Aretha Franklin Dies
The Weeknd's 'Starboy' Lyrics & Video a Love Letter to Luxury Cars
He even drives his own McLaren P1 in the new clip, the carmaker's spokesperson tells Billboard.
The Weeknd’s new song “Starboy” had a big launch last weekend, rapidly shattering the record for most-streamed record in North American history. Now, the Grant Singer-directed video has dropped as well, and it’s full of more record shattering, of a distinctly physical variety, as Abel Tesfaye kills off aspects of his old persona, suffocating himself, clipping his old hairstyle, and crushing his glass-framed platinum records with, um, a red neon crucifix.
But the real gift of the song for car lovers, besides its driving hooks (thanks so much, Daft Punk), is in the mention of some of most aggressive, classiest and best-performing vehicles on the market. “We don’t pray for love, we just pray for cars,” The Weeknd sings. Our hands reach toward heaven. Amen.
The Lamborghini Aventador SV Roadster, a $530,000 convertible wedge of volume-thirteen unobtanium, finds its way into the second verse. “Pull off in that Roadster SV/ Pockets overweight, getting’ hefty.” As does the $300,000 ultra-luxury Bentley Mulsanne, outfitted with a particularly compelling and fitting '80s soundtrack. “No competition, I don’t really listen/ I’m in the blue Mulsanne bumping New Edition.”
But the real romance is reserved for the McLaren P1, a hybrid hyper-car, with a top speed of 218 mph, a $1.5 million price tag, and an extremely limited run (only 375 were produced, worldwide). Not only does the song give props to the avarice-inducing nature of this beast in the first verse (“I’m trying to put you in the worst mood/ P1 cleaner than your church shoes”), the car is also featured prominently in the video, in which our star passes up the other cars in his stable to take it for a high-speed spin through the twisties of Mulholland Drive -- with a charcoal-colored panther in the passenger seat.
A panther. Baller status, transcended.
Even the world’s biggest carmaker couldn’t afford product placement like this, let alone a boutique British brand. The connection must be sincere. So to uncover the truth, we reached out to John Paolo Canton, McLaren’s director of public relations, and he confirmed that this car belongs to the artist. “It was a great surprise for us to see The Weeknd’s P1 in his new video -- doing what it does best on the open road,” Canton said. Signifying that he’d watched the video and heard the song, he added, “We were equally thrilled to see that he does indeed keep his P1 as clean as a pair of church shoes, which isn’t always the case with Supercar owners.”
Lest we think that these vehicles came to reside in his garage through some glorified rental program, The Weeknd reminds us of his stable’s legitimate origins, and his correlatively deep pockets. “None of these toys on lease too/ Made your whole year in a week too.” And if there was any remaining doubt about his elemental love of fast cars, The Weeknd will be performing live in late October as the headlining act following America’s only sanctioned Formula One race in Austin, Texas. We hope he drives down.