Aubrey Graham. “God’s Plan”. “Nice For What”. Need we say more? We know you’ve been pondering the question of which, at the end of the day, is better. Thankfully you have us.
Scenario # 1: Thanksgiving 20 years from now Junior turns to you after the turkey is cut and says, “Pop pop, play us a song from your youth”
Steven: *Plays “God’s Plan” video for the young bloods*
“Papa, what are NBA Commissioner Drake and former Mayor of Miami Antonio Brown doing here?”
“Well son, they’re just stuntin’ on us.”
“God’s Plan” is undeniable. From the caramel-like stickiness of the opening chords to the first time the beat knocks you back into simpler times, Drake simply encompasses so much that makes music fun in 2018. Yes, the video itself is a crowd-pleaser, but the song has such a distinct vibe that you can’t help but look out into the distance longing for a better version of yourself. Don’t worry, young blood. It’s out there. Keep grinding and you’ll find it.
Rose: I’m going to cut that beautiful golden turkey up while Junior is by my side-scrolling through his Ipad 30 and I will show him a bunch of God’s Plan Memes (especially Aubrey hugging the family and crying). Then we will listen to the second verse of “God’s Plan” and do a silent nod to each other out of respect. The second verse of “God’s Plan” will forever live in the Pantheon of verses you belt out by yourself, at the gym, at the bar, or to the random 55-year-old sitting next to you during a Timeout at the Knick game. It is undeniable no matter how many times you see it on Facesnap and Instabook. The video is just the icing on the cake that brings it all together. If you listen to “God’s Plan” and aren’t immediately in a better mood, well then I just feel bad for you.
Levy: Just envisioning a Thanksgiving table where Uncle Bobby isn’t trying to impress everyone that he is indeed living in 2018 by yelling “ALEXA PLAY STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN BY LED ZEPLIN” sounds like immense progress. Little junior is going to throw another serving of non-GMO farmed-from-Uranus-fresh-to-table mashed potatoes and I’m going to play for him “God’s Plan”. The song to a non-hip hop fan is much more digestible. The beat is not only catchy but is brilliantly simplistic. The “Nice For What” Lauren Hill sampling paired with a more upswing southern trap beat has a lot going on for a one time, let me impress you song for your punk ass kid whose college loans to Trump University are going to cost you an arm and a leg.
Scenario # 2: The DJ at your wedding says he can’t find “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” for your final song he can only find “God’s Plan” and “Nice For What.”
Rose: This one is easy. As soon as you hear the sped up Lauryn Hill sample and Drizzy drop “Everybody get your motherfuckin’ roll on…” you will not stop moving for the next 120 seconds. The beat is hypnoticcccc. You simply must get up and move once you hear, especially in a setting where it is okay to look stupid and have fun. “God’s Plan” is magnificent but the beat is a bit slower and not as easy to bop to. If you do not get up to dance you will be in your chair bopping getting laughed at. I can already see Eric from high school doing that cringeworthy thing where he has a drink in his hand, phone in your face, Instagram storying the dance floor, and yelling “We Out Here!”
Steven: Here’s my curveball. You need a DJ that knows what he’s doing, but he doesn’t have to be profoundly great on the turntables. Have him play something nice that he knows will get the old people moving. But, something with a beat! Once all the viejitos are getting their two-step on, the DJ scratches in a little somethin’-somethin’ and *BAM*
“She says, “Do you love me?” I tell her, “Only partly”
I only love my bed and my momma, I’m sorry”
Out of here. The whole party is on one now and you are free to move about the happiest crowd of all time.
Levy: This is the most difficult conundrum of the five different scenarios. Grandma Ethel will be PISSED if you play “Nice For What” but then again it’s not her wedding (unless she paid for the reception in which the barbershop quartet from Ozone Park is singing their rendition of “New York, New York” as the final song). The 25-30-year-olds will have a better time, in my opinion, if you close off with “Nice For What”. It’s a great song to celebrate the bride as you end her magical day but I think the 30 + crowd will be annoyed and at the end of the day, they write the biggest checks. If it’s your wedding you have to please the most amount of people so go “God’s Plan”. If you are a spectator you are hoping for “Nice for What”.
Scenario # 3: Bachelor party. Pool side. Vegas. 1:00. The shrimp cocktail and $14 Corona Light’s just hit:
Levy: Drake is the master of the balancing beam with showing love to the ladies on one side and getting the guys doing the Vegas-Cupid-Molly-shuffle in unison on the other. “No New Friends” was once the standard-bearer for grabbing your buds by the Ed Hardy shirt and jumping up and down with them to celebrate being both together and being the best of friends. But that all changed with “imagine if I never met the broskis”. At a bachelor party, you’ve got to be focused on each other; everything else will fall into place. “God’s Plan” coming on is a great opportunity for the slightly-weird-jokes-aren’t-landing guy in your crew to make a toast during the interlude and rally the troops. This would also be an excellent time to get the champagne popping-everyone smiling shirtless-and pointing at the camera like a fucking guido photo. Do I have to even tell you what the caption for your new Facebook profile picture should be? “God’s Plan” it is.
Rose: Is “Nice for What” pandering to women and the #Metoo Movement? Maybe. Well, what a better time to show people you support that movement than when you’re at Marquee Day Club and Martin Garrix takes a break from his set of house/techno. Mr. Garrix throws one Hip-Hop song at you. If he plays “Nice For What” every girl at that place will lose their mind. I’m talking drinks and ice flying everywhere. Blow up Penguins tossed across the pool. Everyone splashing going nuts in the pool. Sun is beating, it’s 90 degrees, you are still severely dehydrated from the night before, but it doesn’t matter because some smoke show is shouting at you “without a follow, without a mention”. For that brief moment, you’ve reached the apex of the Bachelor Party. I promise you it will not get better than that.
Steven: While “God’s Plan” plays extremely well for the broskis, we’re out in the open now. It’s just you and the elements of the opposite sex now. For that, you’re going to need some reinforcements. The opening to “Nice For What” lets you drop this gem into nearly any genre and so when Skrillex is zoning in on his 12th straight dubstep song, he can flex this jam upon the crowd and it’s up to you to take advantage. Not in a lustful way or anything — but this is when you maybe offer up your picture-taking services or ask the ladies at the table next to yours if they need any refills on mixers. This one isn’t for the crew, but you need to make it work for the crew.
Scenario # 4: Uber driver hands you the aux cord on the way to your open bar no holds bar Christmas party. You’re 4 minutes away and with 4 of your closest pals:
Levy: WHY DID YOU WAIT FOR THE LAST FOUR MINUTES OF THE CAR RIDE TO GET ON THE AUX CORD YOU KNOW HOW THE AUX CORD WORKS THIS ISNT YOUR FIRST TIME IN A 2011 TOYOTA CAMRY.
There’s a natural build-up to “God’s Plan” that plays better, in my opinion, for the club than the car ride. Drake purposely sleepwalks through the first verse to set you up for post-bed-mom bedlam. In the car, you can’t do the slow-praying-mantis dance that needs to accompany the beginning of “God’s Plan”. “Nice For What” jumps out with inestimable energy to allow everyone to get their mother fucking roll on. You need a quick boost of energy during the pregame to get you prepared for the marathon of both unlimited drinks and mindless chit-chat from Suzy in accounting. “Nice for What”.
Steven: This one is simple. All guys in the whip? “God’s Plan”. At least one girl present? “Nice For What”. Do your thing, girl. You deserve it.
Rose: “God’s Plan”. I’m not jamming out to “Nice for What” with four other guys.
Damn it, just tell us which one is better.
Steven: “God’s Plan” is more situational, but that’s where it ends. It is a great exclamation point to cap any moment. Where I think Drake truly thrives is in his nerdy rap songs. “Nice For What” is a smash, but it also brings to light an under-appreciated rap genre in New Orleans Bounce. Who else is pushing a major single/video towards just women, sampling Lauryn Hill and Big Freedia, all while delivering an insanely catchy jam just in time for the good weather months? Give me the young 6 God roller-skating on your grave and “Nice For What” all day.
Levy: “God’s Plan” and it’s not close. People are suffering from recency bias and what I like to call “Hotline Bling” syndrome. When you first hear “God’s Plan” you know it’s a hit- a smash hit- but it’s your little hit. Once it becomes washed in and out by the radio and Shirley is at a bar mitzvah with 13-year-old boys recording them yelling about their bed and their mom for Instagram live you force yourself to no longer be associated with the song. I get it. “Nice For What” is the bridesmaid who had to go to her camp counseling job in Wyoming so she missed the rehearsal dinner and showed up right before the ceremony. She’s new. She’s a breath of fresh air. She brought mint chocolate sticks from an Olive Garden she stopped at. Relax. Stick with the bride. “God’s Plan” 100%.
Rose: Aubrey Graham sampled one of the greatest Lauryn Hill songs of all-time. Let that sink in for a moment. “Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” is one of my favorite albums of all time so Drizzy is instantly hitting us with some nostalgia. “God’s Plan” is an immovable object. It’s been on top of the charts for 11 straight weeks. We are splitting hairs here with these two songs. But at the end of the day, I have to go with “Nice for What”. I admit I may be burnt out from “God’s Plan” but with the warm weather coming “Nice for What” is what I want to hear at a BBQ, Pool, Ocean, etc. Prayers to Levy who will be triggered by all of this.