What’s that song everyone’s been playing?

At some point in their lives, every American has uttered the phrase, “If *insert almost fascist/semi-progressive political action here* happens, I’M MOVING TO CANADA!” This moment came for me when I realized that Donald Trump actually has a chance to become president of a nation once governed by Washington, Jefferson, and the many great Roosevelt’s. But this is obviously an empty threat. I mean, google “Why should I move to Canada,” and three of the first five results try to convince you otherwise. Though Canada is bolstered by the voice of millions of Americans proliferating this infamous statement everyday, no country can be as reasonable as we believe Canada to be. But, in the process of exaggerating this Canadian reasonability, have we underestimated their capacity for cunning? What if an individual Canadian was slowly taking over the continent, possibly even the world, and we didn’t even know it?

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Oh Canada, Oh Canada… (I think?)

I went to Atlanta over Halloween weekend. The friend I visited, let’s call him Jason Compson IV, uses a Sirius XM Radio in his aux-cord-incompatible truck. Now I’m no Sirius XM Radio expert, but I’m pretty sure he is the only person in the world who has one. But these nifty gadgets do have a pretty cool feature that distinguishes them from normal radios (which I’m not sure exist anymore either): when you hear a particular artist, you can program the radio to alert you whenever that artist is playing on any of the stations, and it switches to the station with the artist’s song.

Now, if you’ve made it this far in the article, chances are you have no idea where this is heading. But, if you picked up on the fact that this is another article about Drake, I commend you. Of course it is. He’s taking over

This is a Sirius XM Radio.

This is a Sirius XM Radio.

the world.

Ok, back to the radio. Jason has his Sirius XM programmed to notify him whenever a Drake song comes on, obviously. Within the first five minutes of being in the truck, I hear the notifying beep that a selected artist is on the air, peer over the screen, and get really excited when I see that it is Drake. “Maybe it’s ‘Hotline Bling’!” I exclaim, and click “ok.” I was right. Thus we jammed. It’s strange to think that Jason Compson IV knows every word to “Hotline Bling” isn’t it? After the song ended, we found a Grateful Dead tune to ride to, and literally less than three minutes into it (which is only like an eighth of a Grateful Dead song) another beep pierces the air…

Drake.

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“It’s probably ‘Hotline Bling’!” I proclaim with equal excitement as earlier. I automatically click “ok” and we ensue the second jam sesh of our seven-minute drive. In a sudden spot of amnesia, we seemed to forget that we had just listened to the song like two minutes before. Or maybe we just didn’t care. Or maybe we were just following physics; Newton’s second fundamental law: “When ‘Hotline Bling’ comes on, thou art unable to skip.” When it was all said and done, after driving to lunch, eating lunch, and driving home from lunch, we listened to “Hotline Bling” 43 times. Not even exaggerating. By the time the weekend was over, we had listened to it 253 times on Sirius Radio alone. And I’m pretty sure there are only two or three hip hop/rap stations on XM. And we were only in the car for like 30 minutes the whole trip. I’m no math wiz, but I was an Engineering student for three years, so according to my calculations that means that “Hotline Bling” must have been played on Sirius Radio close to 14 billion times in three days. That’s a lot of spins. Now you may think, “Ok, but you were in Atlanta. What does Atlanta know about rap?”

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I chose Luda over T.I. because Tip is still nursing wounds from Luda’s “Stomp” verse.

Touché, but ignoring the fact that Sirius XM stations aren’t regionally exclusive; this song’s influence is way more permeating than you would think.

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Amandamandamandamandamanda

You guys remember the Amanda Show? If so, good for you, your childhood was probably legit. What about the “Totally Kyle” skit from the Amanda Show? You remember that too?! Will you be my friend? Anyways, I’m pretty sure Totally Kyle’s brother from another mother is in my Public Speaking class – which is pretty much the best thing that can happen to anyone. He gave a speech today about a non-profit organization. In his introduction, he tried to do some math along the tune of “if everyone gives this amount of money, then this many things will be saved.” But I swear the math he was doing must have been upper level calculus because I could not follow to save my life.

He stumbled through his thought process stringing together non-sequiturs by a profound use of the word “like,” never quite managing to establish continuity. I think he even lost himself a couple of times, because he let two distinct “oh sh*t’s” slip only to go on and apologize for swearing right in the middle of his speech. At the end of his introduction, he comes out with the

Is that Drake Bell?

Is that Drake Bell?

line, “That makes like 120 million or sumthin’.” That’s all he said. “120 million or sumthin’.” It was the most glorious moment of the life of anyone present. It was by far the best speech in the class.

He was super cool about the whole thing too. After class we laughed about the mishaps together and he explained to me what he was actually trying to say. Then he did something very important. He gave me the upward-nod, nonchalantly slurred “later” and as he was turning to walk away, he pulled out his indistinguishable smartphone and starts playing a song for his walk. What was the song? I think you already know.

 

All hail “Hotline Bling.”

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It’s not just Totally Kyle though. Even the teacher from my Spanish Conversation class walked up to class the other day humming, “You used to call me on my cell phone…” I mean, she is pretty awesome though. She’s American, but has lived all over the world, and although she isn’t what a college student would call “young,” her hair is died a far out color and she seems like she knows how to “disfrutar de la vida.” I didn’t call her out on the song, but we made an understanding eye contact. Later, walking out from that same lecture, a friend of mine begins singing a song. Now, he very readily identifies his favorite band as Sublime, pre-1997 breakup. But can you guess what song he was singing? Do I even have to ask?

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I observed all of this in the past couple of weeks, and the meaning of it all never really resonated with me until this morning. I had to get up at 5:30am, which explains why I pulled up Yahoo on my iPhone while eating breakfast. I was groggy, unresponsive, and still depressed that ESPN shut down Grantland (RIP). But something caught my eye. It was an article that linked me to US Weekly (again, I’m sorry) about how some guy tried to steal Serena’s cell phone in a Chinese restaurant in New York or somewhere. The article went to explain how Serena turned  Superwoman and hurdled chairs and sidestepped patrons as she caught up to the guy and reclaimed her phone before he even got out of the restaurant. It even had some nice feminist touches added in. It was a pretty cool story! But you know what the first line of the article was? “You can still call her on her cell phone.” I read that line subconsciously in Drake’s voice. If that isn’t domination, I don’t know what is.

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I know I’ve already said this once, but if are still reading, I sincerely thank you. It’s because of readers like you that I write. So I’m going to give you a special treat. I’m actually going to tie in all of this blabbering back to the introduction paragraph.

(Pause afforded to scroll back up to the top to see what the introduction was about.)

Oh yes! A Canadian taking over the continent and subsequently the world! Drake has entered into the subconscious mind of the universe. This is the same subconscious that Santiago tapped into to turn himself into the wind in “The Alchemist.” It’s what Keanu had access to when he figured out he was “The One.” It’s how Goku made the spirit bomb. Drake now has the ability to turn lead into gold, the GokuSpiritBombBuuSagaconsciousness to do Matrix stuff, the potential to make a freaking spirit bomb, and the power to make our minds do his bidding. Canada has outsmarted us all; their president (Drake is their president, right?) has eased his way into the position of world dictator, and no one even realizes it. As soon as this revelation set over me, I texted my friends who have been in Europe for the past month to see if the domination extends across oceans.

Their response: “We’ve heard ‘Hotline Bling’ a couple of times, but not as much as ‘Can’t Feel My Face.’”

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Whatever. The Weeknd is Canadian too.

weeknd1            canada

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Bradley Harrison is a senior at College of Charleston. After a long and painful stint as an engineering student at a university in Georgia which you probably have never heard of, he has decided to come back home to his native Charleston and study Spanish and Education. As a keen observer of pop culture, he loves art house cinema, Pitchfork.com, and the Ringer. FOH Army for life.


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