House of Balloons by The Weeknd

While The Weeknd is known now as one of the biggest pop stars in the world, he was introduced to the world faceless, nameless, and mysterious. The Weeknd’s debut mixtape House of Balloons was a surprise smash, and after being rocketed to the forefront of pop music by a Drake cosign, it became a catalyst for the brooding, edgy sound that defined R&B and hip-hop for years. On this episode of Critically Acclaimed, host Jake Ramirez and House of Balloons defender Emily Collinson discuss the long shadow of The Weeknd’s signature sound, the countless imitators House of Balloons spawned, and how our perceptions of the artist influences our understanding of the music.

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