Lately, any focus on Drake has been around his feud with Meek Mill, after Mill accused him of using a ghostwriter on his songs. But, between those much-publicised diss tracks, the Toronto rapper snuck out this new song. Premiered on his OVO Beats 1 show at the same time as the diss song that sparked a light under the beef, ‘Charged Up’, ‘Hotline Bling’ has undeservedly fallen by the wayside.
Instead of laying down cutting take-downs, this is Drake getting back to his usual modus operandi – showing off his sensitive side. “You used to call me on my cell phone/Late night when you need my love,” he sighs at the track’s start, clipped beats and gentle steel pans tinkling underneath. He’s bemoaning the breakdown of a relationship, and how his ex has changed since he left “the city”. “You started wearing less and going out more,” Drake laments in typical sorrowful tone, “Glasses of champagne out on the dancefloor/Hanging with some girls I never seen before.”
It seems Drake’s former lover’s new moves are making him jealous. “These days I wonder if you’re bending over backwards for someone else,” he raps. “Doing things I taught you, getting nasty for someone else.” Aside from that apparent sexual envy, he’s also questioning the woman’s character: “You should just be yourself/Right now you someone else.”
It’s simple and minimal – the beats here are secondary to Drake’s emotions – but maybe it’s exactly what Drake needs to move away and above hip-hop’s latest spat.