April 14, 2018
Todd plays "God's Plan" on the piano.
GOD'S PLAN - DRAKE
A pop song review
[Screenshot of article titled "Drake Celebrates "God's Plan" Spending 11 Weeks Atop Billboard Chart"]
Todd: Okay... why?
Todd (VO): I think that's the question I always start out when I review a currently popular song. Why is this popular? But more important than that, I think the question I have about "God's Plan" by Drake is...
Todd: ...why is Drake popular?
Clip of "Forever"
Drake: It may not be...
Todd (VO): It's a stupid question, right? I mean, I like Drake. I like tons of Drake songs. I think he's great. I've said it over and over. I don't begrudge his success. I think he deserves to be successful.
Todd: I'm just saying... this successful?
Clip of "Started from the Bottom"
Todd (VO): Let's be clear, this is the Drake decade. When the decade ends, I'm fairly certain that Drake will be the most famous and successful artist of the entire 2010's, unless, I dunno, Post Malone makes Thriller X1000 in the next year and a half. It's really funny to go back and listen to Drake's first couple of records where he's basically neurotic on what's gonna happen when the fame runs out. Because it never did. Last August, Drake ended a record-setting streak of literally 8 straight years in the Hot 100. And if anyone thought that meant we might be getting a break from Drake...
Todd: ...a Drake Break, if you will...
Todd (VO): Nope. He returned at the beginning of this year, and since then he's nestled himself snugly at the #1 spot. And it's proven that even in over 8 years we haven't seen anything yet. Measured purely in chart terms, "God's Plan" is his most successful single ever. Not "Hotline Bling," not "Best I Ever Had," or any of his other songs with a tune and a point. Nope, "God's Plan."
Todd: So surely, this is some undeniable killer jam, an out of nowhere banger that everyone's dancing to and talking about.
Drake: Bad things, It's a lot of bad things that they wishin' and wishin' and wishin' and wishin', They wishin' on me, yeah
Drake: They gon' tell the story, shit was different with me, God's plan
Todd (VO): This is...this is God's plan, huh? God works in mysterious ways.
Todd: Honestly, I've heard basically nothing about this song. I mean, I've certainly heard it a bunch of times.
Todd (VO): But I haven't heard any real buzz about it, or anyone talking about it. The only thing I've generally heard any real reaction is to the video, which is admittedly pretty cool.
Drake: Anything you guys want in the store is free, grab whatever you want
Todd (VO): In fact, because YouTube streaming counts for the Billboard charts now, I'm fairly certain that's why this song is so big. See, according to the title cards, he took the entire video budget, and instead of making just another boring shitty rap video, he just gave it to people who'd have an actual use for it. I'm cool with that. That rules! Good for him.
Todd: But let's be real here, let's not make more of this than it is. Don't tell the label? Come on. The label doesn't care. Because 1) it's not really the label's money anymore, because the label just deducts the budget out of the artist's paycheck anyway, and 2) Drake's getting a huge promotional boost out of the video, which is what a video is supposed to do! He used that money exactly how it was intended!
Todd (VO): It's still awesome that he gave away all that money, that's great. But he didn't punk the label or anything. Wait to see if he does it a second time now that the novelty's gone.
Todd: And as for my own stake in this as a critic...
Todd (VO): ...look, none of this has anything to do with the actual song. I mean, yes, there's a throwaway line in there about feeding people.
Drake: I make sure that north-side eat
Todd (VO): And I guess Drake wanted to put his money where his mouth is, which, again, that's awesome, Drake's awesome for doing it. But that's still only one line!
Todd: And if I'm right, and video play is the reason why this song is so big, that means that he essentially had to give out a million dollar bribe to get people to listen to this song. So what's the premise of this song?
Todd (VO): Well, as far as I can tell, it doesn't have one. It just kinda drifts here and there. There's the title at least, which does answer my big question, "Why is Drake popular?". According to Drake, it's all part of God's plan.
Todd: And "Bitches Love Me?"
Drake: Long as my bitches love me
Todd (VO): Also part of God's plan. That was God punishing us for our sins! Now "God's Plan" has got this dreamy, kinda drowsy beat, like most Drake songs. It's not the best Drake song, it's not the worst Drake song, but it may very well be the most "Drake" Drake song. It's like his entire career in a nutshell. Todd: Now, you start with Drake being a dick to women, as you do.
Drake: Don't pull up at 6 AM to cuddle with me, You know how I like it when you lovin' on me
Todd (VO): I guess the intent is to establish what a baller he is, that he doesn't give a shit what she wants. I don't cuddle, I just fuck! I guess? Todd: Actually, I dunno, doesn't sound to me like he's being a pimp or anything, that's just a reasonable expectation.
Drake: Don't pull up at 6 AM to cuddle with me
Todd (VO): I mean, six in the morning? If someone shows up unannounced because they need to cuddle at six in the goddamn morning, you can fairly call that high maintenance. Todd: I have to get ready for work!
Drake: Don't pull up at 6 AM to cuddle with me
Todd (VO): So it's not like he's a player or anything, he's someone who has reasonable boundaries. I don't think that's what he was going for. Todd: Ok, if "God's Plan" does have any kind of point, it's this.
Drake: Bad things, It's a lot of bad things that they wishin' and wishin' and wishin' and wishin', They wishin' on me
Todd: Drake has people who wish him ill.
Drake: It's a lot of bad things that they wishin' and wishin' and wishin'
Todd: Look, Drake, I'm sure you have haters. No one gets as big as you without haters. It's just...who are they?
Todd (VO): Do you know them? Are they rival rappers? Critics? Assassins? Vampires?
Todd: The only person I've ever seen come out and attack you is Meek Mill, and you owned him so hard he's in jail now! But it doesn't even matter who they are, how do they make you feel?
Drake: Yes, I see the things that they wishin' on me
Todd (VO): Do you interact with them in any way? How do they affect your life? Are you angry? Unbothered? Depressed? If I had to guess by the tone, maybe he thinks it's unfair that people wish ill on him, considering all the good he does and what a big name he is?
Todd: But that's just a guess. Who the hell knows what he's feeling in this song?
Todd (VO): He delivers everything in that trademark Drake monotone.
Drake: They wishin', they wishin' on me
Todd (VO): If I had to guess, it, it makes him feel, overly Xanaxed?
Drake: Tryna keep it peaceful is a struggle for me
Todd (VO): Is it? Is it?
Todd: You sure sound like you're pretty peaceful. You sound peaceful enough to be comatose!
Todd (VO): Look, he doesn't seem to feel anything when he talks about people wishing bad things on him, so I don't feel anything either. I think he's just leaning on rap cliches.
Todd: Which... fine even a lot of the best rap songs are like 40% cliches. Let's not focus on that.
Todd (VO): Let's focus on the parts that stand out.
Todd: Explain to me why it is God's plan that you, (Image of a dorky-looking Drake appears briefly) are the biggest rapper in the world?
Transcript in progress