Scorpion is not rap’s first hip-hop album. In the early 2000’s Eve (who does not get nearly half the credit she deserves for her amazing discography) blessed us with Scorpion, her sophomore album that tried to match the shine of its predecessor Let there be Eve, Ruff Ryder’s First Lady. My personal favorite Eve album being Lip Lock. However Eve’s Scorpion tore the roof down with tracks like Who’s That Girl and Let Me Blow Your Mind. Ah those were the good times…
Back to Drake’s Scorpion which is the Canadian rapper’s fifth studio album. The album consists of 25 songs which only seem so long because of Kanye’s tirade that’s been giving 7 tracks per album. The project is peppered with guest appearances from Jay Z, Nicki Minaj, Ty Dolla Sign, Static Major and superimposed vocals of the late Micheal Jackson and Aaliyah.
The album starts off solid with the introspective intro track, Survival. The OVO artist flexes his rapping skills. I feel like we are getting Nothing Was The Same Drake where he is actually embodying hip-hop and not the Jamaican wanna-be. Thank you Jesus!
Nonstop the second track is a certified banger. The infectious bass works to intensify the vibe of the track. On here he tries to justify his thug; I’m a bar spitta, I’m a hard hitta/Yeah I’m light-skinned,but I’m still a dark nigga. You can’t help but want to groove to this especially when that bass drops at the hook. I have replayed the heck out of this song.
Singing Drake makes an appearance with Elevate, a track that I could have done without. The only thing I got were some lit Instagram captions; I wanna thank God for working way harder than Satan/He’s playing favorites, it feels amazing
Sampling has become too much of a good thing. I think it just goes to show that artists don’t really want to create from scratch and would rather rip off someone else’s creation. Drake has seemingly mastered this craft adding his own spin.
Drake tastefully samples from legendary Mariah Carey’s Emotion in his Emotionless track, which is the best part of the entire song. It just served to remind me of Mariah’s unmatched vocals in her heyday. Thanks to Pusha T, Drake chooses to acknowledge that he is a father now and by so doing giving all deadbeats something to cling on; Look at the way we live/I wasn’t hiding my kid from the world/I was hiding the world from my kid/. Okay playa
The catchy sample of Plies that’s become a treasured meme comes at the very end of 8 out of 10. He samples Lil Wayne in In His Feelings. The sampling is also witnessed in the Lauryn Hill inspired Nice For What.
A Drake and Jay Z collaboration has proved to work magic. The two make great music from Light Up in Thank Me Later to Pound Cake in Nothing Was The Same. Talk Up is a fierce reflection on the streets on how these two men’s childhoods have shaped them. I’m into that distant G-funk synth low in the mix. But it’s Jay’s verse that stands out; I got your president tweetin’/I won’t even meet with him/Yall killed X and let Zimmerman live/sh*t streets is dead.
Part B of this album is the best. The album soars from Peak, which could pass for Marvin’s Room sequel and Summer Games whose production with drums result in an infectious heartbreak ballad with sappy Drake who will make you catch all the feelings. Jaded and Finesse have 90s RnB vibes that we are always yearning for. Ratchet Happy Birthday is melodic trap infused with upbeat production.
That’s How You Feel made me feel so bossy with Drake sampling Nicki spitting hard Boss Ass Bitch on the refrain reminding me of when I used to stan her. Hopefully she keeps this same energy on her upcoming album Quuen.
Overally it’s so hard to hate on Scorpion because I tried to deliberately not like it especially after he responded to a diss with a press conference (major side eye) but the gig is up. Though the album sometimes serves Instagram captions as tracks, there aren’t any bad song. This album is so good with just the right amount of rap, trap and RnB with lots of replay value. The more times I listen to it, the harder I fall in love with it.
Notable Favorites; Nonstop, Talk Up, Summer Games, Ratchet Happy Birthday, That’s How You Feel, After Dark
Overall Rating; 8/10