Drake's "Hotline Bling" may become his first-ever No. 1 solo single on the Hot 100 chart, especially now that its endlessly meme-able music video has been released. One artist who's not exactly sending Drizzy a congratulatory greeting card for the impending accomplishment is D.R.A.M., the Virginia singer-songwriter whose single "Cha Cha" served as the "inspiration" for "Hotline Bling."
"Just performed in Toronto for the 1st time tonight and it was bittersweet," D.R.A.M. began a string of tweets on Monday night (Oct. 19), hours after Drake unveiled his "Hotline Bling" video. "Sweet cus I’m out here sharing my music, my sound with the people.. Bitter though, cus after my performance all I’m seeing is Cha Cha/Hotline Bling comparisons on my timeline."
The singer-songwriter continued, "N---as want to know how I feel about that... Yeah, I feel I got jacked for my record...But I’m GOOD. I’m happy that the VA sound that me & [producer] @GabeNiles are steady working on is growing. And in 2016 we gon’ own it, GAHDAMN!."
"Cha Cha" was released on D.R.A.M.'s #1EpicEP release back in March and became a viral hit, even making its way to Beyonce's blessed ears. When Drake originally released "Hotline Bling" on the OVO Sound Radio show in July, the song was posited as a "Cha Cha" remix; that beat-lifting has since been re-positioned as an original song with roots in D.R.A.M.'s work.
"It’s just, literally, I’ve recognized the potential and the greatness in this piece, and I want to take my stab at it too," Drake told the Fader last month when discussing his knack for jumping on lesser-known artists' songs, comparing the process to his mother correcting his school essays. "She was just reliving her school days. Like, she just wanted to really write the essay herself. But I had already done it, so she just kind of gave me new paragraphs and sentences and made it better.”