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pop culture

Drake on the last date of his "Would You Like A Tour? 2013."Owen Sweeney

Drake is not a traditional Cool Person and that's why we love him so much. He arrived to us via Degrassi, earned the nickname "Wheelchair Jimmy," and then quickly parlayed his notoriety into a red-letter hip-hop career built largely on emoting.

He's a man dictated by feelings. He owns a vast collection of sweaters, dons dad glasses and cheers so earnestly for the Toronto Raptors that watching them lose a game is painful only because we know how hurt Drake must be. He nicknamed his city "The 6ix" and his official logo is an owl. If not contributing to the evolution of pop music, you might expect Drake to be a friend you could forward Pottermore updates to while discussing the limited job opportunities of the wizarding world. He'd frequent TV trivia nights and post Walking Dead conspiracy theories to Facebook with the simple, "So true." But yet he'd never post anything politically incorrect under the veil of "Makes you think," making his online presence inherently valuable.

So, Drake is right when he refers to himself as a legend. But while his contributions to hip-hop and pop culture en masse have made him legendary, it's his warm-hearted spirit that catapults him to myth-like status; that prompts us to put our hands over our hearts while watching him dance awkwardly in a turtleneck and then makes us screencap said turtleneck dance because Aubrey Graham's zest for life deserves recognition.

This week, the 6ix god dropped the video for his latest single, Hotline Bling, and aside from noticing that the women in it bore a striking resemblance to Drake's BFF/labelmate Nicki Minaj, two things particularly stuck out: his sweater and his dancing, both ideal for a parent at an anniversary party, and both Peak Drake.

It takes guts to dance like no one's watching, but in the video's five-minute run time, the age-old cliche is the code Drake lives by. He dances in a way that convinces you he's living his best life and the determination on his face confirms it.

You get the feeling that he sat in the pitch meeting and said, "I'll dance for most of this video" and because he's Drake, his Hotline Bling collaborators agreed. Then he brought a few sweaters from home and the rest was history.

The fact that this (made-up) mental image rings true proves the effect that Drake has on everybody. Aside from a few well-choreographed exceptions (see: anything by Beyoncé and Justin Bieber), few artists are showing up to bust a move in their videos or during live shows. Instead, they retain an air of mystery, focusing more on artistic vision or looking cool than the idea of standing in a room and dancing the way we imagined we would if we grew up to be pop stars, too. Instead, Drake does our childhood dreams proud, navigating the industry's ins and outs with the enthusiasm of someone who wants to be there, as well as the confidence of a person who's completely content in themselves. Which is a level we – regardless of career – all aspire to reach.

This is why Drake can dance in fleece and still manage to increase everything from his pop-star credibility to his sex appeal. More artists than we can count front like they're above Cool Person hierarchy while opting out of engaging with the part of themselves that's excited to be famous. Meanwhile, Drake's enthusiasm fuels him, it endears him to us, but it also helps to open the door to more platforms and more opportunities. If he's so fearless that he's willing to dance for five minutes for millions of people, what else can he do? What kind of confidence is that? How's he going to change the game next?

Don't ask me, I'm just playing Pottermore.