As a hip-hop purist, the recent rise in popularity of Toronto’s Nice Guy of rap, Drake, really gave me the shits. Drake doesn’t share the same fundamentals of being a rapper that some of my favorites, A Tribe Called Quest, MF DOOM, and Big L, all possess. He’s missing a certain raw edge, a charm that was brought on and envisioned by a pride in street culture.
Drake doesn’t really possess this, and hearing Drake being called a rapper used to make me pretty mad, I guess. But now, I think even I’ve been charmed by the artist with the release of his new track, “Hotline Bling.” It’s a smooth, sexy song about being called up for booty calls and missing the person who called you up for said booty calls.
Drake’s lost that person in his life, but has managed to turn that heartache into something sensual, something that is fast becoming one of the biggest songs of the year, and its accompanying video clip has become the subject of numerous light-hearted parodies.
This song’s really gripped me; I definitely get down with it. Thinking about it right now, it’s actually made me want to check out the rest of Drake’s catalogue just to see if maybe, just maybe, I was wrong about judging Drake so ruthlessly and not giving him a chance to step up next to my artists of choice who I believed carried that raw edge that this man from Toronto lacked.
Even the more hip-hop puritan stylings of Kendrick Lamar and Ty Dollar Sign haven’t drawn me in the way “Hotline Bling” has, and this alone has been enough to change my perception on the man people love so much, but that I previously wouldn’t give any time of day to.
Who cares about my opinion anyway, I just think it’s a pretty good song.