I feel conflicted featuring this track for the very same reasons that also motivate me to write about it. First, I am way out of my comfort zone, for (with very very very few exceptions) R&B is definitely not my thing. Second, I have certain ideological issues with the performer of the original track and her latest release, which make me reluctant to take part in the monstrous hype around her persona. The fact that in spite of the above I felt inspired to write a review bears some significance, as it is usually hard for me to evoke this type of inspiration.
In his version Abel Tesfaye, a.k.a. The Weeknd, is dong the song a huge favor in two key aspects: length - shorter and more straight to the point; and moderation. Moreover, the track sounds uncannily natural for The Weeknd. I asked myself how could a remix sound so much as an original track, then I heard Beyonce's version a few times and realized that in its essence this is a Tesfaye song. Obviously any form of appropriation is out of the question. However alternative R&B figure The Weeknd, has been gaining huge popularity redefining the genre ever since he started anonymously uploading his first tracks on Youtube in the late 2010. Mr. and Mrs. Z on the other hand have proven to be more than able to ride the current tendency wave, so it is not that hard to imagine they might have had a certain inspirational push by the Canadian singer in terms of sound (maybe even subject matter).
Whether this has been the actual case or not is just a speculation, but in reality The Weekend's remix works perfectly. Adding his (more) explicit lyrics and some percocet to Beyonce's liquor, Tesfaye manages to make the track his very own simpler, darker, filthier brain child.