Drake has released the much anticipated music video for his smash hit single “Hotline Bling”. The colorful video shows the Canadian rapper cutting loose in a sleek, vibrant and promiscuous mise en scene. Directed by the notorious ‘Director X’ - “Hotline Bling” puts Drake on a dancing promenade that is endearing to watch. The phenomenal set design coupled with a strong use of perspective give this video a simple, yet futuristic vibe.
Director X references installation artist James Turrell’s technique of lighting, and the use of space for “Hotline Bling”. The music video sets are reminiscent of Turrell’s exhibitions “Wide Out” (1998) and “Bridget’s Bardo” (2009) - immersive monolithic spaces with monochromatic tones. There is certainly a resemblance between the imagined worlds of Director X and Turrell - though no official collaboration has been confirmed. The use of light in both tends to question the audience on the reality of our perceptions. Drake is definitely way out of reality and into a whole new dimension.
“My work has no object, no image and no focus. With no object, no image and no focus, what are you looking at? You are looking at you looking. What is important to me is to create an experience of wordless thought.” - James Turrell
The "Hotline Bling" video has been compared to Sean Paul’s “I’m Still In Love With You” - drawing parallels to its dance choreography, vibrant and striking color palette, and angular set design.
“Hotline Bling” samples Timmy Thomas’s career defining hit from 1972 - “Why Can’t We Live Together”. The meanderingly smooth and tropical single peaked at #3 on the Billboard pop charts in 1973 becoming a major success for Timmy Thomas. The sampled track continues to seduce listeners by turning “Hotline Bling” into Drake’s triumphant return to the top - being his first Top 10 single in over two years.
Drake remarked on his Instagram account: “I have never had a billboard number one. If I get my first number one during the month of October it will be the biggest moment of my career to date (in my mind) and if you are looking for me on that particular evening I will be passed out in the water slide that connects to our pool.”
Authored By: Brenda Céspedes, Sandy Ismail, and Brenda Salazar