From time to time I like to search for feminist themes in my favorite rap songs. Upon listening to "Hotline Bling" by Drake, the remix to "Cha Cha" by D.R.A.M my ears instantly perked up. When the song ended, I felt kind of empowered. I found this interesting, and once I started my daily practice of memorizing every Drake song ever, I realized that this song is a total feminist anthem that we can all relate to. Let's take a look at the breakdown of the lyrics:
"You used to call me on my cell phone
Late night when you need my love
Call me on my cell phone
Late night when you need my love
And I know when that hotline bling
That can only mean one thing"
We've all been here before with a guy. We had a mutual situationship and would only text each other for one thing between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m. This is usually fun in the first few weeks but ends up being awkward after a couple of months because of a really shitty power dynamic where you start to like each other but can't handle being committed. Situationships like this usually last from three months to about a year. But after a year it's like...what's the point.
"Ever since I left the city you
Got a reputation for yourself now
Everybody knows and I feel left out
Girl you got me down, you got me stressed out
Cause ever since I left the city, you
Started wearing less and goin' out more
Glasses of champagne out on the dance floor
Hangin' with some girls I've never seen before"
This example of jealousy from is so hilarious to me. It reminds me so much of the theory of your ex coming back into your life once you're doing well. Things probably ended poorly between you and him so to pick yourself up from the heartbreak you go out and do your own thing: you meet new girls to hang out with, turn up in the club, starting shopping and doing a lot of things to distract you. You're probably even dating new guy (gasp!) giving you a "reputation" (almost the most purest form of slut shaming I've ever came across). Now that you're pretty much over him, he's feeling out of the loop and jealous that you're having a good time without him, and it's only him who's allowed to have a good time and not you. Simple guy logic.
"Ever since I left the city, you, you, you
You and me we just don't get along
You make me feel like I did you wrong
Going places where you don't belong
Ever since I left the city, you
You got exactly what you asked for
Running out of pages in your passport
Hanging with some girls I've never seen before"
Keeping up with the idea of things ending poorly in this situationship, you probably got fucked over him and he left, and stopped talking to you. Now that you're over it, he want you to care about him and he's hitting you up. Honestly, what are you supposed to do? Are you supposed to stay at home and wait for him to get his shit together and not live your own life? And I'm sure you've talked about future goals and you probably always talked about traveling. Remember, you're getting over the heartbreak of him leaving you, so it makes sense to take the opportunity to travel when you have no obligations. I mean, who wouldn't take the opportunity to travel for any reason? And while you're off making new girl friends in a foreign city, he's mad. Womp womp.
"These days, all I do is
Wonder if you bendin' over backwards for someone else
Wonder if you rollin' up a backwoods for someone else
Doing things I taught you, gettin' nasty for someone else
You don't need no one else
You don't need nobody else, no
Why you never alone
Why you always touching road
Used to always stay at home, be a good girl
You was in the zone
You should just be yourself
Right now, you're someone else"
The beauty in this is that now that you've moved on, he's always always going to be wondering. And you really don't need to offer an explanation. You could be bending over backwards for someone else, or you could be by yourself and bending over backwards for no one.
When I think of my past loves, I like to use this song as my personal feminist anthem to make me feel empowered. This song may not be the typical feminist anthem you're looking for, but you can't help but sing along with Drake about and think about the guy you used to call on your cell phone.