“Hotline Bling” makes me cringe. I hate myself for loving it. It goes a little something like this: Drake is distraught that his ex has moved on, and instead of admitting he’s kind of obsessed and therefore Instagram stalking (because seriously, if he left the city, how is he so keen on her whereabouts?), he opts for condescendingly slut-shaming her, and dictating where she does and doesn’t belong. The song comes off so petty that you forget his feelings are hurt (or maybe you’re more aware).
He sings about her wardrobe changes:
Ever since I left the city you Started wearing less and going out more…
He ponders about her “new” social life:
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
It’s classic Drake: You’re singing along, but you can’t help but roll your eyes. “Good” girls stay at home? Please.
His lyrics hide his misogyny, since he plays the role of the vulnerable nice guy. Take his 2011 one-off track “Trust Issues.” He’s skeptical of women who are sexually aggressive, singing, “women want to fuck like they’re me and I’m them.”