Saturday, February 10th, 2018

Drake – God’s Plan

More Drake, if you needed any.


Julian Axelrod: Nearly a decade into his reign as rap’s prince of passive-aggression, you probably know where you stand with Drake. Every new release brings a new style, and every new style brings a new wave of exhausting discourse. “God’s Plan” won’t change your mind either way. It’s another address from a weary king to his restless fans: Drake is still overworked and (in his mind) under-appreciated, and he’s so preoccupied with death he can’t enjoy his amazing life. But as a hopeless Drake stan, this has so many elements that stick with me. I love the faint shimmer of the icy beat, like snow melting on a sunny day. I love Drake’s effortless ear for melody, and the way he smears his verses and his choruses and his ad-libs into one giant hook. God help me, I even love the bit about his bed and his mama, a line so corny and self-aware it somehow loops around and becomes charming again. After all these years, Drake is still Drake — for better or worse.

Hannah Jocelyn: Fucking Drake. Three months after disappearing from the Hot 100, ending eight years of non-stop reigning, he finally debuts at #1 with a single-song Greatest Hits compilation (or a This Is: Drake playlist in miniature).”God’s Plan” sounds like the 15th track on a 20-track streaming-optimized album, yet it’s actually the first song on a two-song EP. Drake’s thing is that he sounds detached and forlorn even when he’s in a good mood, but he sounds even more emotionless than usual here. There are some good moments – “Hope I got some brothers that outlive me” jumped out to me from my first listen, and there’s a strange amount of warmth in the way he delivers “I only love my bed and my momma, I’m sorry.” But then the chorus is weak, and the backing track is the quirky aspects of “Hotline Bling” calcified into an above-average SoundCloud Drake-style beat. He thanks “40” Shebib and his own ‘broskies’ for his success, but at this point, he really could use more new friends.

Ryo Miyauchi: Aubrey’s frustratingly self-aware Drake-isms, as well as echoes of earlier Boi-1da heard on the beat, points “God’s Plan” as a return to form after surveying the dance music bubbling on other side of the Atlantic. I can feel a smirk rise out of him during that “I only love my bed and my mama” couplet: it’s Aubrey Graham’s “Burton to this Taylor.” And he most likely expects a groan out of us as he addresses an unknown “they” wishing upon his downfall. The content here is hardly novel, a little tired, though it is still reliable.

Ashley John: A classic Drake song about classic Drake things, but I will probably never get tired of the tension in all of Drake’s releases. I wonder if Drake is worried about the template he’s made for himself – if he feels stifled or content. Surely making more songs like this won’t help expand his reach, but maybe that’s not what he’s trying to do anymore. When he leaves the music industry is that all that will remain? Will anyone even care about Drake the person or just the archetype of the man he tried to be? “God’s Plan” sounds like being resigned to the latter, and at least trying to hit that as hard as possible. 

Stephen Eisermann: Is this anything new from Drake? No. The thing is, it doesn’t really have to be when it sound as good as Drake does rapping about familiar topics over a dope beat. The anxiety about fame is not uncharted territory, but the line about loving only his bed and mother is just outstanding enough to elevate an otherwise familiar track.

Anthony Easton: Everytime I want to dismiss Drake, he puts this tiny little detail that makes me reconsider–here it is the aborted chorus, where he just repeats bad things, a lot of bad things they are wishing on…snapping out of it with this ambivalent answer to a questioning woman. All of the sad sack brokenness that is the best of Drake is in those repeating notions. The rest doesn’t resolve, and doesn’t make an argument for not resolving. 

Alfred Soto: The admissions of caddishness — he only loves his bed and his mama, in that order — are evidence of a divine order, to which Aubrey Graham is introducing to his global audience one molasses-thick drawl at a time. Well, it’s blessedly brief, and when he mimics Quavo in a verse I can shrug my shoulders. 

Micha Cavaseno: The currently incapacitated Demarcus “Boogie” Cousins has a weirdly muddied reputation; on one hand, he’s an undoubtedly talented player. Yet on the other, he’s been regarded recently with a reputation as a bully, and has received plenty of scrutiny from critics of the sport. At one point, exasperated with a known detractor during his tenure on the Sacramento Kings, he distanced himself from the press with the classic rhetorical remark “How you gonna stop God’s plan? God gives his heaviest burdens to his strongest soldiers… The marathon continues.” While Drakk isn’t one for open worship, except for basketball players, he’s most certainly one known for believing in his own melodrama and acting like the weight of the world is on his own shoulders. Perhaps better than most rappers, he understands his audience as people are all trapped within their own first-person perspectives and in us all, we are trapped by being the center of our own universes with the knowledge that only we can truly understand ourselves. Graphic oversell of the man’s false depths besides, “God’s Plan” is a perpetual reminder of the insistent self-worth that Drakk is unable to ever stop announcing. Stylistically it’s obviously indebted to Trippie Redd (whom was supposedly promised a feature on the record before audience demand after a streaming session dictated the song’s future) with its floating melodies, but inevitably it is the same unrelenting energy that manages to keep plenty of fans convinced he’s unstoppable.

Reader average: [3] (3 votes)

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One Response to “Drake – God’s Plan”

  1. The video just came out and it’s a 12/10