Here's What The Weeknd's Heartless Really Means

Watching the video for The Weeknd's "Heartless," it's hard not to compare it to the 1998 movie version of Hunter S. Thompson' trippy 1970's tale Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. From the oversized sunglasses worn by The Weeknd, the overabundance of drugs and drug use, the fish eye lens filming, the chain smoking, and most importantly the creepy smile at the end of the video — it's clearly an homage or at the very least, it was inspired by the film starring Johnny Depp and Benecio del Toro.

Much like the film, the video features The Weeknd, along with the song's co-writer and co-producer Metro Boomer (clearly inspired by the main characters of the 1971 novel), on a drug-fueled romp through the Vegas strip. The lyrics only seem to confirm the story, "Tryna find the one that can fix me / I've been dodging death in the six-speed / Amphetamine got my stummy feeling sickly / Yeah, I want it all now."

While the video is clearly a tribute to the movie, the inspiration for the lyrics and the meaning behind them has the internet theorizing everything from the singer's heartbreak over his break up with Selena Gomez to his subsequent on-again, off-again relationship with Bella Hadid, but perhaps it's not quite as personal as all that. What if it's just a song about rebound fun? Or what if it was simply inspired by the book and the movie and the Hollywood lifestyle in general?

Fans think the lyrics reference The Weeknd going back to his playboy lifestyle

Toward the end of the song, Elle notes that the lyrics, "You just came back in my life / You never gave up on me (Why don't you?) / I'll never know what you see (Why won't you?) / I don't do well when alone (Oh yeah) / You hear it clear in my tone," seem to reference Bella Hadid coming back into The Weeknd's life after his relationship with Selena Gomez ended in 2018.

Cosmopolitan, meanwhile, has deduced the two lines about marriage in "Heartless," "Tryna be a better man, but I'm heartless / Never be a weddin' plan for the heartless," could be in reference to rumors that Hadid and The Weeknd were talking about getting married prior to their relationship ending once more, just three months before the song's official release.

Could The Weeknd be referencing Thompson?

While these theories about The Weeknd's personal life certainly seem plausible, with so much inspiration deriving from the movie based on Hunter S. Thompson's book, it could also simply be a reference to the famous journalist who had a notoriously heartless style of writing, and overall view on life. A known partier, with fans that still seem to worship his renegade lifestyle, Thompson was an icon, but he was also, as his son wrote years later, "dysfunctional," per The Guardian. A man who struggled with mental health issues, and maintaining intimate personal relationships.

Whether The Weeknd simply identifies with Thomspon, is simply in awe of the freedom that Thompson represents amidst a Hollywood lifestyle that he seems to have disdain for, or if he is simply writing a rebound anthem, there's a lot to dissect in "Heartless," and The Weeknd is, as with most of his art, leaving it up for interpretation.