|First posted 2/14/2021.|
Writer(s): Aubrey Graham, Paul Jefferies, Timmy Thomas (see lyrics here)
Released: July 31, 2015
First Charted: August 22, 2015
Peak: 2 US, 2 RR, 111 RB, 3 UK, 3 CN, 2 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)
Sales (in millions): 8.0 US, 1.2 UK, 10.08 world (includes US + UK)
Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 1712.6 video, 819.0 streaming
Awards: (Click on award for more details).
About the Song:
“Hotline Bling” could be called the lead single from Canadian rapper Drake’s fourth album, Views. However, the single came out in August 2015 and the Views album wasn’t released until nearly nine months later in April 2016, which really makes “Hotline Bling” more of a stand-alone single. The song was Drake’s eighth trip to the top 10 of Billboard’s Hot 100 chart as a lead artist, equalling the #2 peak of “Best I Ever Had.” He’d also gone top 10 as a guest artist six times, including the #1 “What's My Name?” with Rihanna in 2010.
Critics praised it for its production and the revelation of a more emotional side for Drake. WK Pitchfork’s Jason Greene called it a “halting, aching song” WK and NPR’s Brad Wete called it a “remarkably catchy” song that “twinkles with bright organ riffs and boasts a bass line fit to thump in clubs.” WK Billboard noted that the song “finds Drake giving rap a hard pass and singing his heart out.” WK
Lyrically, however, the song met with some criticism. Drake remembers late night booty calls from his former lover. He is jealous that his cell phone is now silent and that she may be with someone else. SF The Frisky’s Carol H. Hood described it as “an incredibly salty and self-centered rant” WK and Bullett’s Allyson Shiffman had issue with the “super sexist lyrics.” WK Fusion TV’s Tahirah Hairston said Drake pettily “opts to condescendingly slut-shaming” his ex for moving on. WK
Rap-Up magazine said the video “shows just how suave [Drake] can be with his moves,” WK but the video was also mocked for what was seen as Drake’s awkward dancing. SF The director, Director-X, said he hoped the video would be an inspiration for men to dance more. WK
“Hotline Bling” was nominated for Grammys for Best Rap Song and Best Rap/Sung Performance. It won the American Music Award for Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Song. It also won an MTV Video Music Award for Best Hip-Hop Video.
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