Drake released “Hotline Bling” during his Beats 1 OVO Sound radio show at the conclusion of July; ever since then, the song has changed into a phenomenon. It instantly eclipsed the rapper’s Meek Mill diss track “Charged Up” (which arrived the same day), despite the many hoopla around the Drake-Meek beef. “Hotline Bling” recently climbed to Number Three within the Billboard Hot 100, that makes it Drake’s second-biggest pop hit as of yet. The track is surely an outlier from the rapper’s catalog, an odd blend of a classic soul sample — Timmy Thomas’s “Why Can’t We Live Together,” the first Seventies hits to employ a drum machine — a light Latin pulse plus the frenetic drums which may have a stranglehold on modern pop. But Drake’s lyrics are of your piece in reference to his past work, equal parts jealousy, bitterness and self-indulgence.
In today’s pop world, the real measure of an song’s impact is when many tributes it inspires — vines, dance routines, covers, memes — and “Hotline Bling” is often a runaway success from this standard, also. The track has spawned numerous alternate renditions and remixes (including Seth Everman’s wacky Nintendo-fied take). Interestingly, almost all the new versions have fallen from women. More interpretations will definitely roll in, but Rolling Stone rated seven below with a five-star scale. Check sheet music.
Producers BC Kingdom and Jonny dispense with Drake’s treacly organ sample in favor of an minimal number of steel-drum-like blobs. These complement Mila J’s vocals — husky when they are low, breathy if they’re high — to provide the song an urgent sensuality. This version sounds similar to a come-on than a manifestation of angst: a notable transformation.