A lot of people are talking about Drake at the moment and his awesome new video for hit song “God’s Plan.” It starts off with an explainer: “The budget for this video was $996,631.90. We gave it all away. Don’t tell the label.” It then documents Drake‘s random acts of kindness to people in need. A $50,000 scholarship to a college student, donations to homeless shelters, emergency services and Miami Senior High. Shopping sprees for teenage girls. Paying for strangers’ groceries. He’s like this rapping angel of kindness, who leaves everyone in a blubbery, teary mess of disbelief and gratitude.
So what could possibly be more important than that? More important than the hand out of generous sums of money and the epic emotional responses? Well, it’s the fact that he’s bringing “kindness” into mainstream pop culture.
On day 4 of release, “God’s Plan” has already had 17 million views on YouTube. The guy has close to 40 million followers on Instagram. Twitter hasn’t stopped talking about the video since it was dropped. That’s a lot of people being exposed to something we see so little of these days, which is, giving back to our communities.
In a world where the sale of red puffy jackets skyrocket simply because Drake wears one in his “Hot Line Bling” clip, this is huge. “God’s Plan” may not trigger a rush of random acts of kindness, but it might, just might, instill some old school values of understanding and empathy in an increasingly hedonistic world.
Plus, Drake is showing us a side to Miami that’s usually hidden in mainstream media. Think of any music video set there, chances are it features perfect bodies, lots of bling, lavish hotel rooms, private jets, and more bling. But the reality is, there are close to 180,000 people in Miami-Dade County living in poverty.
And what to make of those calling this a shameless marketing strategy to, well, make himself more money? Quite frankly, who cares? What we need to remember is that countless lives are being changed thanks to Drake‘s actions, and this isn’t the first time either. Since 2010, when he first started making a name for himself, the superstar has been giving to people in need. He’s donated $30,000 to a school in Jamaica so they can build computer labs for kids, given $10,000 to a charity supporting impoverished neighbourhoods in Toronto. He’s paid for the funerals of five children in Ohio when their mother could not afford it and hosts celebrity basketball and softball games to benefit various charities.
The list is only getting longer.