At 9:05 PM on October 19, 2015, the 6 God blessed us with his highly anticipated “Hotline Bling” music video, and it did not disappoint. Coming off the success of his collab album with Future, What a Time to be Alive (on a side note, if you haven’t played the “Jumpman” inspired online game, I highly recommend it), Drake’s been riding this good energy to the top of the charts.
Already viral, Drake’s superior dancing skills will forever be immortalized in a multitude of memes and gifs. Director X, the video’s director who previously worked with Drake to direct videos for “HYFR,” “Started from the Bottom,” and “Worst Behavior” in 2014. Although people have noticed that the video’s got a similar vibe to James Turrell’s art, Director X insists that, while he’s a fan of the artist, the style is his own work. There are visual similarities to Sean Paul’s “I’m Still in Love with You” and X, who’s worked with Sean Paul, even admits that Drake doing the cha-cha was a throwback to the “Gimme The Light” video, which X directed in 2000. X went on to describe dancing as an integral part of his culture and how his work reflects this notion.
Drake’s dancing is an unexpected breath of fresh air, and probably what makes this video so memorable. The open, minimalistic setting serves as a perfect backdrop to showcase his moves because it allows him to move freely while remaining the primary focus. Each setting’s architectural symmetry creates a compelling picture while color-changing neon lights add a subtle twist to the scheme without it being too in your face. Drake certainly seems like he’s into it, or maybe he just loves grooving to his own hit song.
The track is on its way to becoming Drake’s first number one single (it currently lies at #2 behind the Weeknd’s “The Hills”) and he has expressed via Instagram that he’s proud to be representing Toronto. Although many people have noted “Hotline Bling’s” similarity to D.R.A.M.’s single “Cha Cha” (released in late 2014). Both songs sample island riddim beats, and while there’s been speculation that Drake himself vaguely alluded to using “Cha Cha” as inspiration for “Hotline Bling,” describing his process as taking something he likes and putting his own spin on it, nothing has been officially confirmed. D.R.A.M. has also commented on the similarity of the two records saying that while he feels that he was “jacked,” he’s just happy that his sound is gaining mainstream popularity.
In any case, this video is probably the last thing we’ll see from Drake until he drops Views from the 6. No matter what comes next, we’re still rooting for you, Aubrey.