The Weeknd decided not to sign his $200 “autographed” vinyl sets

Autographed Trilogy compilation pushes definition of what it is to be autographed

In his latest effort in balancing catering to the drooling maws of fans that want to hear his music as presented through more expensive formats with keeping as much of his private identity out of the public domain as possible, PBR&B artist The Weeknd decided to leave obsessive-compulsive fans and Internet vinyl flippers feeling weak and very small by slapping a pre-printed signature on his newly released “autographed” vinyl sets – a conspiracy for which he will answer to no reporter ever.

Furthering his disposition to dropping things silently on the Internet and then letting them do their own thing, on March 11, The Weeknd announced via his Twitter account that pre-orders for the Trilogy compilation, which includes mixtapes House of Balloons, Thursday, and Echoes of Silence – all of which the artist also known by regular person name Abel Tesfaye dropped for free on the Internet anyway – would be available for $200, and the six-vinyl set would include “signed” and “individually hand-numbered” records.

The sets were released on March 26, and City Sound Inertia followed up with a report announcing the records were not in fact individually signed by Tesfaye, but instead printed with identical signatures on every copy.

Those expecting not to be screwed by the laws of grammar that only guaranteed the record set would be individually hand-numbered have expressed their discontent through otherwise satisfying vehicles such as City Sound Inertia’s comment section.

One such fan driven to this desperate length was a commenter identified only as “Johnson.”

“It sounds wonderful. But it was such a disappointment to see that the autograph is printed. I did feel ripped off,” Johnson said. “The website shouldn’t have advertised the autograph if it wasn’t really signed. how silly.”

How silly indeed.

Looking past the principle insult like all people with buyer’s remorse do, the injured party undoubtedly also wondered, “What am I reading here? The first name definitely says ‘Abel,’ but the last name could be anyone’s,” a concern that perhaps also led Weeknd worshippers to wonder if Tesfaye even knows who he is or if his identity issues will permeate further throughout his career.

The “autographs” are punctuated with an “XO” that might further fuel discussions between fans debating over whether Tesfaye is cheeky or just a sarcastic asshole. Written with what looks like the same marker as the autograph, the deeper authenticity-probing questions aimed at the enigma’s autograph are probably for naught, though; XO is the name of the set’s designer.


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About Tom Beedham

Tom Beedham is a Canadian writer and photographer whose work focuses on independent culture, experimental art, DIY communities, and their relationship to the mainstream. He has reported on a spectrum of creatives ranging from emerging acts to the definitive voices of cultural movements. He lives in Toronto, Ontario. He has contributed features to Exclaim!, NOW, A.Side (formerly AUX), Chart Attack, and VICE publications Noisey and THUMP, and has appeared as a correspondent on Daily VICE. Tom is also a co-organizer and curator of the inter-arts series Long Winter, for which he has overseen the publication of an online blog and print newspaper-style community publication, and, in collaboration with Lucy Satzewich, implemented harm reduction strategies for safer event spaces. From 2006-2012, he was Editor-in-Chief of Halton, ON -based youth magazine The Undercroft and served as an outreach worker for parent organization Peer Outreach Support Services and Education (POSSE) Project. He was also a DIY concert organizer in his hometown Georgetown, ON in the mid-2000s.

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