"Escape From L.A." is a brooding R&B cut where The Weekend addresses the infidelities of both him and his lover. He blames the temptation to stray on the fast-and-loose Los Angeles environment and concludes he needs to "escape" from the city to keep control of his life.
The song gets its title from John Carpenter's 1990s post-apocalyptic action film of the same name. The Weeknd is a movie buff, and he references several other films from the same era throughout the rest of the track, including in verse two Speed and Constantine.
The Weeknd wrote and produced the song with his long-term collaborator, Illangelo, and Atlanta-based producer Metro Boomin. The three also crafted "Heartless" together.
The TV show Cheers was nearly canceled after its first season, but the theme song, "Where Everybody Knows Your Name," was very popular. To satisfy viewer demand, the theme was made into a full song and released as a single.