Selena or Bella? A track-by-track guide to fan theories about the Weeknd's new EP

Wendy Geller
Writer, Yahoo Entertainment

Watch out, Taylor Swift. There might be an artist out there who has more-intense fans than you do! That seems to be the case this Friday (March 30) for Abel Tesfaye, aka the Weeknd, who just dropped a new six-song EP, My Dear Melancholy, and consequently sent social media into a frenzy dissecting what/who inspired the lyrics for each tune.

That’s not too surprising, considering that the singer has two particularly high-profile breakups on his current résumé: Selena Gomez (with whom he split last fall) and Bella Hadid (who was history in fall 2016). Fans appear bent on assigning his new songs — which fall largely into the, well, melancholy category — to one ex or the other.

The Weeknd and Selena Gomez (Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images)

Let’s take a look, track by track, at what the masses are surmising.

1. “Call Out My Name”: This may be the most bizarre theory of all, with fans speculating that the singer might have planned to give Gomez one of his kidneys when she required a transplant last year. They cite the line “I almost cut a piece of myself for your life.”

2. “Try Me”: Whose heart will this song — which seems to be about his wanting to reunite with “the best I ever had” — pierce more? Gomez’s or Hadid’s? The Twitter jury is out.

3. “Wasted Times”: Fans seem to think this song references both exes, specifically the Weeknd’s perceived regrets about moving from Hadid to Gomez (“Wasted times I spent with someone else / She wasn’t even half of you”).

4. “I Was Never There”: No clear consensus on this track, but the heartrending tune clearly hits a note that has some fans blaming Gomez for all the pain (“What makes a grown man wanna cry? / What makes him wanna take his life?”).

5. “Hurt You”: This song also has particularly troubling lyrics, including another reference to suicidal thoughts: “All the nights you thought about taking your life.” Fans seem to think it points toward Gomez, which is disturbing in and of itself. 

6. “Privilege”: Given that this song seems to be about a girl with a rich upbringing, it wasn’t too hard to point this one toward Hadid, the daughter of a Beverly Hills real estate developer.

Meanwhile, as listeners debate the clues rippling through his EP, the Weeknd is getting ready for his headlining set next month at Coachella 2018, where he’ll be sharing the bill with Beyoncé and Eminem. His last release was 2016’s Starboy.

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