Let’s put it out there. We all make Drake jokes. That’s what we do nowadays. We can call him soft or call him whatever, but the man continues to take all our money while doing dope shows and destroying Meek Mill. So it’s not too hard to believe that when he came out with a new video for Hotline Bling that the jokes would be plentiful.
I mean, I get it. There is some quirky stuff going on in this video where he seems to dance some sort of jig. The man is feeling himself and the song because it is fire. But then, in the infinite wisdom that is the internet, someone thought it was a good idea to add some Bachata to this. Why?
What I do know is that I didn’t find it funny. Yes, the mostly Puerto Rican dude is saying that he doesn’t find it funny. This actually makes me cringe because I start thinking about how we automatically want to get a laugh at the expense of others. Look, I’m not saying that I never laughed at the expense of anyone. We are all human and we just make bad choices but when I see these videos floating around, I get a bad feeling from them as if that line between laughing with and laughing at us has been crossed.
…and when I say us… I mean Latinos. So my question is why is it funny? Is it because it’s Drake and thus all jokes are allowed? It is because he deemed himself Champagne Papi? To be completely transparent I saw a Cosby Show overlay of this video and I died laughing..so my question is, is that the same thing?
Then it makes me think about how the musical genre of Bachata and those who dance to it are viewed. I think it’s a beautiful form of music that you can really feel with your body. Despite what people think about the relative ease of the 4 step cadence, the dance between people (when done correctly) is a thing of beauty. So, to me, it’s crazy to see Drake’s jig overlapped on a Bachata track. I mean is this how Dominicans are viewed? Is this what you see?
Let me take it a step further. Dominicans are not the only people to dance to this music. Latinos, in general, to dance to this. Also, Bachata is not the only music I’ve heard added to Drake’s jig. Some videos are also using Merengue. So, again, what are we saying? Yes, I know it’s a joke right? Just like the Mexican Word of the Day (as fellow a SU Alum pointed out to me today on Facebook)? Which is my point. I cringe just as much when I someone wearing a sombrero in picture or an ad who is clearly not Mexican.
All I’m saying it’s time to really think about the images we see of ourselves floating around because this is Halloween season. Let’s make that very clear. Cultural misappropriation is going to be rampant. Is this really funny to us? Do we need to reevaluate our sense of humor?
Just know that as we are dying in laughter, GOP candidates like Donald Trump are dying to get rid of us. Latinos struggle with the reality of being visible when it come to deportation but invisible when it comes to our successes. Does a video like this help?
I don’t know, I just have a lot questions.