Hotline Bling is a song by Canadian rapper Drake. It was digitally released as a single on July 31, 2015. Produced by frequent collaborator nineteen85, the songs instrumental heavily samples R&B singer Timmy Thomas 1972 song Why Cant We Live Together. Upon release, it received various comparisons to Cha Cha by American rapper D.R.A.M., which Drake had expressed interest in remixing, with Rap-Up calling it a quasi-cover of D.R.A.M.s song. Drake first played the song along with Charged Up, and Right Hand on OVO Sound Radio Episode 2, a program on Apple Music, on July 26, 2015. The song has been widely covered by a variety of different artists, including British recording artists Disclosure and Sam Smith together in the BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge in the United Kingdom.
Hotline Bling has reached number two on the US Billboard Hot 100, becoming Drakes first top-10 single in two years, as well becoming his highest-charting single as a lead artist (tied with Best I Ever Had). The songs music video was released on October 19, 2015 via Apple Music, and on October 26, it was released on Vevo.
On October 4, 2015, Drake announced a music video for the track via his Instagram account. The Director X-directed video was released on October 19, 2015 via Apple Music and was inspired by the work of American artist James Turrell. X has stated that he hopes that the video inspires men to dance more. The video features Dominican model Damaris Lopez who appears at the beginning of the video. The video received positive reviews by critics. Rap-Up wrote that Drake shows just how suave he can be with his moves in this video. Evan Minsker of Pitchfork called it a pretty minimal clip. The video, which has inspired many parodies, helped the song rise in chart position according to NME. The video was also VH1s The 20 final number one music video before the shows cancellation.
Leor Galil of the Chicago Reader praised Drakes performance in Hotline Bling, stating that he sounds hurt, neglected, and confused even while hes admonishing his ex, and that its hard to imagine anyone else pulling off this kind of song with the same verve. Jayson Greene of Pitchfork selected Hotline Bling as the Best New Track of the day, praising its muted and intimate beat and declaring it a halting, aching song about a man a little too concerned for a woman that could be rewrite of Roxanne by the The Police. Brad Wete of NPR hailed the song as both remarkably catchy and damp with boo-hoo reflection, writing that musically, it twinkles with bright organ riffs and boasts a bass line fit to thump in clubs while its lyrics feature Drake deeply wondering aloud, channeling the jealous ex in all of us. Rhian Daly of NME described the tracks simple and minimal production as secondary to Drakes emotions. Rolling Stone ranked Hotline Bling at number 3 on its year-end list to find the 50 best songs of 2015. Billboard ranked Hotline Bling at number 2 on its year-end critics poll for 2015: In a trio of freebies Drake plopped on SoundCloud in July, Hotline Bling was the only non-diss track. Backed by a tropical, groovy melody, Hotline Bling finds Aubrey Graham [Drakes birth name] giving a rap a hard pass and singing his heart out for some late-night loving through the phone. The record caught some drama, initially being referred to as a remix to Virginia rapper D.R.A.M.s Cha Cha. Still, the Toronto MVP got his dance on for the uber-viral video parodied by everyone from presidential candidate Donald Trump to Toronto Councillor Norm Kelly.
Hotline Bling also received criticism for the perceived sexist and controlling attitude expressed by the male narrator toward his female ex in its lyrics. Carol H. Hood of The Frisky described the song as an incredibly salty and self-centered rant about an ex having the courage to move on. Allyson Shiffman of Bullett took issue with the super sexist lyrics, explaining that while [the song is] packaged as a good old fashioned Why doesnt bae like me anymore? Drake tune, what it is really saying is, You used to wanna bone me all the time and now that Ive left the 6, youve gotten a life of your own and Im not okay with that. Tahirah Hairston of Fusion wrote that, in the song, Drake is distraught that his ex has moved on, but because he opts for condescendingly slut-shaming her and dictating where she does and doesnt belong, it comes off so petty that you forget his feelings are hurt. Antonio Garcia, writing for College City News, characterized the song as sex shaming, highlighting what he saw as the convenient double standard that she can get nasty with Drake, but the moment she stops blinging his hotline shes no longer a good girl.
Hotline Bling entered the US Billboard Hot 100 chart dated August 22, 2015 at number 66. Its chart debut was fueled primarily by digital download sales, with 41,000 copies sold in its first week. The song soon became Drakes first top 10 in two years when the song reached number nine. It has since peaked at number two on the chart dated October 24, 2015, tying as his highest-charting single as a lead act with Best I Ever Had which reached number two in 2009. The song has peaked at number two for five non-consecutive weeks, behind both The Hills by The Weeknd and Hello by Adele. As of November 2015, the song has sold 1,335,000 copies in the United States.
In the United Kingdom, Hotline Bling peaked at number three on the UK Singles Chart, becoming Drakes highest-charting song in Britain as a lead artist. The song also peaked at the top of the UK R&B Chart. On November 27, 2015, Hotline Bling received gold certification by the British Phonographic Industry.
On August 5, 2012, producer Noah 40 Shebib posted the song Enough Said by the late singer Aaliyah featuring Drizzy. Aailayahs voice is supported by40s signature dark soundscapes.
Drake is reportedly executive producer of an posthumous Aaliyah album. There is a great deal of debate as to whether an entire album is planned and whether this is appropriate, especially without the input of long-time Aaliyah collaborators Timbaland and Missy Elliott. Drake is known for a deep fascination with Aaliyah, which some commentators claim borders of macabre. Aailayah died in a plane crash in August 2001 at the height of her R&B fame.
The logo for Enough Said features the logo of both Drake's October Very Own and Blackground Records, whose first signee was Aaliyah.
Timbaland, a long time collaborator with Aaliyah, who is also signed by Blackground Records, told Power 105s The Breakfast Club, I know they trying to drop some Aaliyah records, but if [Drake] do it, it should be with me and him, and Missy [Elliott]. I dont know whats going on. The proper way to do that would be for me, him, and Missy to be all on the record. For it to be on his record, that would not be right.
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