GQ nabbed two of the music industry’s most important players for its February ‘Sound & Style’ issue. Say hello to The Weeknd and Chance the Rapper, as they talk relationships, groupie love, the Trump presidency, whether or not grabbing a p*ussy is even possible, and Kanye West.
The Weeknd has a lot to say about other artists suddenly growing out their hair, but he doesn’t name any names, while Chance makes it clear he’s never wanted to be like Yeezy personality-wise – because he likes to come across as enjoyable. Check out some of their best quotes below.
Chance the Rapper on Kanye’s personality:
“I don’t think I ever wanted to be like Kanye in personality,” Chance the Rapper tells GQ’s Mark Anthony Green of his musical idol, Kanye West. “… I think I definitely want to, have always wanted to, have his boldness or assurance in myself. But I’ve definitely seen Kanye do things where I was like, ‘I’d never do that’ I’ve always been able to defend Kanye… Like when he went onstage with Taylor, I was like…well…Beyoncé kind of deserved that. I’m rationalizing everything that he does, but I can’t say that in the same position I would do the same things… I always wanted to be more a person that people enjoy. Somebody that will make you laugh. I’m talking about just my personality, not necessarily how my music sounds. Because I believe I’m a disrupter like Kanye in a lot of ways.”
Chance on the stigma surrounding rappers:
When Chance was younger, he remembers his dad would introduce him to people and they would ask, “’What’re you going to be when you grow up?’…And I remember they asked me, and I said a rapper. And my dad laughed it off, like, ‘No he doesn’t…’ You know? And I remember that shit used to bother the fuck out of me,” Chance say, “because I thought Kanye West was the smartest man in the world. The best poet in the world. The freshest-dressed in the world. That’s what a rapper was to me, and I wanted everybody to feel that way about the word ‘rapper.’ And ‘rapper,’ to me, is pretty much synonymous with the word ‘black.’ It’s a stigma.”
He also adds, “I hate that when you introduce yourself, and you’re a rapper, sometimes you gotta say, ‘I’m a musician.’ Or, ‘I’m an artist’…I’m a rapper! You should be able to say that shit and, like make someone scared in a good way. Like, ‘Oh shit, you might know the president!’ It should feel that way.”
The Weeknd on why he cut his hair:
“I couldn’t walk around without seeing the fuckin’ Weeknd hair. That’s what I called it,” Abel Tesfaye––also known as The Weeknd––tells GQ’s Devin Friedman of his initial choice to cut his hair (despite claiming he’d never cut it). “New artists, artists that have been around forever––I’m not going to say any names––but they were fuckin’ growing their hair.” Abel cut his hair when he finished his latest album Starboy. It had, he said, become his identity. “I worked really hard on this album,” he says. “And I felt like I need to relieve a lot of stress. [Cutting off my hair] feels good, ‘cause I get to blend in. If I want to go to a club, I can just go and I’m not there. I can go to a restaurant and I’m not there. I look like everybody else, which is boring, but maybe I just want to look like everybody else for a bit.”
The Weeknd on his own sex appeal:
Despite his sexually charged songs, Abel challenges the idea that as a pop-star he is being constantly propositioned by women. “I don’t think that’s real,” he says. “Listen, I’m not walkin’ around like fuckin’ Idris Elba, know what I mean? …I’m not gonna walk into the club and be like, ‘Oh shit I’m the sexiest guy in here.’ The reason why they want to fuck with me is because of what I do [in the studio]. So I’d rather just focus on doing that.”
The Weeknd on marriage:
“I feel like I’m the kind of guy that would have kids before getting married,” he says. “The first thing would be kids. Marriage is scary to me, man.”
The Weeknd on Donald Trump sexually assaulting women:
When the conversation comes back around to the idea of fame giving people a sense of sexual entitlement––take Donald Trump’s When you’re a star, they let you do it––Abel says point-blank, “I don’t know anybody that would do that. I now a lot of people in the industry, and I don’t know anybody. Like, a random girl that you just spoke to? No. I mean…No. How do you even grab a pussy? Like, is it even grabbable?” He shakes his head. “America, man. They never fail you.”