He’s built a fiercely dedicated fanbase with the release of his acclaimed mixtapes over the past year, most notably 2011 fire starterHouse of Balloons.
Abel Tesfaye, the 22-year-old R&B prodigy, has been highly championed by hometown hero Drake, while remaining fairly mysterious and avoiding interviews, but that might change with his new deal. Tesfaye and his formerly independent XO collective have formed a new partnership with Republic that will be cemented with the November 13 release of Trilogy.That includes all three of his popular mixtapes — House of Balloons,Thursday and Echoes of Silence — mixed and mastered, with the addition of previously unreleased songs.
He first announced plans to reissue the mixtapes late last year, tweeting to fans on Christmas, “I can’t wait to re-release The Trilogy as a package, re-mastered for you to collect with bonus features…#2012.” “Wicked Games” is set to be the first Trilogy single available on iTunes, ahead of the project’s release date.
Back in May, during the Houston stop on his Club Paradise Tour, Drake told MTV News that he and the Weeknd, with their respective OVO and XO crews, were working out a potential deal. “As far as on paper, it’s all being worked out, but that’s not really what counts anyway. What counts to me is the fact that the affiliation is so known, and that’s all I really care about,” he said, adding, “I want to continue being involved in his career and vice versa and keep making music together, because you take songs like ’Crew Love’ and ’The Zone,’ that’s what people wait all night to hear,” he said.
No word yet on whether Drake had any input in the Weeknd’s new deal with Republic.