Drake's Scorpion review
Drake's Scorpion: Is it any good? Our track-by-track breakdown
Words— Marc Richardson
Few artists today command the attention that Drake does. Actually, none do. Love him or hate him, you are undoubtedly aware that he has recently released an album, Scorpion. Maybe you want to know about his supposed secret child (spoiler alert, it’s not a secret anymore); maybe you really like Drake; maybe you hate Drake, and have no intention of listening to it, but streaming services, like Spotify and Apple Music, have been hawking the album as if they’re going out of business so you’re still aware of its existence and maybe you did listen to that one track that’s kind of catchy — hey no judgment! Regardless of how, why, or where one listened to Scorpion, it contributed to making it the most streamed album of all-time. It had already qualified for platinum certification before releasing and will end up breaking a billion streams.
But, the adage is that quality trumps quantity, so the question remains: is Drake’s latest album, Scorpion, any good? We did the dirty work and here’s our unofficially official track-by-track rundown and review of the album.
Survival: Drake’s forte has always been intro tracks —see Tuscan Leather— and that holds true with this joint. “My Mount Rushmore is me with four different expressions” is a great line and it's hard to disagree when the man is breaking records that he, himself, holds…
Nonstop: If the beat —provided by Memphis producer Tay Keith— went just a little bit harder, this would be a summer anthem with chant-able lyrics like “This a Rollie, not a stopwatch, shit don’t ever stop”.
Elevate: This is quintessential Drake, ebbing and flowing from braggadocios to introspective.
Emotionless: And, the big reveal everybody was waiting for comes only four tracks in, with Drake rapping “I wasn’t hiding my from the world, I was hiding the world from my kid”. But, the truly great bar is “I know a girl happily married ’til she puts down her phone”, which is absolutely scathing.
God’s Plan: I haven’t been able to put my finger on what makes everybody love this track so much, but then I find myself screaming the lyrics whenever I hear it playing, regardless of the setting I’m in.
So, I heard Drake's son's name is Adonis Mahbed Graham. And when he said "I only love Mahbed and my Mama, I'm sorry". He was talking about his son.— Me (@ogbodoisaac) July 2, 2018
Why do I feel scammed? 😥 pic.twitter.com/Vu4Ik8J4Af
I’m Upset: Let’s be honest — this song will forever be best when listened to with the nostalgic music video.
8 Out of 10: This is one of my favourite tracks on the album for a few reasons: it stands in stark contrast to the Drizzy we’re used to; it sounds like vintage Jay-Z; it’s chock full of lyrics like “the only deadbeats is the beats I rap to” and “your sister is pressing play, your trainer is pressing play, your wifey…”
Can’t Take a Joke: The end of a part of the album where Drake sounds scornful and angry. It’s not the best song on the album, but it might be one of those songs that age better than others.
Sandra’s Rose: Absolute banger. This track won’t get the same amount of plays as, say, God’s Plan, but this is an instant classic. “My house is full of super models like Mohamed Hadid” is a truly underrated lyric on a track filled with them.
Talk Up: Drake and Jay-Z have always had a fruitful collaborative relationship. Jay-Z’s closing lyric, “Y’all killed X and let Zimmerman live” has me wondering just when this track was recorded, though. That’s the beauty of digital-era albums, though.
Is There More: While Drake’s intros have always been stellar, his outros have, traditionally, seemed forced and out of sequence. That is until Is There More closed Side A of this record. It’s a great end to the rap-inflected part of Scorpion.
Peak: A great change of pace to signal the start of Side B, which is definitely more introspective and emotional than the first 12 tracks. The synth on this is goosebump-inducing.
Summer Games: The Marvin’s Room of this album, albeit with more punch and shorter, which is perfect for a summer track.
Jaded: This sounds like old Drake —like circa 2010— but way more mature. You either love it or hate it.
Nice For What: This should serve as a disclaimer: when Nice For What first came out I said it wasn’t that great. Turns out, it’s a pretty great track. Guess it’s possible to get these things wrong in the heat of the moment.
Finesse: This isn’t something you’re going to want to play at a party; but it is something you’ll want to listen to sitting in the dark, recently heartbroken, with a glass of wine in hand.
Ratchet Happy Birthday: I got really excited when I saw this track title. It’s not entirely what I was expecting, so I’m a little disappointed, but the track itself isn’t awful. It plays well as part of the album, less so independent of it.
That’s How You Feel: Nicki Minaj has been absolutely crushing the features of late but in consistently unorthodox ways. Love it.
Blue Tint: This track is probably one of the most commercially playable tracks on Side B, but, more importantly, it touches on one of Drake’s favourite subjects: exes.
In My Feelings: This beat is absolutely fantastic and the lyrics are definitely ones you want to sing along to.
Don’t Matter To Me: Not really used to Drake jumping on this kind of spacey, airy, instrumental, but the end result is pretty good. Add to that a posthumous feature from Michael Jackson and this is sure to be a warm-weather stalwart.
After Dark: This is the type of track you play when you’re alone with your boo and Al Wood’s feature on the outro verse deserves a Grammy.
Final Fantasy: The off-beat flow is an interesting change of pace after 11 tracks of smooth rap-sung RnB.
March 14: Another appropriate outro from the kid, where Drake really goes in-depth about his kid and the realities of being a “co-parent”. All in all, it makes for a fascinating listen to cap off the album.
While this might not have the instant appeal of, say, VIEWS or If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, it’s probably among Drake’s best holistic works with Nothing Was The Same and Take Care. What Scorpion lacks in individual track brilliance it makes up for in spades as a properly sequenced album.