Rap Album Reviews: Drake “Scorpion”

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It’s been quite some time since we got a Drake album (More Life is considered a Playlist). With the pressures of ghostwriting still lingering over his head, as well as allegations of hiding a child recently being brought up, how does Scorpion fare? Read on for my take on this record.

 

Survival

Aubrey wastes no time coming in with the bars. From the situation with Meek Mill to the recent rap scuffle with Pusha T, his credibility as an emcee has been in question. He makes it clear that no one is going to do anything to end his career. He addresses the situation with his OVO affiliate getting killed, as well as the fact that he has information that could damage the career of another artist. There were also a few jabs at Jay-Z & Puff.

“Takin’ shots with the GOAT and talked about shots that we sendin’

I’ve had scuffles with bad boys that wasn’t pretendin’

 

Nonstop

On this record, homage is paid to Southern rap with a Mack Daddy Ju sample throughout. He references his business practices with his DJ Future The Prince & Ollie, who has been running everything in the background since Nothing Was The Same. If anyone is going to reveal information pertaining to Drake, it is he himself

“Pullin’ back the curtain by myself, take a look, ayy”.

Elevate

Produced by Nonstop The Hitman & PARTYNEXTDOOR, Drake is thankful how he was able to dodge all the troubles that have appeared.

“I wanna thank God for workin’ way harder than Satan

He’s playin’ favorites, it feels amazin’ (yeah)

Short record but pretty dope nonetheless.

 

 

Emotionless

And the curtain has been revealed. The song begins with a Mariah Carey sample & is very appropriate for the content that follows. Drake doesn’t want to hear from Kanye West about what his favorite songs are from the album. In the recent months he feels like he has been blindsided by the G.O.O.D. Music camp, particularly Ye. He’s well aware that he is seen as competition that has to be eliminated.

“I know the truth is you won’t love me until I’m gone

And even then the thing that comes after is movin’ on”

Once looked up to, Drake realized that there’s a lot of smoke & mirrors behind the scenes with the so-called “greats”

“I can’t even capture the feeling I had at first

Meetin’ all my heroes like seein’ how magic works

The people I look up to are goin’ from bad to worse

Their actions out of character even when they rehearse”

He also comes clean with the accusations of hiding a child with Sophie Brussaux, a former porn star. Drake opted to listen to what his mother told him once before, which was take the high road when others stoop low.

“I wasn’t hidin’ my kid from the world

I was hidin’ the world from my kid

From empty souls who just wake up and look to debate

Until you starin’ at your seed, you can never relate”

Phenomenal track in my opinion & sets the stage for his smash hit, God’s Plan.

 

 

God’s Plan

The first single of Scorpion. Another reference to how iconic he has become, Drake mentions how artists don’t receive the praises until after they pass away.

“I don’t wanna die for them to miss me”

He feels that this shouldn’t be the case & if it does happen, he knows that the people around him carry on the legacy of how great he really was. He also states since he’s been in the game, there are people that think that he’s undeserving of everything he’s accomplished as evidenced by the chorus

“Bad things

It’s a lot of bad things

That they wishin’ and wishin’ and wishin’ and wishin’

They wishin’ on me”

Another dope song produced by Cardo, Yung Exclusive & Boi-1da.

 

 

I’m Upset

This is the album’s second official single. Seems to me as if he’s quite agitated on this record obviously as the name of the record is “I’m Upset”. Here we have Drake saying that he doesn’t believe in supporting a woman who’s only goal is to empty his pockets through alimony.

“I’m supposed to pay her bills and get her what she want

I still got like seven years of doin’ what I want

My dad still got child support from 1991”

Production provided by Oogie Mane, an upcoming producer from Philadelphia.

8 Out Of 10

It’s getting pretty personal. From the start, shots are thrown about how Kanye disses his friends when he’s on stage, how he’s not in the same ballpark financially as he is and how he has no intentions on rekindling their friendship

“Too rich for who? Y’all just got rich again

Who grips the mic and likes to kill they friends?

I’ve never been the type to make amends”

He also addresses the accusations of him being a deadbeat and how others will cling to successful people hoping that it will spread to them

I gotta breathe real deep when I catch an attitude

I got a whole nother level that I can tap into

Max said they only blessed when they attached to you

The only deadbeats is whatever beats I been rappin’ to

Drake seen the tactic that Kanye tried to use to sabotage the rollout of his album, which was to release multiple projects from G.O.O.D. music that were 7 track albums (Pusha T, Kanye, Kanye/Kid Cudi, Nas, & Teyana Taylor) right before his

I guess luck is on your side

All sevens, no sixes, rest easy, get some shut eye

He also believes Kanye feels a sense of fear of being overshadowed and has been planning this for a while

They been keepin’ tabs on me like I’m payin’ next time

I think I sense a little fear from the other side

White vans parked across the street, real subtle guys

Another stand out track on the album. This one is produced by OB O’Brien, Boi-1da & Jahaan Sweet.

 

 

Mob Ties

Production on this track sounds like some wild west duel complete with old pistols, which is appropriate because “Affirmative Action” by Nas was sampled. Drake takes aim at Kanye again all throughout & says a few cringe worthy lines.

I’m not with the ra-ra

I am a Dada

Not a personal favorite. Seems like a filler track

 

 

Can’t Take A Joke

I can see this one getting lots of spins in the clubs. Drake talks about living out in Hidden Hills, which is a prestigious neighborhood that is right next door to Calabasas, which ironically is where Kanye stays. More shots are thrown here about how a certain artist thinks he runs the town until he causes him to leave. His flow on this record is one that I haven’t heard him use before so that’s refreshing.

Sandra’s Rose

It’s official: Aubrey is one of the few artists that actually worked with DJ Premier. Premo is very particular with who he works with so this is telling. The record goes talks about how the fame has had an effect on him and in case you haven’t read, it’s a negative one. This one is a cool track. It’s not high on my favorites but I don’t hate it.

 

 

Talk Up (feat. Jay-Z)

This one took me by surprise. Although they’ve previously worked together before, they have been known to throw subliminal jabs at each other for the past 4 years. Produced by DJ Paul from the legendary Three 6 Mafia, this record touches on how he came up & addresses those who feels like he lost his battle with Pusha T

“You might think I’ve taken some lumps

Only if we talkin’ ’bout sums (yeah)”

Jay comes in on the second half with recollections of his past life & talks about how the street life that he grew up in is completely different from today. He even talks about not wanting to meet with Trump.

“I got your President tweetin’, I won’t even meet with him

Y’all killed X and let Zimmerman live, shhh, s-streets is done”

It’s good to see the versatility that Drake has on various records.

Is There More

Drake finds himself asking realizing that there is more to life than what he and his peers perceive, while at the same time trying to understand what exactly that means. It serves as a proper way to close out the first side of the album.

 

 

Peak

And now we get into the melodic side of the album. This song talks about the relationship problems that Drake has had with various women but could allude to the relationship that he supposedly had with Jorja Smith last year. Can’t confirm that one. It sounds like PARTYNEXTDOOR influenced him on this one.

 

Summer Games

Funny thing about this record to me is that it reminds me of a 808’s & Heartbreak song that didn’t make the cut on the album. Another song about a past relationship that didn’t make it past the summer. 40 & No I.D. produced this one.

 

 

Jaded

Another stand out track, Drake enlists Ty Dolla $ign to help out with vocals to discuss a short fling he had with Jorja Smith allegedly. He felt as if they could’ve really had something special if she was willing to give him the chance. This is the perfect record to listen to on a cool summer evening.

 

 

Nice For What

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past few months, I’m sure you’re quite familiar with this song. It’s played every day, every hour on the hour. It’s the third official single from the album that features a dope Lauryn Hill sample & has The New Orleans bounce that fans have come to love. Reminds me of the new age Cash Money smash hit “Back Dat A** Up” from 20 years ago. Aubrey big ups the women who are living an honest life in the digital era and informs them that it doesn’t go unnoticed.

 

 

Finesse

No deep dive. Typical R&B record in which he wishes things were different between him and a lover not mentioned. Sounds like James Fauntleroy provided some vocals at the end of the record.

 

 

Ratchet Happy Birthday

An upbeat song that reminds me of the Young Money record “Bedrock”. PARTYNEXTDOOR faintly sings in the background as Drake talks about a woman who lacks emotion and how she shouldn’t let unimportant things affect her on her Birthday.

 

 

That’s How You Feel

This one has a Nicki Minaj sample that I’m not too fond of. The song is about feelings that Drake has for a woman but isn’t sure of the love is reciprocated. Another filler track to me.

 

 

Blue Tint

Future adlibs on this track that is about the ex that has received a second chance with Drake. He’s surprised himself that she’s come back around

“She had an attitude in the summer

But she bein’ nice again”

JRHitmaker, Taz Taylor,!llmind & Supah Mario get production credits.

 

 

In My Feelings

I believe this is single number 4 & it’s another bouncy record that has samples from Lil Wayne & the duo City Girls & Magnolia Shorty in the background. Keshia Chanté, who has previously dated Drake when they were teenagers, is the “Kiki” that he’s referring to in the chorus

“Kiki, do you love me? Are you riding?

Say you’ll never ever leave from beside me

‘Cause I want ya, and I need ya

And I’m down for you always”

It wouldn’t surprise me if this shoots up to be a top 10 hit, if not number 1.

 

 

Don’t Matter To Me (feat. Michael Jackson)

I don’t know what strings he pulled to get the King of Pop’s vocals but it’s very appreciated. Nineteen85 & Noah “40” Shebib are responsible for lending a hand in crafting this song.

 

 

After Dark (feat. Static Major & Ty Dolla $ign)

Typical Drake with a Ty Dolla $ign feature. Drake again talks about a hooking up with a woman. Shout out to the Al Woods 93.7 WBLK skit . It took me back to a time in life when those artists mentioned (Luther Vandross, Jill Scott, Fantasia, etc) were prominent acts on the radio.

 

 

Final Fantasy

A new direction in which Aubrey talks about the ladies. He goes on to discuss his sexual fantasies with women

Arch back, heart attack, cardiac

I need it nasty like, like Evil Angel, like Vivid

You know, nasty like how they give it

You know, I need you to be open like Kai’s kitchen

Boi-1da, Jahaan Sweet& Noah “40” Shebib produced this one. I’m sure it’ll be a favorite among the Drake fans.

 

 

March 14

We arrive at the album closer & Drake provides us with details that he indeed has a son. It’s essentially a letter to Adonis & how his co parenting is strikingly similar to his parent’s situation which he was trying to avoid.

It’s breakin’ my spirit

Single father, I hate when I hear it

I used to challenge my parents on every album

Now I’m embarrassed to tell ’em I ended up as a co-parent

Always promised the family unit

I wanted it to be different because I’ve been through it

But this is the harsh truth now

Brutally honest indeed. Not sure where this song ranks in his discography yet but a pretty good song.

 

 

Conclusion

Although the first half flows exceptionally well, there was a lot of fillers overall that halted this album from being one of his best bodies of work. That’s not to say that the album isn’t enjoyable because it is. If half of the records were removed, it would be thoroughly more enjoyable. What’s your take on it? Leave a comment below.

 

 

Highlights

 

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6 Comments on “Rap Album Reviews: Drake “Scorpion””

  1. Good review! I always feel like I listened to the entire album after reading your reviews. The CDs at the top are a great visual. Especially when I think about how a classic might be ranked. Thanks!

  2. Very thorough and detailed reviews of each track. You definitely have an ear for music and little details.

    • Thanks A Lot Bobby. I appreciate that. It’s always the details that make me enjoy or dislike a record. What are your favorite records from this album?

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