Drake’s song, and video about God’s plan - "God's plan," is like a modern tale on popularity in America and the world. It demonstrates how people don’t really care about the message of the song, so long as they can be seen with a rich, popular star.
In case you didn’t know, Drake, Aubrey Drake Graham, is a popular rapper from a middle-class background in Toronto, who has turned his interest to rap music. The people who listen to his music, or watch his videos really don’t care about the fact that he did not grow up in the "hood."
The lyrics of the song show that Drake is more interested in himself than the people he is meeting with in the video.
"Yeah they wishin' and wishin' and wishin' and wishin'
They wishin' on me, yuh"
But the end of the lyrics of the first eight sentences are about me. How does life and living affect me. It's incredibly self-centered and narcissistic, for a songwriter to be incredibly focused on himself and his world, while people around him are suffering and poor. Meanwhile, we see Drake dancing in a Sake Fifth Avenue store and handing out stacks of cash.
Drake may be successful, but that does not mean that his plan reflects God’s plan - at least the God of the Bible. That’s because meeting the real needs of people is not something that rich people celebrate in a video. It’s something that Christians take seriously, and mostly do privately. Jesus talks about this in the Bible often. Don't do your good works so that they can be seen by men. There were people in his day who did things precisely so that they would be seen by people.
If Drake wants to help people who are already helping people in many ways, he is more than welcome to do that. But that does not have a lot to do with Drake, it has to do with God and how he works. God doesn’t work as an afterthought for people who decide they are going to give production funds for a video to people on the street, no matter how much money it may be.
That seems to be the emphasis of the video and Drake though: I am a rich celebrity; I don’t really need this money; I’ll just give it to some schools, organizations, people, and dance around with a friend inside a Saks Fifth Avenue.
Unfortunately for Drake, God doesn’t need his self-promotion to get the job done.
And since Drake is talking about bad things in the lyrics of the song, the video could very well be one of them. It’s hard to see where Drake is experiencing bad things. Is it because of how he is dissing other rappers and being dissed by them in life? Is it because he businessman father won’t listen to his music or pay attention to him?
The message of the video is that a rapper can be so self-involved, so self-absorbed, that they think their music video is a not-for-profit segment designed to help people.
What do we see in this video? Extreme poverty and extreme wealth. The poverty is areas of a city where people have almost nothing; the wealth is what it looks to live in Drake’s celebrity house, where he is seen giving a $50,000 check to a student so she can attend college.
In another scene, he hands out a stack of cash to a woman sitting on a curb. Drake may feel guilty about how much money he has, but showing how he is doing it in a music video is not the best way, unless one is running for public office.
Here are some other lyrics in the song:
“Might go down as G O D.”
Let’s hope he doesn’t go down at God; God would not be happy.
"The budget for this video was $996, 631.90. We gave it all away."
That’s fine. But how about this: Spend the $1 million money on the video, and still give away $1 million. Just don’t tell people about it.
The Bible says don’t show the world how much or are giving or how you are giving - don't let your right hand know what your left hand is doing (or giving). It means not to make a show of what you are doing, or give yourself credit, but to give God credit.
As well, it doesn’t matter how much you give, it’s how you give. That’s what is really important.
As to the video, at the beginning, he shows a black man who says:
“2020, I might decide to run for presidency of the United States. This is what the president is supposed to look like. Okay. That’s right.”
Well, the president of the United States may or may not look this this man. But what we can observe is that including this man is the video seems to be for shock value, or to show that homeless and poor will say strange things.
If Drake wants to donate his money, he could give it anonymously through someone else, and not make a video with him as the center of attention.
He could give his money to The Drake House, a home for homeless women and children located in Rosewell, GA that helps people get off the street. They are always in need of funds to help keep the doors open so that people can be helped.
Most of the people who give to this group are probably not the ultra rich who travel in private jets and make music videos. The groups are usually funded by ordinary people who you might meet on the street - people with ordinary uneventful lives who decide to help.
Let’s hope that Drake and other rap artists learn that donating privately is as or more important than donating publicly. The Drake House could be a beneficiary of his generosity.
Here is the web site of The Drake House: thedrakehouse.org.
© 2018 Larry Ingram
Based in St Louis,
Larry Ingram writes about the news media, movies and culture, as well as topics like race, privilege, Christianity, religious expression and tolerance.
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