Drake’s “Hotline Bling” video has been the source of more smiles, chuckles, and downright belly laughs than anything else for me over the past few months (and apparently for half the internet too, if memes on my Facebook feed are any indication). At first glance, the video is merely about him being butt-hurt over his most recent lover deciding he now lives too far away for a booty call, and over how she is now spending her nights doing other things besides him. What is great about it, besides the parody videos, is that there are some truly higher level awakening themes in here.
1. Drake is an artist and, through his music, he is working through some complex emotions—transmuting a feeling into something tangible—which, arguably, is the most fundamental purpose of art. Art has the power to transform something negative into something beautiful for the artist, and if other people enjoy it? Great. That dense energy has now been transmuted into an even higher vibration.
2. That owl sweatshirt. Gold chains? Armani suit? Nope. OWL. SWEATSHIRT. I could go on about the ancient symbolism of the owl, but I really think that’s ’nuff said.
3. He is in his bliss with that dance! If you are familiar with Gabrielle Roth and her 5Rhythms dance practice or have ever been to a 5Rhythms class or workshop then you may recognize some of these moves. I know I did! I have danced like this myself many a time in yoga, 5Rhythms or other movement classes. One movement therapist, Parashakti, in her article Dancing the Holy Rhythms of Your Life, recalls a quote from a Rabbi who explores dance as a language of the soul: “What did it mean to dance on my own? To make up my own steps? Do whatever my body called me to do? Would I make a fool of myself? Be laughed at?” I think this is exactly what Drake was doing, and I think seeing this come through in Drake is what initially sparked my deeper interest in such a mainstream sensation.
4. He features fully-clothed, voluptuous women instead of half-naked, rail-thin models. Sure, there are some bare-midriffs and mildly suggestive dance moves, but nothing close to the risqué business that goes on in most rap videos. Watching his dancers, I was reminded of the unique dancing and clothing style of the “In Living Color Fly Girls” from the early 1990s, which showcased and in some ways were integral to the rise of hip-hop. Those dancers were never indecent. Their outfits were sometimes very tight, but no more so than most athletic wear. This seems to be solely about his being hurt after realizing that he had some feels for a girl he was sleeping with and then realizing that she didn’t have the same feels for him.
5. What about those pure white steps leading up into a glowing portal of light? UFO? Stairway to Heaven? Ascension into the Cosmic Consciousness and merging with ones higher self? I could go on analyzing the symbolism all day. Either he has been abducted, likes to groove out to some Led Zeppelin, or just maybe he’s feeling some direct vibes from his crown chakra.
The song or video by itself really did not seem to warrant such widespread popularity. It really was his dancing that set it apart and prompted all the shares, “likes” and hilarious parodies and memes. When I look at this as a whole, my impression is that he must have had some greater help, in the form of say, an expansive Jupiter transit in his horoscope, a prominent fate line on his palm or perhaps most realistically, he was tapped into that creative consciousness that produces expression of one’s highest inner self without any regard to what others are going to think about it. Sure, he wanted his video to be popular, but something about his dancing says that first and foremost, he made that video for the sheer joy of making it.
I can’t say for sure since I don’t know him, but Drake and I are probably very different. I’m a yogi who likes to spend my late nights watching HGTV with my boyfriend and my cat, and he is a rapper who likes to spend his nights answering his hotline and then giving his love to his non-committed lady friends. My greatest takeaway from this is that I feel connected to him anyway, because he courageously shared what was going on inside through his art and it reached me—maybe not in a way he had ever fathomed—but it reached me. So maybe the “Hotline Bling” video is not a doorway into a higher consciousness, but at the very least I think it is safe to say that if we are all truly separate parts of a Divine Whole, then Drake is doing a fantastic job at illuminating the commonalities of even its most disparate parts.