At last spring’s Billboard Music Awards, the Weeknd celebrated the end of an era. “I’d like to thank God I don’t have to wear that red suit anymore,” he quipped, in reference to the bloody and bandaged persona he had embodied since late 2019. “The After Hours is done and the dawn is coming.” Now, the dawn has arrived.
The Weeknd’s new album Dawn FM has been out for a few hours now, and while fans are enjoying the music, one of the project’s lyrics also inspired some curiosity-driven phone calls. Towards the end of “Every Angel Is Terrifying,” The Weeknd says, “Call 1-800-444-4444 / That’s 1-800-444-4444 now to order ‘After Life.’” Naturally, fans were quick to make note of that number and give it a ring.
— brwn (@exoticbrwnspice) January 7, 2022
me taking a note of 1800 444 4444 pic.twitter.com/tRqkcwVoyO
— ? (@bradxo_) January 7, 2022
— dylan obrien’s gf turned 21 ? (@ivyangeIs) January 7, 2022
However, the number doesn’t lead to any Dawn FM Easter eggs, as The Weeknd has nothing to do with it. In fact, it’s already relatively well-known in its own right and has been for some time: The oldest existing mention of the number online appears to be from a 2003 forum post. Vice noted of the number in 2016, “Perhaps the easiest number you’ll ever dial, this MCI-controlled phone number is perhaps the most prominent example of an ‘automatic number announcement circuit,’ or ANAC number. These numbers, which are generally well-guarded by phone providers, are designed to repeat back to you the number you’re calling from.”
Indeed, when calling the number, a voice says, “Thank you for calling MCI. Our system indicates you are calling from [caller’s phone number]. If this is the number you are calling about, press 1. If not, please listen to the following two options. To enter the number you are calling about, press 2. If you do not have a telephone number currently in service and need to establish a new telephone number, press 3.”
So, if you call 1-800-444-4444 hoping for some sort of Weeknd-related goodie, you’ll come up empty. However, if you do not have a telephone number currently in service and need to establish a new telephone number (which may not be likely considering you’re able to call the number), then today’s your lucky day.
Listen to “Every Angel Is Terrifying” below.