few other names on the list. For instance this track heavily samples a Turkish song called “Ben Sana Vurgunum” (1993) by Nükhet Duru. So that writer of that piece, Sabahattan Ali, is credited onto Often.
Additionally we have DannyBoyStyles and Belly, both being Weeknd affiliates. Then there is DJ Khaled, one of the top producers in the game, though this time around being credited as an author. Then besides Sabahattan Ali there are a couple of other Turkish individuals. One would be Ali Kocatepe, a music composer. And another musician, Osman İşmen, is also acknowledged.
So the implication would be that those two were also involved in the creation of “Ben Sana Vurgunum”, even though they are not officially given credits on many publications.
The intro and outro of Often rely on voice samples from the aforementioned “Ben Sana Vurgunum”, meaning that some of the lyrics featured on Often are actually in Turkish.