A few weeks ago, my 11-year-old son told me to look up a YouTube video for Drake’s new song, “God’s Plan.” I sat watching it with tears rolling down my face, and since then, I haven’t been able to get the song or the video images out of my head. Here’s why.
For 10 weeks now, “God’s Plan” has been at the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Top 100 and has broken streaming records across multiple platforms. Even though the song itself is infectious (best described by this 43-year-old mom as “soft rap”), the video is what’s blowing people away:
In it, the Toronto rapper/singer/songwriter/producer/actor uses his label’s million-dollar video production budget for charity, “making it rain” on less-fortunate people around Miami. The video is shot like a documentary with aesthetics, the lyrics of the song playing while Drake goes around sharing his wealth with unsuspecting people on the street.
Though it does seem random to the people being gifted in the video, Drake worked with Miami city officials beforehand to identify needy families and organizations. In one scene, he tells all the shoppers in a Sabor Tropical Supermarket that everything on the shelves is free. People are joyfully scooping things into their grocery carts and celebrating in the aisles.
Another scene shows a young homeless family sitting on a sidewalk ledge. Drake sneaks up to sit beside them, and when they notice him sitting there, they scream in shock, just before the tears start to fall. Drake has just handed them several stacks of cash. The same scenario plays out for an older mom and her adult son, as well as a mom and her wheelchair-bound daughter.
There’s a scene where Drake drops into the University of Miami to give student Destiny James a $50,000 check for her tuition. James had written an application essay that had made its way into Drake’s hands and thought she was on campus that day to explain why scholarships are so crucial for people like her.
This happened today. I applied to scholarships last year for which I had to write an essay. I received those scholarships and thought that was the end of it. Apparently, my essay and my story made it to other departments. I was contacted this weekend about doing a video speaking about where I come from, things I've been through, and why it is so important for scholarship donors to continue to donate. This was the surprise the whole time. Drake told me that he has read great things about me and appreciates how hard I've worked through so many trials and decided to give me $50K for my tuition. @champagnepapi THANK YOU SO MUCH!!' You don't understand what this means to me! I would've never imagined this happening to me. I'm just a girl from Denmark, SC that wants to MAKE IT and be somebody and for you to see my hard work means the world. Thank you so much. God I thank you. You are so great and amazing! Thank you for blessing me when I thought my hard work was going unnoticed. I'm living out my dreams. God's Plan 🙏🏾
Over the course of the six-minute video, Drake gives away cars, shopping sprees, stacks of cash, steak dinners, wrapped games and toys, Nike sneakers, and gift cards. He writes checks to fire departments, women’s shelters, and high schools.
The video is a humbling reminder of how much need is out there, but it gives us something so much more intimate than a news headline or a statistic. It gives us the chance to see the faces of need, if only for a few minutes. And though Drake has come under criticism by some who think his humanitarianism is self-serving, he is putting need, week after week as his video maintains its No. 1 spot, in our faces. He’s reminding you, me, and everyone watching that we can do something to help — almost daring us not to.
Have you watched Drake’s “God’s Plan” video? Tell us how it affected you in the comments below!