The Weeknd, aka Abel Tesfaye, doesn’t grant many interviews. He tells Rolling Stone that it’s because he never graduated high school and still feels intimidated by those he perceives to be more educated. But this is Rolling Stone. And he’s had a breakthrough year. And how could you turn down the opportunity?

The interview is revealing and insightful. Abel is an undeniable talent. He is ambitious and he won’t apologise for wanting more, wanting to be a legend, wanting to be the best. Basically what Kanye wants, but Abel’s message goes down a lot easier. Abel also talks about the lifestyle. He used drugs heavily for a couple of “hazy” years. He claims to not have had to “detox” but “I was addicted in the sense of 'F--k, I don't want to spend this day without getting high.'" Though he credits his mother with all the good parts of himself, he admits that there was a time when he didn’t speak to her for a year and was homeless and couch-surfing. If you’re familiar with the music, none of this is surprising. If, like me, you work and live in Toronto, it’s not surprising either. We’ve all heard the stories. There were a lot of messes left behind. Maybe there still are.

Why is it then that when Miley smokes a joint, it’s everything that’s wrong in the world and she’s the amalgamation of all evil but with The Weeknd, well, no one seems all that bothered? No doubt, Miley’s not perfect. But, really, Miley hasn’t gone “hazy” for two years either. “Hazy”, by the way, in this case, Abel’s case, is an understatement. I mean there’s a reason why a lot of people think I Can’t Feel My Face is actually about drugs and not about a woman. With The Weeknd though, it’s almost celebrated. With The Weeknd, is it that we’re all willing to give him an artist’s pass because he’s working out his (serious) problems through creativity?

Click here to read the full article at Rolling Stone.