GIF album review: Drake’s ‘Scorpion’

B Side

Now it’s time to dive into the R&B side of the project.

Peak

Song Rating:

Lyrics that matter:

Talk used to be cheap, nowadays it’s free
People are only as tough as they phone allows them to be
Girl, that could never be me
I found my peace, I’m about to say my piece
You might not agree with me

Summer Games

Song Rating:

Lyrics that matter:

I expected more from you honestly
Said you want a simple life and that’s not me
How you go from that to ending up with someone just like
How can you be angry on a night in July
And be warm with me when it’s freezing outside
You’re confusing me

Jaded

Song Rating: (classic Drake)

Lyrics that matter:

I always want the truth, but it’s dangerous
You got something real, not basic
You wanna get with me, stop
Yes I’m hurting, yes I’m jaded 

Nice For What

Song Rating:

Lyrics that matter:

That’s a real one in your reflection
Without a follow, without a mention
You really pipin’ up on these n—as
You gotta be nice for what to these n—as?

Finesse

Song Rating:

Lyrics that matter:

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

Ratchet Happy Birthday

Song Rating:

Lyrics that matter:

It’s your birthday, baby, it’s your birthday
Who’s gonna love you on your worst day?
You talk so tough, I know you’re soft like buttercups

That’s How You Feel

Song Rating:

Lyrics that matter:

Mindin’ my business and you show up
Up to no good, I should’ve seen the signs
Signin’ me up to do your dirty work
Workin’ to try to get you off my mind

Blue Tint

Song Rating:

Lyrics that matter:

I had her on ice, but then
I watched the ice get thin
Now that she’s sink or swim
She had an attitude in the summer, but she bein’ nice again

In My Feelings

Song Rating:

Lyrics that matter:

Look the new me is really still the real me
I swear you gotta feel me before they try and kill me
They gotta make some choices they running out of options
‘Cause I’ve been going off and they don’t know when its stopping

Don’t Matter To Me (featuring Michael Jackson)

Song Rating: (with bonus points for borrowing MJ from heaven)

Lyrics that matter:

I can’t recover from our last conversation
You called me weak
And you tested my manhood as we yelled at each other
You wanted me to gon’ put my hands on you
Just to show you I love you

 

After Dark

Song Rating:

Lyrics that matter:

That narrative for me isn’t changing
I wanna make you a priority
I wanna let you know there’s more to me
I wanna have your faith restored in me

Final Fantasy

Song Rating:

Lyrics that matter:

I like best when you’re fresh-faced and no foundation
Willing and ready for the taking
Earth shattering, groundbreaking
Head scarf for after our relations

March 14

Song Rating: (mad props for the honesty though)

Lyrics that matter:

Yesterday morning was crazy
I had to come to terms with the fact that it’s not a maybe
That s— is in stone, sealed and signed
She not my lover like Billie Jean but the kid is mine

 

DeWayne’s Take: A long-standing problem for Drake has been the interminable lengths of his most recent albums. Once you pass the one-hour mark, the journey typically becomes tedious as the listener is forced to continue slogging through Drake’s trademark melancholy feels. And while Scorpion still comes in at 90 minutes long, he effectively neutered any of those concerns by essentially separating the album into a rap side (A) and R&B side (B).

Perhaps the greatest strength of Scorpion is its consistency. The highs are really high, with him already boasting number one hits with Nice for What and God’s Plan, as well as some of the Drake-iest cuts ever created in Jaded and Finesse. On the flip side, the lows come nowhere close to reaching the floor of Drake’s talent. Outside of a real wtf moment in “Ratchet Happy Birthday,” there aren’t many head-scratchers here, which is an impressive feat considering the album length.

While there weren’t any direct shots at Pusha T on Scorpion, there are more than enough lyrics that frame Drake’s current mindset as an artist who had arguably suffered the first sustained L in his career. Sublimation may have been his weapon of choice when confronting the highly publicized rap beef, but when it came to the topic of his alleged son, Drake used this platform to be a lot more forthcoming — in the process producing some of his most honest work to date.

No moment was more honest than the closing track, “March 14,” which doubled as the date that he presumably received the DNA results confirming that he was indeed the father of his son, Adonis.

Yesterday morning was crazy,

I had to come to terms with the fact that it’s not a maybe

That shit is in stone, sealed and signed

She not my lover like Billie Jean, but the kid is mine

Sandy used to tell me all it takes is one time, and all it took was one time

S—, we only met two times, two times!

And both times were nothing like the new times

Now it’s rough times

I’m out here on frontlines, trying to make sure that I see him sometimes

It’s breaking 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

Honest moments like those found on “March 14,” and sprinkled throughout the rest of Scorpion hint to a maturing Drake. He’s no longer just the king of Instagram captions for women, as he is now and forever an artist whose humanity has been exposed.

He’ll never admit it, but he may owe Pusha T a debt of gratitude. Their beef pushed Drake into an uncomfortable place — one that may have resulted in the unintended consequence of him becoming a better artist.

Final Grade for Drake’s Scorpion: B+ (way to reclaim the narrative, Aubrey)

Listen to Drake’s new album Scorpion in its entirety below.

DeWayne Rogers
DeWayne Rogers

I write. I create. I take photos. In my spare time, I'm also a part-time super-hero. Go figure.

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