Drake’s “Hotline Bling” video gets broken down by Director X.
If Drake is considered to be rap’s most memeable rapper, then “Hotline Bling” is undoubtedly his most meme-worthy music video performance. Those light-up boxes, quirky dance moves and that random call center at the beginning all add up to one of social media’s continued fascinations when it comes to the career of Canada’s prized rap export. In a new behind-the-scenes video with Genius, the man who helmed the visual, Director X, took some time to break down one of the decade’s most iconic videos.
One of the biggest things Director X does is come to the defense of Drake’s dance moves in the music video, the kind of goofy house party fare that would certainly get you stared at in a nightclub. However, in the filmmaker’s mind, that aspect of the visual is crucial to its success and staying power.
“What would this video be without the dancing?” he said. “It’s him by himself on a f**king weird set and he turns it all the way up. What this shows you is that what matters with dancing more than anything else is that you vibe and have fun. That’s what people care about. How many times you’ve been at a party and someone is just f**king around and you, ‘Ayyy!’ It’s not the best dance in the world. The vibe is right, the energy. There’s an energy that you radiate when you do this. So, he’s dancing.”
Another aspect of the production that sticks in Director X’s mind is the fact that Drake, a man who usually exercises control over the look of his music videos, differed to the veteran filmmaker on this one. “This one was one that they called me,” he explained. “Like, ‘There’s a moment going on here we needed to capture it. And we like your Sean Paul and performance videos that we grew up on. And instead of us coming to you, you tell us.’”