Drake- Scorpion Album Review
(By: Thomas Rodriguez)
Score: Read On/10
The Canadian Jesus’s music rises once again, but it isn’t exactly glorious all the way through.
Aubrey Graham, aka Drake, is the biggest face in music today; the man is constantly breaking streaming and sales records with his albums, has one of the biggest fan bases in social media, and is always on your Spotify ads or favorite radio station. The self-proclaimed 6 God has created an arguable legend status with his past 7 projects, getting people around the world to vibe with his unique blend of pop rap and R&B that can either get you extremely excited or downright depressed, usually on the same album. Drake, although crafting a few debatable classics in the past with albums like Take Care and If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, has kind of been all over the place when it comes to his albums’ quality. Views and More Life, although successful, are often considered low tier albums because of how boring or weak Drake’s rapping or singing can be. Despite that, Drake is still making millions, so the man can really release whatever he wants, whenever, and still get people around the globe to listen to him. Recently, however, his rep has been threatened not only by critics in general, but G.O.O.D Music president and rap legend Pusha T. On a recent diss track, Pusha claimed Drake was not only fake because of letting others write for him, but a deadbeat dad of a secret child by a pornstar. A few weeks after, Drake’s newest double album, Scorpion arrived. Did it prove the haters wrong, or at least be good? Well…let’s get into it
Side A: The Good One
Side A of Scorpion, the more rap-centric part of the album, is mostly consistent in its 12 songs. Granted, these may not become the same hits as songs like “Headlines” or “The Motto”, but the tracks that are well made are solid, usually having either the spacey trap or soulful feel that Drake has been using for the past few years (with a few exceptions). A song like “Survival” sets up the typical themes of introspection, loneliness, and success fairly well alongside a skeletal synth melody, and is followed up fairly quickly by two of the album’s best tracks, “Elevate” and “Emotionless”. The former has a surprisingly dramatic beat with an equally well sung hook, and “Emotionless” has an outstanding soul-sampling instrumental; Drake’s musings on fame, his child, and social media are actually really compelling here. The tracks with soul-based production are usually the best on here, as shown by tracks like “8 Out Of 10” and “Sandra’s Rose” which are the most lively songs Drake’s been on in years in terms of flow and pacing; I wish it were like this the whole album. The exception to this rule is “Talk Up”, which is a great banger (mostly due to its banging percussion and NWA samples) that plays up Drake and Jay-Z’s bravado in a hard hitting way. Sure, there may be a bit too many tracks like “Mob Ties”, “Can’t Take a Joke”, or “Is There More” that sound like Drake running through the motions lyrically and beatwise, but Side A is actually decent. At this point, I’m thinking that maybe Scorpion will be good! There’s just one problem…
Side B: Skip, Skip, Skip
If I had to give Side B of Scorpion a name, it would be Skip: The Album. Side B is borderline painful in just how MID it all is. It took a while to fully get through all of this side because as I listened to it on plane and train rides, I legit couldn’t stay awake on this part. Drake has always been known for his R&B jams, like “Marvin’s Room”, but Scorpion’s slow jam side isn’t even near
Marvin’s zip code. There’s no real distinction between the tracks on this side; they all kind of blend into a depressed sludge of semi-decent singing and wallpaper instrumentals. The only truly exciting moments come with “Nice For What”, which is probably one of Drake’s best singles in years, and maybe “Blue Tint” because Future’s vocals change up the monotony of Drake’s crooning. It’s a borderline crime that Michael freaking Jackson’s vocals were featured on a track that was as bland as untoasted white bread. Drake says nothing new on this side, just vague (and sometimes overly-controlling) thoughts of women that just repeat over and over and over again. “Ratchet Happy Birthday” is interesting, but only because of how bad it actually is; I think Drake just put it in as a joke song to keep people awake. “March 14” is the closer to this side, and it’s a decent fusion of rap and R&B that Drake made to address his son and proclaim his desire to be a better father. Even though it’s a bit eyebrow raising to hear Drake say he’s only seen his son once and the mother twice, I guess it’s nice that Drake is trying to be a better Champagne Papi to his son. Will he actually do that? I guess time will tell.
Scorpion is lopsided as hell; Side A is better than Side B on nearly every single level, having a more interesting collection of songs, beats, flows, etc. It’s a shame that Drake had to stretch the runtime out for an hour and a half, because if he made like his rival Pusha T, and cut his album down to its essentials, we could’ve had something great. Sure, I liked a decent amount of songs on the album, but they’re outnumbered by the sheer amount of skippable tracks. I’ll even go so far as to say that Side A wasn’t perfect at all, just good. A classic, this ain’t.
Side A Score: 7/10
Side B Score: 2.5/10
Final score: 4.7/10
Tracks to Save: “Elevate”, “Emotionless”, “God’s Plan”, “8 Out of 10”, “Talk Up”, “Nice For What”, “Blue Tint”
Tracks to Skip: “Mob Ties”, “Can’t Take A Joke”, “Ratchet Happy Birthday”, almost everything else in Side B
Listen to Scorpion here!
What did you think about this album? Any comments or criticism? Comment down below and let me know; I’d love to hear what you think!
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