Belong to the World

Album: Kiss Land (2013)
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Songfacts®:

  • This song is about a serious relationship that The Weeknd (AKA Abel Tesfaye) had. He told Complex magazine: "'Belong to the World' is about falling in love with the wrong person. There are some songs where I talk about the same person, but I like to make every song about someone else."
  • The song samples drums taken from Portishead's track "Machine Gun." The Weeknd wrote a letter to the producers of Portishead to tell them his Kiss Land album was inspired by the British trip hop group. He told Complex magazine: "I find a sound and run with it. It varies from Stevie Nicks to Genesis and Phil Collins. The production is very cinematic for me, and R&B was never cinematic like that."

    Portishead's Geoff Barrow was unhappy with the R&B lothario despite The Weeknd's bigging up of the band. Barrow said that he'd refused an approach from the Toronto crooner to sample the track, but the Canadian went ahead and used it regardless of clearance. "When someone asks to sample you and you refuse," he tweeted, "they should have the respect as a fellow artist to not use it."
  • The Anthony Mandler directed video for the song features Tesfaye as a part of a military regime exploring Japan's underbelly as well as his own broken hearted thoughts. We see the singer's fellow soldiers admiring the woman that the singer had his eye on the whole time.

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