Written by Matt Gemmer. Media by Hengyi Chi.
With the release of his new singles “God’s Plan” and “Diplomatic Immunity” on Jan. 19, Drake keeps making history. Some might argue that the hip-hop artist’s best days have already passed — that the songs Drake stamped his pop-rap style onto from the beginning, such as “Best I Ever Had” or “Forever” in 2009 can never be topped. Still, many believe that his second studio and Grammy award-winning album “Take Care,” (2011) marked Drake’s peak; the perfect blend of R&B inspired songs such as “Marvin’s Room” and “Take Care” mixed in with the heavy-hitters like “Headlines” and “Under Ground Kings” (and don’t forget about the appearances from Kendrick Lamar and Andre 3000) solidified Drake as a bonafide hip-hop superstar.
When asked about Drake’s evolution as an artist, senior Cooper Eaker said, “I think Drake has done a really good job at adapting to hip-hop and hip-hop culture, but it would be way better if he would go back to his sound from ‘Thank Me Later’ and ‘Take Care.’” When talking to many Drake fans or hip-hop fans in general, it seems as though Drake’s glory days took place in the early 2010s.
But the numbers and awards say otherwise.
Fast forward a few years from the “Take Care” era to 2015 and Drake has captured his third “Best Rapper Alive Every Year Since 1979” award from Complex.
And to say that 2017 went well for Drake would be a massive understatement. It hasn’t even been a year since he completely dominated the Billboard Music Awards show in May, breaking Adele’s record for most awards at the show in one night by taking home 13 awards of his 22 nominations, including “Artist of the Year,” “Top Rap Artist,” “Top Rap Album,” and “Top Song Sales Artist.”
2018 is off to a bang as well for the Toronto native. As if 2017 didn’t go well enough for Drake, his two newest singles have set more records. Not only did “God’s Plan” mark the first time ever for a Drake song to debut at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart (Feb. 3), but he also became the first artist ever to twice have two songs debut in the Billboard Top 10 at the same time with “Diplomatic Immunity” cashing in at number seven. Not only did “God’s Plan” also set a one-day streaming record, but totaled 82.4 million streams within its first week after being released, which checks in as the fourth most streams of all-time for a song within a week — and that’s not even to mention the sales from downloads. Also in its first week, “Plan” eclipsed 127,000 downloads, making Drake an eight-time winner of the number one digital song sales title.
“‘God’s Plan’ is a banger. I liked how he dropped ‘Diplomatic Immunity’ at the same time,” commented junior Mark Barigye.
“I thought ‘God’s Plan’ was a great song that brought back the old Drake with a new beat. He seems to be getting back to his old form, which is going to serve him well,” Eaker continued.
The release of “God’s Plan” gives Drake his fourth number one song ever. But it does more. It shows that Drake just might be going back to his proverbial glory days. And it allows the critics to continue to be bored with the Toronto legend, because the award shows and the Hot 100 chart sure aren’t.