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On “Sidewalks,” Abel and Kendrick use sidewalks as a metaphor for their path from humble beginnings to fame and fortune.

Both The Weeknd and Kendrick grew up in less-than-ideal settings. Abel was born in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada, an area with one of the highest crime rates in Greater Toronto, while Kendrick grew up in Compton, California, one of the deadliest cities in the world.

Lyrics

[Intro: The Weeknd] Uh, uh, uh, uh-uh, uh, yeah, like

[Verse 1: The Weeknd] I ran out of tears when I was 18 So nobody made me but the main streets 'Cause too many people think they made me Well, if they really made me then replace me Homeless to Forbes List, these niggas bring no stress I feel like Moses, I feel like I'm chosen And if you ain't my nigga then your girl single to me I don't give a damn if a nigga said he knew me Grew up with no father so nobody ever "son" me My flow too sick, Kevin Costner couldn't touch me I know you wish that nobody ever love me I feel useless when I'm never making money Well, this the life we always fantasized Rich folk problem through a Queen Street nigga's eyes Every time you see me pulling up in Aventadors Just know we been grinding on them sidewalks

[Hook: The Weeknd] Sidewalks saved my life They don't ever lie Sidewalks saved my life They showed me all the signs


[Post-Hook: Daniel Wilson] They don't let me down But they lead me on And they don't let me down But they lead me on And they lead me on

[Verse 2: Kendrick Lamar] Say, say, say I come from murder one, brung late night melee Say, say, say We hung all summer, sprung mattress with bae bae Say, say, say Trippin' off Dyke, and my name strike with pay day Say, say, say Flippin' blue lightning, tightening, strapped with AK Say, say, say OG one, told me one, show me one, eight ways How to segue Pussy, power, profit and headache I reminisce my life innocence or life innocent Or life intimate, with fame Light limo tint with light women, dark women in it Awe Kenny, good game She wanna hang with a Starboy The sun and the moon and star, boy Astronomer, anonymous I line 'em up, we grind 'em up, there's nine of us And five of us have probably fucked She mollied up, I tallied up all the parts, boy Twenty legs, arms, head (Head) Head, head, and more head (Head) Oh God, bless the dead (Yah) I'm livin' life, high off life I wear my chokes off to bed I'm the greatest nigga, why you scared to say it? I wanna rock, I wanna rock I wanna cop more land, I never stop I wanna quick advance on a bill if it ain't one Break everything, I'm a hustler, came from

[Hook: The Weeknd] Sidewalks saved my life They don't ever lie Sidewalks saved my life They showed me all the signs

[Post-Hook: Daniel Wilson] They don't let me down But they lead me on And they don't let me down But they lead me on And they lead me on

Annotations

He’s a genius. He is really a genius. […] I don’t know exactly what time of day but he came in the afternoon and left late at night. He did it there on the spot. He’d walk around. He played it over and over again. I played him songs, the Starboy theme of course which he incorporated into his verse. And he would just walk around, you know, we had food. He’s writing his verse in his head. He’d go into his phone, look at it a few, and put it back in, start walking around. At one point he went into the studio booth and I closed the door and I can hear him yelling his verse in his head. He was just really committing it. You could tell he was putting his all into it. It wasn’t just a random Kendrick Lamar verse, it was something special. Because, again, you know, I don’t like to say this all the time, but, as well, we’ve known each other for a while, and it’s crazy how we just started connecting on this record.

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