You Used To Call Me On My Cellphone…
Where is the line drawn when a music video becomes more than a video? Madonna’s “Like A Prayer” drew ire from the Catholic Church, while Pearl Jam’s “Jeremy” depicted the violent and sad turn bullying can take. And now, we have Drake’s new hit single “Hotline Bling”. [embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uxpDa-c-4Mc[/embedyt]
While the other music videos mentioned were made famous for their negative images and messages portrayed, “Hotline Bling” became an online sensation overnight. Knowing the internet, within 24 hours memes were being generated of Drake’s “dance moves” with photoshopped objects. He wielded lightsabers while deflecting poorly aimed shots from clones. He won Wii Tennis and Bowling with perfect games as he danced alongside Carlton from the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
In addition to all of these amazing photoshopped feats, this video inspired many parodies: for example, when everyone’s favorite Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump showed off his dance moves as well. At the end of the day, the “Hotline Bling” music video has become a temporary cultural icon.
What also makes this video weirder, aside from the awkward dancing, is the fact that this song is very uncharacteristic of Drake’s style. “Hotline Bling” follows a story of an ex who has changed her whole look and is seemingly over Drake. This can be heard through the sadness in his voice and the monotonous beat in the background of the entire song that mirrors boring elevator music. It is a known fact that Drake is a very emotional man, so many were not surprised when this video was released. Through his songs Drake has attempted to portray a very ghetto persona, while everyone knows he was really a cast member on the Canadian teen drama Degrassi. At the end of the day, most of the internet has seen through Drake’s façade and once he released the “Hotline Bling” music video the entire internet attacked him.
Even though the video is insanely absurd, opening with a telemarketer office with only attractive women, the message Drake is trying to send through his abstract and silly dance moves is that he wants more men to dance. In and interview with EW the director of the video was asked about Drake’s dance moves he responded that “Everyone’s trying to be too cool, everyone’s trying to be too hard, and they started to associate it with being soft, which is completely the opposite of what it is. It’s just one of those things that people are afraid to do in public, which is again, why when a man goes out when he’s having fun, and they’re like, “Oh, you guys are having fun?” He doesn’t care about everyone’s opinion. It’s all positive things that come from having a good time,” (EW). Seeing the video from this standpoint allows everything to be made a bit clearer. Drake’s dance moves are weird, plain and simple. From his weird “basketball dribble” to the “tennis racket swing”, it just looks like Drake is trying to prank us, while in reality he isn’t.
Essentially Drake is trying to appeal to the men of this generation to dance. I know it sounds completely insane, but in my opinion too men need to dance a bit more. For guys you either just stand around like Frankenstein on the dance floor or you go crazy and dance, thus usually drawing attention. Just like the famed Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, I believe that the “Hotline Bling” music video is really Drake’s messages to young men that they should start dancing too. With his weird and awkward unchoreographed dance moves, Drake tries to show his fans that dancing doesn’t have to be perfect; rather, as long as you are having a good time with what you’re doing, then you are doing something right.
Image via Wikimedia.