To Geoff Barrow's disgust...
The Weeknd

The Weeknd has denied using elements of Portishead's music in new track 'Belong To The World'.

Sampling is an issue which provokes diverse responses, from beaming enthusiasts to cynical doubters. A few days ago, The Weeknd inadvertently re-ignited the issue when he placed the video for new track 'Belong To The World' online.

Seemingly borrowing sections of 'Machine Gun' by Portishead, the track brought a furious reaction from Geoff Barrow: "I think it’s 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."

Now The Weeknd has responded. In an interview with Complex (no doubt conducted before the row but coincidentally emerging this week) Abel Tesfaye described the song as a tribute to Portishead. "Yeah, that was the inspiration behind that" he said. "I wrote a letter to the producers of Portishead and let them know this album is inspired by them." 

Shortly after the interview hit the web, Geoff Barrow again tweeted to fans. Seemingly, the 'sample' in the track was a re-recorded version of a part from 'Machine Gun' - a technique which drew the Portishead producer's ire.

"Seems the Weeknd have said there is no sample used or enough likeness to Machine Gun to warrant any infringement....or credit.... Just so you know — I am laughing at this.. Also I learned very early on that there are very few people with any morals in this industry."

Stream both tracks below.

Get the best of Clash on your iPhone - download the app here


Join us on VERO

Join the Clash mailing list for up to the minute music, fashion and film news.

Follow Clash:

Read more about...