Hotline Bling

Last updated

"Hotline Bling"
Drake - Hotline Bling.png
Single by Drake
from the album Views
ReleasedJuly 31, 2015 (2015-07-31)
Format Digital download
Producer(s) Nineteen85
Drake singles chronology
"Charged Up"
"Hotline Bling"
"Right Hand"
Music video
"Hotline Bling" on YouTube

"Hotline Bling" is a song recorded by Canadian rapper Drake, which serves as the lead single from his fourth studio album Views (2016). The song is credited as a bonus track on the album. [1] [2] It was made available for digital download on July 31, 2015, through OVO Sound, Cash Money, Young Money and Republic.

Drake (musician) Canadian rapper, singer-songwriterand actor

Aubrey Drake Graham is a Canadian rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer, actor, and entrepreneur. Drake initially gained recognition as an actor on the teen drama television series Degrassi: The Next Generation in the early 2000s, and intent on pursuing a career in music, he departed the series in 2007 following the release of his debut mixtape, Room for Improvement. He released two further independent projects, Comeback Season and So Far Gone, before signing to Lil Wayne's Young Money Entertainment in June 2009.

A lead single is the first single to be released from a studio album, by a musician or a band, usually before the album itself is released.

<i>Views</i> (album) album by Drake

Views is the fourth studio album by Canadian rapper Drake. It was released on April 29, 2016, by Cash Money Records, Republic Records and Young Money Entertainment. Recording sessions took place from 2015 to 2016, with both Drake and his longtime collaborator and record producer 40 serving as the record's executive producers. 40 also primarily handled the production on the album alongside each of these several other record producers such as Nineteen85, Maneesh Bidaye, Kanye West, and Jordan Ullman, among others. The album contains the elements of genres such as R&B, dancehall, hip hop and pop, among others.


Music critics were complimentary about the presentation of Drake's emotional side, as well as its production, but criticized its lyrics. A music video directed by Director X was released two months later; it subsequently gained popularity on YouTube and spawned several parodies. The song was included on several year-end critics' polls.

Julien Christian Lutz, credited professionally as Director X, is a Canadian film and music video director and producer.

YouTube video-sharing service owned by Google

YouTube, LLC is an American video-sharing website headquartered in San Bruno, California. Three former PayPal employees—Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim—created the service in February 2005. Google bought the site in November 2006 for US$1.65 billion; YouTube now operates as one of Google's subsidiaries.

"Hotline Bling" reached number two on the US Billboard Hot 100. It also reached number three in Drake's native Canada and the United Kingdom. The song won the award for Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Song at the 2016 American Music Awards. [3] It also received two wins at the 2017 Grammy Awards for Best Rap Song and Best Rap/Sung Performance. [4]

The Billboard Hot 100 is the music industry standard record chart in the United States for songs, published weekly by Billboard magazine. Chart rankings are based on sales, radio play, and online streaming in the United States.

American Music Awards of 2016 award ceremony

The 44th Annual American Music Awards took place on November 20, 2016, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. It was broadcast on ABC and was hosted by Gigi Hadid and Jay Pharoah. The 2016 AMAs fell 31% from 2015 among adults 18-49 and 26% among viewers, to 8.2 million watching the show, which was an all-time low in the show's history.

59th Annual Grammy Awards Grammy Award

The 59th Annual Grammy Awards ceremony was held on February 12, 2017. The CBS network broadcast the show live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The ceremony recognized the best recordings, compositions, and artists of the eligibility year, which runs from October 1, 2015 to September 30, 2016.


"Hotline Bling" is an R&B [5] and pop [6] [7] song written by Drake and Nineteen85, the latter of whom also produced the song. The song was composed in D minor with a tempo of 135 beats per minute in common time with a chord progression of Bbmaj7  Am7. [8] The song was directly inspired by DRAM's "Cha Cha" and was originally seen to be a remix, with the song premiering on Beats 1 OVO Sound Radio as "Hotline Bling (Cha Cha Remix)". [9] The song's instrumental heavily samples R&B singer Timmy Thomas's 1972 song "Why Can't We Live Together". [10]

Contemporary R&B is a music genre that combines elements of rhythm and blues, pop, soul, funk, hip hop and electronic music.

Pop music is a genre of popular music that originated in its modern form in the United States and United Kingdom during the mid-1950s. The terms "popular music" and "pop music" are often used interchangeably, although the former describes all music that is popular and includes many diverse styles. "Pop" and "rock" were roughly synonymous terms until the late 1960s, when they became increasingly differentiated from each other.

Anthony Paul Jefferies known professionally as Nineteen85, is a Canadian record producer and songwriter from Toronto. Nineteen85 also holds the distinction of winning an ASCAP Music Award back-to-back in 2014 and 2015.

Music video

This was the sixth video directed by Director X featuring Drake. LittleXFeb07.jpg
This was the sixth video directed by Director X featuring Drake.

On October 4, 2015, Drake announced a music video for the track via his Instagram account. [11] The video was financed by Apple Inc., and released on October 19, 2015 via Apple Music under a timed exclusivity agreement. [12] The Director X-directed video was inspired by the work of American artist James Turrell. [13] X has stated that he hopes that the video inspires men to dance more. [14] [15] [16] [17]

Instagram Online photo-sharing and social networking service

Instagram is a photo and video-sharing social networking service owned by Facebook, Inc. It was created by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, and launched in October 2010 exclusively on iOS. A version for Android devices was released a year and half later, in April 2012, followed by a feature-limited website interface in November 2012, and apps for Windows 10 Mobile and Windows 10 in April 2016 and October 2016 respectively.

Apple Inc. Technology company; developer of consumer electronics and multimedia platforms

Apple Inc. is an American multinational technology company headquartered in Cupertino, California, that designs, develops, and sells consumer electronics, computer software, and online services. It is considered one of the Big Four of technology along with Amazon, Google and Facebook.

Apple Music is a music and video streaming service developed by Apple Inc. Users select music to stream to their device on-demand, or they can listen to existing, curated playlists. The service also includes the Internet radio station Beats 1, which broadcasts live to over 100 countries 24 hours a day. The service was announced on June 8, 2015, and launched on June 30, 2015 in over 100 countries worldwide. New subscribers get a three-month free trial period before the service requires a monthly subscription.

Rap-Up wrote that Drake "shows just how suave he can be with his moves" in this video. [14] Evan Minsker of Pitchfork called it a "pretty minimal clip". [18] The site also named "Hotline Bling" the seventh best music video of 2015. [19]


Rap-Up is a magazine launched in 2001 by founder Devin Lazerine. The publication was originally a website devoted to hip hop, until Lazerine decided to pitch the possibility of a magazine to several publishers. The magazine is focused on the hip hop and R&B aspect of the music industry, and predominantly features interviews with artists, actors and other entertainers. Issued quarterly, the magazine's target audience was the 14 to 28 demographic, although the demographic has become older over time.

The video, which has inspired many memes and parodies, [15] [20] including a commercial from T-Mobile during Super Bowl 50 featuring Drake himself, [21] helped the song rise in chart position according to NME. [20] The song was parodied in the Saturday Night Live episode "Donald Trump/Sia", including where Trump himself starred in the parody. [22]

As of January 2019, the music video has received over 1.4 billion views on YouTube, [23] and is one of the site's 70 most viewed videos. [24]

Critical response

The song received mixed reviews. Leor Galil of the Chicago Reader praised Drake's performance in "Hotline Bling," stating that he "sounds hurt, neglected, and confused even while he's admonishing his ex," and that "it's hard to imagine anyone else pulling off this kind of song with the same verve". [25] 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 a "rewrite" of "Roxanne" by The Police. [26] 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". [27] Rhian Daly of NME described the track's "simple and minimal" production as "secondary to Drake’s emotions". [28] Rolling Stone ranked "Hotline Bling" at number 3 on its year-end list to find the 50 best songs of 2015. [29] 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 [Drake's 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". [30] Pitchfork named "Hotline Bling" the second best song of 2015, after Kendrick Lamar 's "Alright". [31] Time named "Hotline Bling" the eighth-best song of 2015. [32] The Village Voice named "Hotline Bling" the best single released in 2015 on their annual year-end critics' poll, Pazz & Jop. [33]

"Hotline Bling" also received criticism for the perceived sexist and controlling attitude expressed by the male narrator toward his female ex. 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". [34] Allyson Shiffman of Bullett took issue with the "super sexist lyrics," explaining that "while [the song is] packaged as a good old fashioned 'Why doesn't bae like me anymore?' Drake tune," what it is "really saying is, 'You used to wanna bone me all the time and now that I've left the 6, you've gotten a life of your own and I'm not okay with that'". [35] 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 doesn't belong," it "comes off so petty that you forget his feelings are hurt". [36]

Covers and usage in media

Canadian singer Justin Bieber recorded a cover version of the song and released it on October 30, 2015. [37] At the 2016 iHeartRadio Music Awards the alternative version was nominated for the Best Cover Song. [38]

New Orleans rapper Lil Wayne released his own version of the song from his mixtape No Ceilings 2. [39] Singer Erykah Badu released a rewrite of the song on her 2015 mixtape But You Caint Use My Phone titled "Cel U Lar Device". [40]

W magazine uploaded a video with 13 celebrities reading the lyrics of the song in December 2015. [41]

The song was featured on the episode "She Gets Revenge" from American Horror Story: Hotel . [42]

"Hotline Bling" was the subject of a Super Bowl 50 advertisement for T-Mobile, in which Drake is interrupted by executives of cellphones provider seeking to make "improvements" to its lyrics. [43]

A variation of Drake's dancing in the music video was included in the multiplayer section of 2016's Uncharted 4: A Thief's End , renamed to "Bling Bling". [44] The dance is also featured in 2014's Destiny , referred to only as "Strange Dance". [45] Heroes of the Storm features a playable character named Dehaka, whose dance also mimics Drake's. [46]

On March 24, 2017 a Red Nose Day short that served as a sequel to the 2003 smash hit "Love Actually" premiered in the U.K. and featured Hugh Grant reprising his dancing skills to Hotline Bling. [47]

Commercial performance

"Hotline Bling" entered the US Billboard Hot 100 chart dated August 22, 2015 at number 66. [48] Its chart debut was fueled primarily by digital download sales, with 41,000 copies sold in its first week. [49] The song soon became Drake's 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 second 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 February 2016, the song has sold over 2 million copies in the United States. [50] "Hotline Bling" remained in the top ten of this chart for nineteen weeks before dropping out on February 13, 2016.

In the United Kingdom, "Hotline Bling" peaked at number three on the UK Singles Chart, becoming Drake's highest-charting song there (at the time) 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.

Awards and nominations

2016 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards Favorite Song of the YearNominated
Juno Awards Single of the Year Nominated
iHeartRadio Music Awards Hip Hop Song of the YearWon
Most Meme-able MomentNominated
Billboard Music Awards Top Streaming Song (Audio)Nominated
Top Rap SongNominated
iHeartRadio Much Music Video Awards Video of the YearWon
Best DirectorWon
Best Hip-Hop VideoWon
Most Buzzworthy CanadianWon
Fan Fave VideoNominated
BET Awards Video of the Year Nominated
Coca-Cola Viewer's Choice Award Nominated
MTV Video Music Awards Video of the Year Nominated
Best Male Video Nominated
Best Hip-Hop Video Won
Best Art Direction Nominated
BET Hip Hop Awards Best Hip Hop VideoWon
Track of the YearNominated
Soul Train Music Awards Best Video of the Year Nominated
Best Dance Performance Nominated
American Music Awards Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Song Won
2017 Grammy Awards Best Rap/Sung Performance Won
Best Rap Song Won



RegionCertification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA) [107] 2× Platinum140,000^
Belgium (BEA) [108] Gold15,000*
Canada (Music Canada) [109] Platinum80,000^
Denmark (IFPI Denmark) [110] Platinum60,000^
France (SNEP) [111] Platinum200,000*
Germany (BVMI) [112] Gold200,000^
Italy (FIMI) [113] 3× Platinum150,000Double-dagger-14-plain.png
New Zealand (RMNZ) [114] Gold7,500*
Poland (ZPAV) [115] Platinum20,000*
United Kingdom (BPI) [116] Platinum694,000 [117]
United States (RIAA) [118] 7× PlatinumDagger-14-plain.png2,100,000 [119]

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
Double-dagger-14-plain.pngsales+streaming figures based on certification alone

Dagger-14-plain.png Since May 2013 RIAA certifications for digital singles include on-demand audio and/or video song streams in addition to downloads. [120]

Release history

United States [121] July 31, 2015 Digital download

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