Last month, the Weeknd graced the cover of Rolling Stone, and, among other things, told the publication that he was going to let his Michael Jackson flag fly on his next single and that, “If it works, it’s going to be huge.” He added, in true Weeknd fashion, that “It’s like that load that you’re trying to hold in — I’m just waiting for the money shot.” Consider the money shot, then, because this is Tesfaye’s most apparent and successful grab at MJ status yet.
Should anyone have ever doubted Jackson’s influence on Tesfaye, or whether or not there were any similarities in the music of the two, that should be put to rest once the chorus of “In The Night” kicks in. That’s saying nothing of the video, which was directed by BRTHR and stars model (and girlfriend to Tesfaye) Bella Hadid, and finds Tesfaye at Hadid’s place of employment, a nightclub, which is sieged by nondescript gangsters who are later taken care of pretty squarely. Though it’s sorely lacking a dance break, the plot of the video might as well be that of “Smooth Criminal” — it’s even got the graininess and saturated colors to match.
Watch the video below, but be warned: regardless of Tesfaye’s love for the King, this video is a lot more explicitly gory than anything MJ would have ever released.