By Austin Santiago
Published: February 28th, 2018
Currently sitting number one on Billboard’s Top 100 is Drake’s smash singly “God’s Plan,” and it is hard to find someone who hasn’t heard it yet. Perhaps the one thing creating more buzz around Drake besides the song itself is the music video for the track, which has been seen by over 73 million on YouTube. The video shows Drake touring the city of Miami, committing various acts of generosity to the public; as stated in the intro, “The budget for this video was $996,631.90, we gave it all away.”
If the video is any indication, it is safe to say that not a single penny of that massive budget was left when it was all said and done. Drake sent a young woman to college on a full ride, donated $50,000 to a local high school, paid for everyone’s groceries at a Miami supermarket, and was even handing out stacks of cash to families on the street. Though the video has been mostly well-received, some have begged the question of who exactly all of Drake’s generosity truly benefits. Many feel that these generous acts are more of a publicity stunt than anything genuine for the Toronto rapper, arguing that if someone with immense wealth is to help those in need it should not be in such an overly publicized matter. Being that the song is titled “God’s Plan” many have turned to scripture to prove their point, citing a verse in the book of Matthew which states: “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you.” This statement, said by Jesus himself, is a declaration to his followers that they should never give to those in need so that others will notice. Instead, Jesus insists that people should give to those in need simply because it is the right thing to do, not because it will make you look good. With the evidence of scripture and pressure of social media present, one may wonder what exactly Drake’s plan was for the “God’s Plan” music video.
In the book of Mark, Jesus states: “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” And Drake, who as of October 2017 is sporting a net worth of $90 million, according to Forbes, certainly fits the description of wealthy. Writing as an avid rap fan, and the son of a pastor, I know all too well the importance and relevance of scripture. I also know how dangerous it can be when used incorrectly. I cannot deny what the Bible says as it is in fact true; charitable contributions don’t mean much when done for attention. However, in the book if 1 Kings it is said in a prayer that “You, and you alone know the hearts of men.” The “you” that is being referred to is God, and this is important to the argument. While there is a definitive answer as to how genuine these charitable acts were, the fact of the matter is we will never truly know because only Drake does. There is no other person on Earth who knows the motives of a man’s heart, famous rapper or not. So while we can’t assume the motives of Drake’s charity work, we can look at his track record when it comes to charity. Per Complex, in 2014, Drake donated an entire recording studio to Strawberry Mansion High School, one of the most dangerous schools in Philadelphia. According to Billboard, Drake donated $200,000 towards hurricane relief in Houston and pledged to donate $1 million to the city of Toronto’s efforts to build basketball courts in order to give youth an outlet to be active and engaged. These examples are just a few of Drake’s charitable contributions, and there are dozens more. A quick Google search reveals numerous charitable acts Drake has done around his own city and many others, but people didn’t know about it.
The real issue with the “God’s Plan” music video is that people aren’t used to seeing Drake perform charity work, and so many have made the assumption that it’s a new gimmick. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. The reality is we should be happy to see any recording artist willingly give back to those in need, because whether it is self-serving or not, people were still helped. So from now on, don’t question the motive behind music; just enjoy the music, because that’s what it was made for.