Drake’s pastel-themed video for the fairly amazing single ‘Hotline Bling’ has been memed and parodied within an inch of its life. Directed by the teasingly named Director X, it finds Drizzy in some kind of weird box, bobbing and weaving, pulling off the kind of dreadful dance moves a man can only style out while at the height of his creative and commercial powers. Imagine old man Drake, all cosied up in his grey joggers at the old folks’ home, chuckling to himself and wondering how he ever had the guts to do that weird invisible tennis racquet thing at the four-minute mark. Anyway, he’s not the only person to throw some seriously weird shapes in music videos, check out these incredible examples from the past.
Fatboy Slim, ‘Weapon of Choice’
The ultimate in bizarre music video dancing, this Fatboy Slim promo was directed by Spike Jonze, the man who made Being John Malkovich and Her. The point is Jonze knows a thing or two about putting weird stuff to celluloid. Anyway, gravel-voiced thesp Christopher Walken shakes and shimmies around an empty hotel, prompting the question: where the hell are its guests and employees? That’s right, scared off by Walken’s hip swivels.
OK Go, ‘Here It Goes Again’
Middling indie band OK Go are pretty savvy when it comes to getting their music your earholes (the video for ‘Needing/Getting’ even sees them decorate a car with metal poles, which then bash on all manner of objects to make something resemble a tune) and this was their most ingenious stunt. One take, four running machines, a gaggle of questionably dressed men and a serviceable indie-pop song. The result: 33 million YouTube views.
Usher, ‘U Don’t Have to Call’
The super-smooth singer uses all his best moves in the first half of this video, a-shimmying around his house in the morning like an R&B Morecambe and Wise. Probably could have done without the bit where his sniffs his own finger, though.
David Hasselhoff, ‘Hooked On A Feeling’
Some dance moves are more than dance moves. Sometimes they are otherworldly, glorious nonsense that unite people across the globe (what the hell is the Macarena, really?). And sometimes they are literally transcendent in the sense that they lift you out of one setting and into another, which is exactly what happens in this video for David Hasselhoff’s unequivocally terrible 1998 single ‘Hooked on a Feeling’. One minute he’s at a swanky party, the next he’s danced himself into the countryside while flying on a bike. Even Drake himself couldn’t pull that off.
Skrillex, ‘First of the Year’
What’s weirder than dancing to punishing brostep in a dank basement on your own? Being forced into it by a little girl with telekinetic powers. To be fair, this is probably the most dignified anyone’s looked while dancing to Skrillex.
Kate Bush, ‘Wuthering Heights’
Music videos were different in 1978. Back then you could just dance in a wet field for four minutes and 26 seconds and nobody minded.
Lionel Richie, ‘Dancing on the Ceiling’
Oh, so this is where The Hoff learned how to dance so hard you lift yourself off the ground. His moves to this corn-tastic 1986 single start off pretty ridiculous, as Lionel puts his hands above his eyes like that terrifying ball-faced thing from Pan’s Labyrinth, and then move into stratospheric levels of music video daftness as he takes the song’s title quite literally. Can you imagine how much this blew people’s minds back in 1986? They probably cried witchcraft and burned their TV sets.
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In this 2011 video, Swedish producer Aviici unveils a narrative about a suited drone who ends a day at the office by dancing himself into hospital, which is surely something we can all relate to.
Radiohead, ‘Lotus Flower’
Thom Yorke was presumably taught these moves by the same demented, piss-taking choreographer that walked Drake through his own ridiculous steps. The song itself is standard Radiohead: muted beats, quiet menace and that eerie, unmistakable falsetto. But it was Thom’s dancing that brought us all to stunned silence when the video was released in 2011. His bizarre bowler hat shimmy at 2.36 inspired a million GIFs, and for that we are forever grateful.