Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye just keeps going. Fresh from achieving his second No. 1 hit on urban radio, the global star has released his new song “Popular” featuring Madonna and Playboi Carti.
The song, outfitted with a superfluous production, finds The Weeknd singing with the intent to call out a clout-crazed woman’s taste for a reputation.
“Begging on her knees to be popular / That’s her dream to be popular / Kill anyone to be popular / Sell her soul to be popular,” The Weeknd sings.
Madonna and Playboi Carti make notable cameos throughout the singalong intervention that’s eager for commercial radio play.
In an interview with Apple Music’s Zane Lowe, The Weeknd shared his thoughts on the outcome of his “Popular” collaboration. “I’m proud of it. I’m definitely proud of it. Me and Carti had this… I mean, we’ve jammed out before. We’ve had a different version of this song prior. So I’ve had these vocals for a while and I’ve kind of just worked around it, and then kind of kept it in the tuck. But now it felt like it was time,” The Weeknd shared.
He continued, “And it felt right and it felt cohesive with this album that I’m working on right now. Or that I just actually finished. The Idol soundtrack, yeah. And so I’ve been producing the song for a while. And then Madonna, Madge. She’s the ultimate co-sign for this song, for this album, and for this TV show. And you’ll hear more of her in the show as well too. She is the ultimate pop star.”
“Popular” is the follow-up to The Weeknd’s Future-assisted single “Double Fantasy,” which was released in April.
The song, also produced by Mike Dean and Metro Boomin, will appear on The Idol, Vol. 1 (Music from the HBO Original Series) compilation, due June 30 via XO Records/Republic Records.
As mentioned above, The Weeknd landed his second chart-topping single on urban radio with “Creepin’,” his collaboration with Metro Boomin and 21 Savage.
He last reached the summit on this format in 2015 when his Oscar-nominated and Grammy-winning song “Earned It (Fifty Shades of Grey)” was in the lead.
An official “Creepin’ (Remix)” was released ahead of its chart ascension. Sean “Diddy” Combs is one of the new voices on the track.
Days after the premiere of The Idol, The Weeknd will embark on the second leg of his After Hours Til Dawn Tour in Europe and Latin America.
Stream “Popular” by The Weeknd featuring Madonna and Playboy Carti below.
The Idol, Vol. 1 (Music from the HBO Original Series) is available for pre-save/pre-add.