Drake is everywhere. He’s taped inside circles of red and pink hearts on middle school girls’ binders. He’s booming from transistor radios at a juvenile detention center. His voice glides above waves of bass as college players warm up for NCAA soccer matches. Then there’s Loyola University Chicago’s run to the Final Four: was it “God’s Plan”?
Drake is everywhere.
And now, thanks to “God’s Plan,” wherever Drake is, God is there, too.
It’s kind of a big deal that the Canadian Jewish superstar’s new number one single unleashed a message of trust in God’s Providence to the world (at least 430,263,979 times on YouTube alone). It’s kind of a big deal that he donated his music video’s million-dollar budget to Miami U scholarships, after school programs, and poor families. It’s kind of a big deal that he sends a shout-out to working mothers heard echoing in city streets around the globe.
Let’s take a look at three important Judeo-Christian messages the song and video communicate.
An Unshakeable Confidence in God in the Midst of Good and Bad
The name gives it away: “God’s Plan.” There’s a mystery to it. The Rev. Richard Lawson, Dean of Saint John’s Cathedral, Denver, CO, has commented, “It’s dangerous for anybody to claim to know God’s plan in detail, so I love that Drake doesn’t get too specific, and instead evokes how we long for God’s Plan, a God who is real but always more than we can grasp in the moment.”
It’s true. Take the example of one man in the music video who preaches, “Thank God for what’s happening right now. It might not be good, but thank God.” This sort of faith comes from experiences of hardship. It arises out of close encounters with death and suffering. Someone who has made it through by the skin of their teeth and can’t help thinking, like Drake, that “Someone watchin’ this s*** close, yep, close.” God’s got it under control. It’s God’s plan.
Good Old-Fashioned Charity
Haters claim that Drake’s charitable giving in the music video is selfish. Last time I checked, only God can judge the human heart. I don’t know what the guy’s motives are. No one does. I do know that he helped some people. I do know that he paid for scholarships, that he supported community programming, and that he brought smiles to many faces. High Snobiety’s Jake Hall has pointed out, “Fans still fall at his feet, but there’s no security to stop them. He’s really in these schools, he’s actively listening to these communities — as behind-the-scenes videos have shown — and he really is laughing and joking un-self-consciously.”
I’ll offer Drake the Ignatian presupposition and assume that he has good motives until it’s expressly proven otherwise.
Behold Your Mother
He advises a young man near the end of the video, “We’re nothing without our mothers.” He’s right–literally and figuratively. Everyone’s got a mother. No one would exist without one. The best lyrics in the song are JesuLit:
She say, “Do you love me?” I tell her, “Only partly”
I only love my bed and my momma, I’m sorry
Drake seems to get it. He has a special tenderness towards his mother. Other relationships may come and go, but the bond between Drake and his mother remains. Different from many guys today, Drake isn’t ashamed to proclaim this love for his mother. That’s really cool.
Drake preached in “God’s Plan.” Let’s take his words to heart. Trust in God. Be generous. Call your mother.