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 Although Drake’s song “Hotline Bling” has been out since July, it has recently soared like never before with the release of his accompanying music video (included below) in which he really takes to the dance floor with a myriad of, some would say, questionable moves. With the newly fanned flames to the fire, the song is itself continuing to blow up on the radio and charts, feeling almost inescapable at this point. Quite honestly, I have become addicted to the beat, however, upon doing so, have listened to the lyrics enough times to feel patronized and angry. I found myself wondering when Drake (and male vocalists, in general) is going to just quit talking about and perpetuating the problematic label of “good girls,” and also stop wondering if the woman he’s singing about will be using the “nasty” moves he had taught her with a new man. Talk about feeling controlled and belittled. I also found myself wanting to sing accompanying lyrics back to him most of the time. When I hear: “You make me feel like I did you wrong. Going places where you don’t belong,” my Feminist voice replies, “Maybe you feel like you did me wrong because you did do me wrong, and who are you to say where I do and don’t belong?!” Meanwhile, I saw so many around me on social media simply swooning over every drop they were being served. What I hadn’t seen until today, however, was a brilliant Feminist response by Javetta Lester on their Facebook page, which responded by actually re-writing the lyrics to the verses of the song (ending with the hook). This was simply far too authentic for us not to share with our readers, who we know value the power of wearing their voices. Check out the lyrics comparison below, followed by the accompanying video (which itself leaves a lot to be desired): 

 

Original Lyrics of Drake’s “Hotline Bling”:

 

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

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

These days, all I do is
Wonder if you bendin’ over backwards for someone else
Wonder if you’re 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

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
I know when that hotline bling
That can only mean one thing

Ever since I left the city.

 

Feminist translation by Javetta Lester (posted to her Facebook on Oct. 3rd):

Screen Shot 2015-10-22 at 5.15.38 PM

 

Drake’s latest video (note the opening scene of apparent phone sex workers and the opening line “Of course I’ve played with feet before.”….”you know I like it.”….”I’d love to do that for you.”…”You’re the man.”)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwH4E3qcjAU

The video itself is less than impressive in my opinion, and I’m just not understanding how women are swooning for these dance moves (beyond the patriarchal lyrics themselves). I don’t want to have to feel thankful that he utilized many bigger bodied women in this video; I want to feel like they are all being respected – not having their beautiful asses being slept on as some sort of cute dance move. 

With that being said, we know so many people love this song and this video. After reading the above lyrics change and perhaps taking a moment to think further about the current implications, perhaps you can answer in the comments below how you feel about this song now.

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Being raised in New England, the west coast has always felt like a breath of progressive, laid-back, open-minded, fashion-forward air to my free-spirited soul, which is what drew me to California. Escaping the more cookie-cutter traditional white picket fence life, has led me on an adventurous journey toward self-love and acceptance, and ultimately body positivity! I am in Oakland, because I moved to the Bay Area for graduate school to become a licensed Somatic Psychotherapist, and after exploring different city options, I discovered that the eclectic, unique, and honest vibe of Oakland resonated with my funky spirit and style! My role in WYV as Senior Columnist is producing weekly articles on Body Positive Fashion, Fat Acceptance, and many of my other passions such as social justice, childcare, and chronic illness advocacy. Of course I'm constantly being inspired by my very diverse (fashionably and otherwise) Oakland peers, local business owners, and fat/body positive activists! Come follow my photographic adventures on my instagram: @somewhere_under_the_rainbow

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