Watch: Clemson Tigers celebrate win with ‘Hotline Bling’ dance

25 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Drake Takes: Rating the Many Covers of ‘Hotline Bling’.

When Drake’s music video for “Hotline Bling” dropped, many college football fans probably thought of Dabo Swinney watching the rap star’s bizarre dance moves.

Meek Mill performed at Powerhouse in Philly last night (Oct. 23), and he just couldn’t help himself when an opportunity to throw a jab, or two, at Drake presented itself. “I wish I knew how to dance and do that sh*t,” said Meek to a roar from the crowd. “You ain’t going to have up here looking like Drake on this motherf*cking stage…I’m a gangsta, I live for this.” Also, watch Meek say Drake’s infamous “is that your girl’s tour” line on “Back To Back” was a dud, although everybody says it, on the flip. It instantly eclipsed the rapper’s Meek Mill diss track “Charged Up” (which arrived the same day), despite all the hoopla surrounding the Drake-Meek beef. “Hotline Bling” recently climbed to No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100, which makes it Drake’s second-biggest pop hit to date. The track is an outlier in the rapper’s catalog, a strange blend of an old soul sample—Timmy Thomas’s “Why Can’t We Live Together,” one of the first ’70s hits to employ a drum machine—a gentle Latin pulse and the frenetic drums that have a stranglehold on modern pop.

When Nick Carter started ballroom dancing in the hopes of winning the Dancing With The Stars mirrorball trophy, I was there cell-phone in hand, calling in my votes as fast as my little fingers could dial. In today’s pop world, the true measure of a song’s impact is how many tributes it inspires—vines, dance routines, covers, memes—and “Hotline Bling” is a runaway success by this standard, as well. The boys have taken notice of the totally accurate and not at all exaggerated similarities between Drake’s latest single, “Hotline Bling,” and the Backstreet Boys’ 2000 release, “The Call” — and theyrecently tweeted their thoughts on the matter. Drake figured out a long time ago that by pitching his voice slightly lower than you expect—as if he can’t quite bother to get to the right note, because his emotions are too muted—he can communicate more guilt, pain and indecision.

Badu is probably the most unexpected artist to enter the “Hotline Bling” fray: Most of her competitors are young singers looking for an easy way to generate additional interest. Badu comes at “Hotline Bling” from her typically idiosyncratic perspective—”you used to call me on your cell-u-lar device at night.” She then interpolates one of her first hits, “On and On,” and sneaks in a reference to her ex-boyfriend Andre 3000’s work in Outkast (“forever ever?”).

And Badu is only getting started: She adds some flowery ’70s-sounding keyboards and a lengthy recording of her voice instructing listeners how to leave messages: “If you’re trying to beg for some shit in general, press 4.” The whole thing is completely over the top, but Badu somehow injects a dose of levity into the song, while nearly every other performer attempts to make it even more serious. In Cole’s version, she’s upset that a former companion is hitting the town without her, but he also used to bring her down when they were together—”everybody knows you left me stressed out.” These feelings are by no means mutually exclusive, but they make for a tougher sell: Drake’s original kept things simple. It doesn’t take much work to transform “Hotline Bling” into sad-sack cocktail-lounge fare, but the instant the two singers’ voices blend, the effect is undeniable, giving both performers the chance to vent their frustrations—humanizing the song, since each side gets a say.

You can decide for yourself how similar these two pieces of music are (and any person with working auditory facilities can tell THEY SOUND EXACTLY THE SAME).

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