Oh Drake, Drake, Drake. I used to dream of calling you from my cell phone because I knew I would find a sweet, caring Canadian pussycat who cares about my accomplishments, hopes, dreams and fears on the other end. Now if I had your cell phone number I wouldn’t call it, because I know you only want one thing, thanks to the super sexist lyrics of “Hotline Bling.”
The horrific and meme-worthy dance moves showcased in the unthreateningly lit music video may suggest otherwise, but “Hotline Bling” is as degrading as many of the other hip hop and rap tunes that manage to provoke and offend. Only difference is this one is sung by Drake wearing a turtleneck, so it managed to slipped by without any harshly worded tweets by Lena Dunham. Not today, wheelchair Jimmy. Not today.
While it’s packaged as a good old fashioned “Why doesn’t bae like me anymore?” Drake tune, what Drake’s latest anthem is really saying is, “You used to wanna bone me all the time and now that I’ve left the 6, you’ve gotten a life of your own and I’m not okay with that.”
I’m not the first one to discover that this tune is problematic. A women by the name of Javetta Laster wrote a pretty accurate feminist translation of the song on Facebook a couple weeks ago. This last chunk, which translates the bridge from “This days, all I do is / wonder if you’re bendin’ over backwards for someone else,” really kills it.
These days, all I do is wonder if you are in a consensual relationship with someone who is still here in the city where I left you. I wonder if you all are partaking in herbs and having intimate life discussions taking turns rolling each other blunts. Doing things with other consenting partners that you and your body enjoy. You don’t need nobody else because I left town and you’ve found out you really don’t need nobody else after I left you alone and now you’re independent? You used to stay at home and be someone I saw fitting into the patriarchal expectations of women to be infantilized good “girls” which is some bizarre father/daughter husband/wife dynamic left over from women being considered adult children & property. You should just be yourself, meaning the you I remember you as when I left you in this city by yourself even though I’m not here anymore, you should always remain that person. Right now, it seems as if you are someone else, like maybe you are your actual self and I’m not used to that.
So while you’re reposting all your stupid memes of Drake playing tennis and singing along to “Hotline Bling” in da klub or whatever it is kids do these days, remember: this song has no chill when it comes to a woman’s independence.
I’ll leave you with the following shade, as thrown by artist James Turrell, whose light installations inspired the music video that launched a thousand memes:
“While I am truly flattered to learn that Drake f*cks with me, I nevertheless wish to make clear that neither I nor any of my woes was involved in any way in the making of the Hotline Bling video.”