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The Weeknd Blasted By Portishead For Unapproved ‘Machine Gun’ Sample

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Abel Tesfaye of The Weeknd. (Provided photo)

Abel Tesfaye of The Weeknd. (Provided photo)

Scott T. Sterling
Scott T. Sterling Scott is the rock associate producer for Radio.com....
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Just moments after Pitchfork tweeted out a link to the video for “Belong to the World,” the latest single from Canadian alt-R&B act the Weeknd (AKA Abel Tesfaye), Portishead’s Geoff Barrow lashed out at the site and the artist, calling the track “a load of bollox.”

“When someone asks to sample you and you refuse they should have the respect as a fellow artist to not use it,” Barrow tweeted about “Belong to the World,” which liberally samples the Portishead song “Machine Gun,” from the band’s 2008 studio album, Third.

“We usually give sample clearance to tunes we like,” he continued. “It’s got f*** all to do with money! As most of them are hip-hop artist(s) that are skint.”

“Feels like I’m being used to promote the track now…I’ll shut up now,” Barrow added via Twitter, before retweeting a pair of insults from a fan of the Weeknd and finally tweeting out, “enough of this total bulls***. Something real,” adding a link to Doctors Without Borders and Access to the Danger Zone, a documentary narrated by Daniel Day-Lewis that “provides a harrowing look at the challenges of delivering humanitarian aid in armed conflicts.”

“Belong to the World” is taken from Kiss Land, the forthcoming official debut album from the Weeknd, who gained notoriety with a series of free 2011 mixtapes, House of Balloons, Thursday and Echoes of Silence, which were collected on the 2012 compilation release Trilogy.

According to a recent interview with Complex, the entirety of The Weeknd’s upcoming album Kiss Land is inspired by Portishead, with Tesfaye telling the publication, “yeah, that was the inspiration behind that,” when asked about the “Machine Gun” sample on “Belong to the World.”

“I wrote a letter to the producers of Portishead and let them know this album is inspired by them,” he added.

As of press time, Tesfaye had not responded to Barrow’s comments.

An official release date for Kiss Land has yet to be announced, although there are indications that it could be available as soon as August 27.

The video for “Belong to the World”:

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