After a relentless beat down from G.O.O.D Music’s very own Pusha T and an unhealthy amount of controversies, the double Drizzy album Scorpion is finally here to be consumed by the general, judgemental public.
Like many of Drake’s albums before, Scorpion has yet again, given us another quick peek at the man behind the curtain. Instead of traditionally attacking back at Pusha T (again) with a track full of pointed fingers, Drake uses the track “Emotionless” to explain himself in a way that only Drizzy can, through emotional bars.
“I wasn’t hiding my kid from the world
I was hiding 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.” – Drake (“Emotionless”)
The album is full of that juxtaposition of braggadocious lyrics and introspective pondering that’s made Drake the ultra-mega superstar he is today. Essentially, Drake’s capitalizing on that contract by releasing a double album that’s half Hip-Hop and half R&B. Drake’s smart, but his marketing team is smarter. They know why people enjoy his music, and this double album is a great way to touch both markets at once. I can never be mad at an excellent marketing scheme.
Side A, otherwise known as the Rap side, is pretty solid. I often forget how great Drake’s bars can get (whether he writes them or not) and this side has got some tracks that are both lyrically solid and are instrumented with some amazing production. Another thing I love about the production are the great samples sprinkled throughout the track list, like the Mariah Carey sample on ‘Emotionless.”
Another one of my favorites off of this side has to be the explosive, stadium-worthy tune “8 Out of Ten.” I swear that line off the chorus “Hold up, hold up, but I-” makes me want to scream it out of the window. I may have done that a couple of times already, but we won’t talk about that. The track also has great skeletal bombastic drums that’ll have you boppin’ your head like you’re at a 2003 Jay-Z concert.
Throughout Side A, there’s not really much of a low point. There may be tracks that I could personally do without (particularly the snoozefest anchor track “Is There More” and the forgettable trap track littered with a not so hot chorus “Can’t Take A Joke”) but mostly, it’s pretty good.
Side B, the R&B side, is when things start to get a little spotty. It’s great that Drake can hold a tune for a couple of seconds; I’m sure that over the years that’s saved him a lot of money when it comes to features and what not. But, the truth is, Drake’s vocals can’t hold a whole album alone. It gets sleepy. It gets predictable. It gets boring as hell. That’s a lot of what Side B is, boring. The lyrics are dripping with sad rich boyz buffoonery that makes me roll my eyes like none other.
“Should I do New York? I can’t decide.
Fashion week is more your thing than mine
I can’t even lie; I’d rather stay inside
I can’t do suit and tie
Can’t be in a room with you and stand on different sides” – Drake (“Finesse”)
Most of the time, these tracks are only saved by their production. Some great examples of that are “Summer Games,” which is basically what happens when Drizzy and EDM have a baby, and “Jaded,” which has both interesting production and background vocals by the infinitely better singer, PartyNextDoor.
This side isn’t just a snoozefest though. Sadly, I can’t hide my natural instinct to bust it wide open when “Nice For What” comes on at any public function.
Just off of concept alone (and the fact that my birthday is in a month), I can’t help but enjoy the ridiculousness that is “Ratchet Happy Birthday.”
But, most of these tracks feel like they should have been placed on an R&B mixtape and labeled as unnecessary B-Sides.
Under the boring as hell slow R&B tracks and the spotty lyrical content, there is a good album in Scorpion. Somewhere. If Drake just trimmed some of the fat off of this album, then I think it could have been a solid listen from start to finish. Until then, I’ll be sure to have my fast-forward finger ready. – Nia Simone