Here’s a little music industry secret: You can tell if a Drake song is going to be a hit based on how well the lyrics work as Instagram captions.
And by that standard, “God’s Plan,” one of the two tracks on Drake’s latest EP, Scary Hours, is a certified chart-topper.
The song, a pop rap anthem in the vein of Take Care‘s “Headlines,” has an Instagramable lyric for quite literally everyone. Your WCW (and Odell Beckham Jr.) will definitely caption a pic “Don’t pull up at 6 a.m. to cuddle with me.” And you’re 100 percent going to see some frat dude party pics with “Imagine if I never met the broskies” under them.
And of course, there’s the weirdest, funniest, Drakiest line in a while: “She say, ‘Do you love me?’ I tell her, ‘Only partly’/ I only love my bed and my momma, I’m sorry.”
But regardless of Aubrey Graham’s prioritization of Tempur-Pedic mattresses over women, “God’s Plan” is a much-needed reminder that Drake can still make hits as a rapper. Sure, he’s arguably more popular than ever, but his recent ploys for radio play have all been straight-up pop songs — “Hotline Bling,” “One Dance,” “Passionfruit.” Casual listeners might even be forgiven for not realizing Drake is, in fact, a rapper.
And if “God’s Plan” is proof of Drizzy’s ability to make rap songs that double as hits, “Diplomatic Immunity” — the EP’s other single — is more evidence that his bars are still top-notch (whether he wrote them or not).
Every Drake project has at least one of these tracks on them — introspective, personal raps over underwater soul samples and tough, *real rap* drums. The most recent of these was More Life‘s “Do Not Disturb,” which was equally reflective and fun to rap along with. While “Diplomatic Immunity” doesn’t quite live up to that level, it’s still an admirable exercise in rapping from a talented artist who doesn’t always flex those muscles.
“2017 I lost a J. Lo/ A Rotterdam trip had me on front page though,” he raps on the track, flexing his penchant for turning his own life into clever bars with solid wordplay (sorry, A-Rod).
Of course, Drake’s “honesty” has always felt highly calculated, so choreographed tough talk meant to threaten unknown enemies falls predictably flat. But despite Drake’s obsession with his own image as the 6 God (“I be walkin’ around the Six like I invented it, boy”), he’s also hilariously incapable of hiding his own ego. Just listen to his incessant, braggadocious references to expensive restaurants (Giorgio Baldi and Madeo) and casual name-dropping of famous women by their official names (Solána is SZA and Robyn is Rihanna, FYI).
Of course, that’s also probably what we like about Drake — he’s one of the most successful rappers around, and he still regularly makes himself look like a jackass on wax. And at this point, that’s what we want!
Scary Hours is just that — more of what we want. Drake has released scores of songs that sound just like “God’s Plan” and “Diplomatic Immunity.” But they’re still good songs — both familiar and fun to listen to. Yeah, they’re reminders that Drake is a solid rapper, but more importantly, they’re reminders that Drake is hip-hop’s best curator — he can give you every type of song you want to hear … all by himself.
Which is why every song still sounds like Drake featuring Drake.