popstar music video
DJ Khaled ft. Drake – POPSTAR (Starring Justin Bieber) via YouTube

How the Popstar Music Video’s Brilliance Made the Song an Even Bigger Hit

Everybody knows that the quickest way to have a number 1 song on the Billboard Hot 100 charts is to have a hit video. Conversely and ironically, everybody also knows that the quickest way to have a hit video is to make sure that you first have a hit song. Drake seldom disappoints in both regards.

A Hit Video for a Hit Song!

Going by his history and statistics, Drake remains an absolute hit-making machine. He’s been making hit songs and hit videos for practically a decade now—all the while ensuring that his videos are fresh, crisp, and extremely creative.

DJ Khaled ft. Drake – POPSTAR (Starring Justin Bieber)

Setting the Bar

Whether its the randomness of the “God’s Plan” video or the “fun and easy to dance to” style of “Toosie Slide” (which was so catchy and easy even 82-year-old Anthony Hopkins could dance to it – watch it here), Drake and team are always innovating and creating new angles to ensure they have both the best songs and videos. Going by the amount of time and thought that he continues to put into his work, it’s unfortunate that his new album Dark Lane Demo Tapes didn’t debut at number one on the Billboard charts, unlike his previous nine debuts.

Breaking the Records

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Drake Sets Billboard Awards Record – (Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins)

However, because he has now reached 40 top ten hits on the Billboard Hot 100, Drake has still managed to break the record for the most top 10 hits in the history of the charts –thanks to his DJ Khaled collaborations “Popstar” and “Greece“. In this piece, we focus on why the Popstar music video is nothing short of genius.

1. The Plot was Totally Unexpected

Even though it was obvious that the song would have a great video going by Drake’s track record, we did not expect it to be THAT ingenious! Heck! The writers of Game of Thrones could learn a thing or two about surprises and excellent delivery from the plot of the video. The fact that Justin Bieber was the main star leaves you quite dazzled after watching it. But then again, who is a better popstar than Justin? So in a serendipitous kind of way, having Justin star in the video works out perfectly.

2. It is Relatable

The video starts with a nagging and overbearing DJ Khaled, who continually pesters Drake about doing a video for their song until Drizzy can’t take it anymore. It is quite relatable because we all have that persistent and sometimes annoying friend (-or partner) who usually pushes us into doing things for the sake of peace. It is also relatable because it shows how the pandemic has affected everyone, including celebrities like Drake and Khaled (we forget they are human too). It also shows that sometimes we all need to call for help or seek a favor from a friend… Even if you are Drake. 

3. We Probably Should Have Seen It Coming

Even though having Justin Bieber star in the video was mostly unexpected, we probably should have expected him to feature in the Popstar video (at least as a cameo appearance). Drake dropped several clues in the song.

In the first verse of the song, Drake raps, You would probably think my manager is Scooter Braun. This line directly refers to Justin Bieber’s manager.

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Scooter Braun via

Though a little farfetched, it can also be argued that the line Ariana, Selena my visa, it can take as many charges as it needs to, my girl makes a subliminal reference to JB’s history with Selena Gomez.

Not forgetting the part where Drake clearly says, Crown in my hand and I’m really playin’ keep-away, S*** don’t even usually get this big without a Bieber face. It couldn’t get more obvious than that! Well, guess what? He literally put a Bieber face to everything, and it spiraled out of control. Well played @champagnepapi.

im a popstar not a doctor not

4. It is Highly Creative

The video generally displays sheer creativity from beginning to end. From Bieber’s wife Hailey Baldwin’s cameo to Bieber’s “Baby” ringtone creating a little nostalgia for pretending everything was just a crazy dream, which probably never happened.

The Popstar video is essentially the product of the hard work, harmony, and collaboration of not two but three superstars –with everybody winning in the end. Drake and Khaled get their Hot 100 number 1 hit and increased sales –and Bieber helps in being a part of the success and benefits from the publicity. Why would Bieber need publicity? Well, because he just dropped a new album. It couldn’t be better.

5. It Lets the Audience Share in the Fun of Creating the Video

The behind-the-scenes footage at the end of the video could actually be the best part for many viewers. This is for the simple reason that it gives the audience a feel of all the fun and excitement that went down during the making of the video.

There was clearly no shortage of fun:

  • Throwing his phone to the bodyguard walking behind him several times
  • Messing up the part about wanting this drink and another one.
  • Blatant excitement of people in the outdoor scene loudly screaming Drake’s lyrics in front of fancy cars.

All in all, the video is exceptionally refreshing and an absolute vibe in a year that has not been famous for fun and excitement. It’s worth watching several times.

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