Tuesday, October 20, 2015
I'm going to let you know this now, immediately, before you read anymore. Yes, this is a think-piece in defense of Drake's dancing in "Hotline Bling." I know. I KNOW! Feel free to judge me, but I felt like I had to do it.
So here's the thing Readers, I'm sort of out of the loop of certain social media trends. Unless someone expressly tells/asks me to watch something, I won't know it exists until I see an article about it on MadameNoire/Bossip/Huffington Post/Buzzfeed and the like. Now, I do know what's going on in the world, but when it comes to entertainment news, celebrity buzzes, or media trends, I wouldn't know them for anything.
When one of my best friends, Jeanette, and I were having a text exchange last night about how AMAZING this season of "The Leftovers" is, (seriously, how AMAZING is this season?!?! ... Poor Kevin, can never get it right, can he?) she hit me with the: "Did you see the 'Hotline Bling' video?!"
"Nah, I'll check it out in the morning."
"Girl, Drake's dancing, you gotta see it!"
This afternoon approaches, I have some free time and I'm like: "Oh! Let's check out the video!" Before I saw it, I saw some of the Vine memes, so I already had the running them of Bachata music playing in my head when I saw his dance moves.
However, what I will say that I wasn't expecting to notice was his commitment to his moves. Usually, you'll see a rap artist start a dance, then taper off, point to the camera, and then nod his head aggressively to the music. But each time Drake was dancing, he stayed in his zone.
The thing also about this is that while others might not have liked his dancing, from what I can guess, before a music video airs, the artist, director, and others involved had to sign off on if they liked the video or not. Apparently, everyone involved loved it enough to make it a form of public consumption.
But beyond all that, it's the idea of being completely committed to who you are, what you do, trying your best, and putting the finished product out there in hopes of multiple forms of appreciation.
If there's one thing that I've felt like I had to work against, it was being too aware of how people saw me. I always wanted to make sure that I was the perfect version of myself for others. Sometimes, having to hold yourself so high is exhausting. Granted, we should always exude the best image of ourselves to the world, but not to the point where we set ourselves up for failure.
I put off applying for jobs, writing opportunities, and talking to people just because I felt I wasn't good enough. I was too committed to the idea that I was a work in progress; not yet ready to embrace her greatness, or even pursue it.
I had to get to a point when I had to erase the (mis)conceptions of how others saw me, and get to the point of being comfortable enough to sign off on my character and present it to the world for public consumption.
Now, others might not always like it, understand it, or create a medium to mock me. However, there's a freedom that comes with being unapologetically yourself. No matter if you do look like the drunk uncle dancing at the bar-b-cue, I bet there will be people doing that exact same dance from this time on.
Dance on, Drake. Dance on!