1-800-ARTBLING
Start writing a post
Entertainment

1-800-ARTBLING

Drake's Inspiration for New Video

711
1-800-ARTBLING


By now, you probably have heard Drake’s hit single, “Hotline Bling.” But more importantly, your social media probably has been flooded with its recently released music video, and the memes, gifs and vines it has generated. Most millennials love Drake. But what they may not know is where he got some of the inspiration for his latest video.

We often praise rappers for their knowledge, their suaveness, their way with words, and their ability to weave so much symbolism into a hit. But I, for one, am impressed now with Drake’s cultured thought and his knowledge of a particular artist that I had the pleasure of learning about in my studio art class at the University of Rochester: 72-year-old American light artist James Turrell.

The attention the video for “Hotline Bling” has received is mostly from it poking fun at Drake’s not-so-impressive dance moves, such as in this popular Instagram meme.


Drake’s impressive rapping, his irresistibly catchy tune, and his bachata-inspired dance moves all captivate audiences, but the neon lights illuminating each space in the video do not get overlooked; in fact, I think they greatly enhance the overall effect of Drake’s performance and the song itself.

According to Turrell’s website, New Yorker critic Calvin Tompkins writes about him, “His work is not about light, or a record of light; it is light — the physical presence of light made manifest in sensory form.” I urge you to visit his website to see the full spectrum of his visually stunning work.

Turrell focuses on experimenting with light and space to explain the notion that “we are living in a reality of our own creation.” This American artist aims to create artwork that will engage the viewer, and Drake’s backdrops in “Hotline Bling” certainly do just that. After the rap star visited the Los Angeles County Museum of Art to see Turrell’s most recent exhibit in person, he commented, “I f*ck with Turrell. He was a big influence on the visuals for my last tour.”

Turrell responded wittily and following the cultural norm, “While I am truly flattered to learn that Drake f*cks with me, I nevertheless wish to make clear that neither I nor any of my woes was involved in any way in the making of the Hotline Bling video.”

Turrell experiments a lot with light, including high intensity projections in manipulated empty spaces; these are his works that most resemble those in Drake’s videos. Drake says about his collaboration with Sotheby’s and art, “When I look at visual art, I automatically think about how I can relate it to my music, or music in general." Turrell’s art is not only visual, but also sensory, and Drake’s music video, by using these same qualities, creates a similar experience by giving strong visual and auditory sensory triggers.

If imitation is a form of flattery, as this Washington Post article suggests, then both world renowned artists flatter each other; rapping sensation, Drake, in his use of fluorescent background lights, and 72-year-old light art genius, Turrell, with his blog comment as well as his rendition of Drake’s cover art for the album.


Usually those who speak or write about Turrell’s works use a very dense vocabulary and even a technical jargon that even educated art viewers would not know. Critics will say that without using the correct terms, it is impossible to discuss the work, or fully understand it, for that matter. Turrell’s work has been installed in 22 countries and 14 U.S. states, but after it received some unfavorable criticism after it was exhibited in some big name museums, viewers now have to travel to the far corners of the earth to see his work in person. Each installation of Turrell’s art is built on site with care and precision, and each has a fascination with natural light just as much, if not more, than with projections. Turrell changes the forms of walls, paints walls and windows black, builds chambers for light, and strategically places bulbs or projections to create the unfathomable Turrell experience.

Not everyone will get to experience Turrell’s work during their lifetime, but if you watch Drake’s video for “Hotline Bling,” then you will get at least a quick glimpse into the experience.

Watch the video first here and then check out the comparisons of stills from Drake’s video with pictures of some of Turrell’s works below to experience the magic of Turrell’s work yourself.

Enjoy!

Read this BuzzFeed article for a full comparison between James Turrell's work and Drakes new "Hotline Bling" video and check out the most popular comparisons below:


Still from Drake’s video with James Turrell’s “The Light Inside” (1999) (photo viaHyperallergic)


Still from Drake’s video with James Turrell’s “Amrta” (2012) (photo via Hyperallergic)

Still from Drake’s video with James Turrell’s “Twilight Epiphany” (2012) (photo viaHyperallergic)

Still from Drake’s video with James Turrell’s “The Inner Way” (1999) (photo viaHyperallergic)

Still from Drake’s video with a James Turrell at LACMA (photo via Hyperallergic)

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
the beatles
Wikipedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less
Featured

19 Lessons I'll Never Forget from Growing Up In a Small Town

There have been many lessons learned.

85883
houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee
nappy.co

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

180498
college students waiting in a long line in the hallway
StableDiffusion

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments