Drake’s latest single, “God’s Plan,” begins at the very top. The track debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 after a short silence from Drake, propelled into the chart’s highest slot on the strength of 82.4 million streams during its first week of availability—a new record.
For someone who began his career more than 10 years ago, Drake doesn’t seem to be done. And as he skyrockets his way to instant popularity once again, fans get a glimpse of what “God’s Plan” might mean to Drake.
Apparently, Drake’s haters have been “wishin’/ … a lot of bad things” on the iconic Canadian rapper, even as he insists, “I’ve been movin’ calm, don’t start no trouble with me.” But calm doesn’t come easily: “Tryna keep it peaceful is a struggle for me.”
And speaking of keeping things peaceful, he tells a woman, “Don’t pull up at 6 a.m. to cuddle with me,” though he then immediately adds, “You know how I like it when you lovin’ on me.” But he later cautions her again against taking things too far, emotionally speaking: “She say, ‘Do you love me?’ I tell her, ‘Only partly’/I only love my bed and my momma, I’m sorry.”
Drake also wants to be remembered for his fame before he dies.
And if not? Well, then, “Hope I got some brothers that outlive me” because “they gon’ tell the story, s— was different with me.”
As for the song’s title, Drake seemingly uses the phrase “God’s plan” to describe the trajectory of his life. At least once, he may actually be alluding to some kind of providential guidance when he raps, “God’s plan, God’s plan/I can’t do this on my own, ayy, no, ayy/Someone watchin’ this s— close, yep, close.” Other times, though, it’s much harder to see a reference to the divine: “God’s plan, God’s plan/I hold back, sometimes I won’t,” Drake says cryptically, perhaps identifying himself as a god.
That’s something he’s done before, calling himself “6 God” at times in the past; and some interpreters of this song think this idea of “God’s plan” could thus be interpreted as Drake’s own plan. Judging by his interests in this song, that “plan” includes a wide variety of things.
In addition to sleeping, giving shout-outs to his mom and occasionally spending time with a woman in bed, Drake reminisces about the street where he grew up (“I finessed down Weston Road”), tips his hat to his stomping grounds in Toronto (“I make sure that north-side eat”), and talks about getting a tattoo of a friend who was shot down (“Fifty Dub I even got it tatted on me”).
Drake also lets people know that he’s sold out plenty of arenas, going from “02 into the 03” with the help of “40” and “Oli,” his producers. But no matter what he does or doesn’t do, the song implies again in the end that he just can’t seem to avoid the “bad things” that others wish upon him.
This track seems almost schizophrenic in nature as it zigzags back and forth between various topics. One moment, Drake’s fixated on those who don’t wish him well. The next, he’s talking about loving his bed and his mom more than anything in the world. Sometimes he seems at peace with his superstar life. Other times, maybe not so much, Drake basically admits: “I feel good, sometimes I don’t.”
Drake, of course, has been known for his autobiographical songs throughout his career. Some have held deep emotional significance; others have been shallow, random and seemingly pointless.
This feels like a bit of both. Drake references the tragic death of a friend, but he doesn’t shy away from shallow relationships with women. And when it comes to God, it’s unclear whether he’s perhaps referencing Him in his own way, or whether that reference might just be to himself—making “God’s Plan” sound more like “Drake’s Plan.”
Kristin Smith joined the Plugged In team in 2017. Formerly a Spanish and English teacher, Kristin loves reading literature and eating authentic Mexican tacos. She and her husband, Eddy, love raising their children Judah and Selah. Kristin also has a deep affection for coffee, music, her dog (Cali) and cat (Aslan).