Toppa Top 10: Drake’s Most Dancehall Moments

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November 19, 2015


3. Drake Does the Log On with Tanisha Scott in his โ€œHotline Blingโ€ video
Hotline-Bling-Log-On
Illustration: Robin Clare

Drake took a progressive approach to source material on โ€œHotline Bling,โ€ includes a sample of Timmy Thomas’ โ€œWhy Can’t We Live Togetherโ€ and echoes aspects of D.R.A.M.’s โ€œCha Cha,โ€ while the music video borrows visual tropes from Director X’s early takes with Sean Paul. Speaking with The Fader, he compared such โ€œborrowingโ€ to the culture of dancehall, where artists will record their version of a song to a popular riddim: โ€œYou know, like in Jamaica, you’ll have a riddim and it’s like, everyone has to do a song on that.โ€

In the video, Drakeโ€™s fourth with Director X (the half-Trinidadian Toronto native directed videos for โ€œHYFR,โ€ โ€œStarted from the Bottom,โ€ and โ€œWorst Behaviorโ€), the pair revisit timeless Jamaican dance moves like the Log On with Jamaican-Canadian Tanisha Scott in the video’s choreographed sequences. When Drake steps into frame to dance with Scott at the three-minute mark, he is specifically tracing X’s own moves from Sean Paul’s โ€œGimme The Lightโ€ video, in which the director famously stepped from behind the camera to do the Log On (a move created by dancehall icon Gerald โ€œBogleโ€ Levy and popularized internationally by Elephant Man in a 2001 song of the same name) with Tanisha. โ€” Richard โ€œTreatsโ€ Dryden

(Editor’s Note: In another nod to yard, a prying Drake finger-wags, โ€œWhy you always touchin’ road?โ€)