Drake paints a detailed picture on "Hotline Bling," one of the biggest hits yet by hip-hop's biggest star. His (or, you know, somebody's) lyrics work in clever contrasts--a woman wearing less, going out more--và succinct descriptions, elaborating on a former flame embracing a life of hedonism, dance-floor champagne &, uh-oh, who knows what else. Drake knows. It's sex stuff.

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"Hotline Bling" is Drake at the height of his Drake-ness, which means it's catchy, immediate & convincing. I keep finding myself coming up with ways khổng lồ make its lyrics about my mèo, which is a good sign that it's become as lodged in my brain as the shrapnel in Tony Stark's heart. The video's infinitely meme'd khiêu vũ is gloriously fearless. It's probably the best song khổng lồ make it on the radio this year, an unexpected triumph from the first musician of 2015 khổng lồ go platinum.


But peak Drake also means chauvinism cloaked as vulnerability, manipulation masquerading as concern. Despite the layers of his lyrical portrait, it's not clear Drake actually understands the situation he's in. It's right there in the hook: "You used to lớn hotline me on my cell phone/Late night when you need my love." Nobody calls that late just for affection--those, uh, were for something else. But the word "love" makes it seem lượt thích Drake was interested in more than a friends-with-benefits situation--are those still a thing, '90s babies?--and when he "left the city," he thought his unrequited lady would wait around for hyên ổn. Surprise: she didn't!


"Everybody toàn thân knows và I feel left out/Girl you got me down, you got me stressed out," he sings in the first verse, và it's where he's the most openly, painfully honest about his hurt feelings. This is Drake's rap superpower, the admission of a beating heart, but here it's the mistake so-called nice guys tend lớn make: conflating their bummer narcissism with anyone else caring, much less caring about anyone else.


And Drake's former fling doesn't care: she's out in the thành phố he left behind, drinking, nhảy, making new friends. How he knows this is left ambiguous--let's be charitable & assume he's following her on Instagram và not in real life, "The Canyons"-style, with a private detective sầu & a phone tap. All he can see is what she's willing to lớn share: what's really bothering hyên is left to lớn his imagination. "All I vì is wonder," he sings, before envisioning his "good girl" "gettin' nasty" with someone else.


Drake's gross/boring virgin/whore complex has been thoroughly documented, but in short, he wants the same thing Weezer's Rivers Cuomo did circa "The Blue Album": "I want a girl who will laugh for no one else/when I'm away she puts her makeup on the shelf." Control. Judgement. In "Hotline Bling," Drake's just another insecure dork who thinks a living, breathing, desiring woman is obliged to lớn his puppeteering.

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In a way, though, "Hotline Bling" plays lượt thích a response khổng lồ Carly Rae Jepsen's "Emotion": a năm ngoái song in which a woman asserts herself over a distant ex-ish lover, relishing in his potential torment rather than easing it with her broken heart. "Drink tequila for me, babe," she urges, and she's still calling hyên ổn babe, still leaving the door cracked on all this emotion, all the feelings that might come rushing back to them both. Maybe it's not over, even though it is: Jepsen wants somebody toàn thân to lớn know what he's missing out on, & suffer for it.


That's Drake in "Hotline Bling": suffering, sad và mean. Drink tequila for her, dude, & try lớn get over it.


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