james turrell not involved with drake’s ‘hotline bling’ video, neither were his woes

Though the legendary artist is ‘truly flattered to learn that Drake f*cks with me,’ he denies involvement in the rapper’s latest video.

by Emily Manning
22 October 2015, 4:40pm

Artists and rappers make for funny, fickle pairings. Kanye West has collaborated extensively with Italian contemporary heavyweight Vanessa Beecroft (who even doubled as his wedding decorator). Jay-Z and Marina Abramovic? That's sort of a different story. But following Monday's release of the long-awaited video for "Hotline Bling," Drake has found himself stepping toe-to-toe with 72-year-old light and space art pioneer James Turrell.

Upon watching the Toronto cozy boi salsa his way through the video's light-soaked, cube-shaped set, many viewers suggested the rapper had drawn influence from Turrell's immersive installations (a claim that had some legs: Drizzy Instagrammed a few snaps of his trip to Turrell's LA retrospective back in 2013). But today, Turrell dispelled all rumors with a hilarious statement.

"While I am truly flattered to learn that Drake f*cks with me," Turrell's lawyer wrote in an email to Noisey on the artist's behalf, "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."

As if that magnificent update wasn't evidence enough, "Hotline Bling"'s director and fellow 6 God -- Toronto-based Director-X -- penned a lengthy response for The Fader yesterday explaining the video's actual influences. "I'm definitely familiar with the man [Turrell's] work, he's a genius," X wrote, "But if you look back at what I do, this is my style." He then outlined the ways in which "Hotline Bling" harkens back to a pair of light- and set-driven videos he produced for Sean Paul about a decade ago, "I'm Still in Love" and "Gimme the Light."


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