#MusicReview: It’s ‘Scorpion’ Season with Drake’s newest album

Scorpion is the fifth studio album by Canadian rapper Drake. It was released on June 29, 2018 by Young Money Entertainment, Cash Money Records and Republic Records. Scorpion is a double album consisting of 25 tracks. Its A-side is primarily hip hop, whilst its B-side has been described as R&B and pop.

The album features guest appearances from Jay-Z and Ty Dolla Sign as well as posthumous appearances from Michael Jackson and Static Major, and additional vocals by a variety of artists, including Lil Uzi Vert, Future, Lil Wayne and Nai Palm. The album is executively produced by Drake himself, alongside frequent collaborator Noah “40” Shebib and manager Oliver El-Khatib, and features production from 40, alongside a variety of producers, including No I.D., Boi-1da, DJ Premier, DJ Paul, Tay Keith, T-Minus, Murda Beatz, Cardo and Noel Cadastre, among others.

It was supported by the singles “God’s Plan”, “Nice for What”, “I’m Upset”, “Don’t Matter to Me”, “In My Feelings” and “Nonstop”. All six singles reached the top ten on the US Billboard Hot 100; three of them (“God’s Plan”, “Nice for What” and “In My Feelings”) reached number one. On the July 14, 2018 Hot 100 chart, all 25 songs were listed, beating the record of 22 entries by his previous release More Life.

Notable Tracks

“Don’t Matter To Me”: As a huge Michael Jackson fan, I was beyond hyped that Drake chose to include an unreleased Michael song on his album and cut it to be an original track. Drake and MJ sing about a broken relationship. After expressing concerns for his girl in the first verse, Drake says that there is no chance for them to rekindle their relationship.

“In My Feelings”:

KiKi, do you love me?

“In My Feelings” is an upbeat, club-mixed love letter to “Kiki,” “KB,” and the members of City Girls. The track rides on Drake’s heartfelt singing and honest lyrics, wondering if they still love him.

The track is produced by 40, TrapMoneyBenny and BlaqNmilD. BlaqNmilD had a hand at producing another track on Scorpion, “Nice for What,” which has similar New Orleans bounce influences.

The track is heavily based on vocal samples, a staple of New Orleans bounce. One included sample is New Orleans bounce track “Smoking Gun” by Magnolia Shorty, mixed with City Girls vocals written to sound similar to that track. Also sampled is “Lollipop” by Lil Wayne, frequent collaborator and the man who brought Drake into an international spotlight.

At the end of the song, Drake samples the seventh episode of the second season of popular TV show Atlanta, which is written, directed, and acted in by Donald Glover a.k.a Childish Gambino. This episode revolved around Drake and was aptly titled “Champagne Papi,” his Instagram username and producer alter-ego.

Days following the album’s release, “In My Feelings” garnered widespread media attention due to a viral video of comedian and Instagram personality, Shiggy, dancing to the song’s hook. The video evolved into the #DoTheShiggy challenge where people would try to replicate Shiggy’s original video. The challenge contributed to “In My Feelings” topping the Billboard Hot 100.

The music video for “In My Feelings” was released on August 2, 2018, starring Drake, Phylicia Rashad, La La Anthony, Shiggy, and Capito & Marley.

“Ratchet Happy Birthday”: is a mellow track with upbeat and longing vocals. Drake paints a picture of a woman who lacks emotional feeling with the backdrop of an important celebration, her birthday.

“Nice For What”: Throughout the song, Drake speaks about female empowerment in the digital age. Women can be found trying to gain a following and live in the light, but that also comes with some resistance and hate. Despite what they go through, Drake shows that he understands and appreciates the hustle. It includes a sample from Lauryn Hill’s “Ex-Factor.”

“Nonstop”: On “Nonstop,” Drake flexes his abilities as a rapper and the business moves being made behind the scenes of his music. The song audibly has a distinct Memphis influence, as displayed by Drake’s flow throughout the song.

“God’s Plan”: My favorite off this album, “God’s Plan” is a feel good track that discusses Drake’s future. Being who he is in the industry, he knows that people want him to fail; however, God won’t let him do that.

Another key subject of the song is the separation Drake feels that he needs to have from those outside of his inner circle. Anyone who tries to work their way into his life must have an ulterior motive to benefit themselves.

The last key subject of this song is the fact that Drake is giving back to the life he had once, honoring the people and the environment he also once was in.

The official music video shared a different sentiment though, as Drake took the budget for the video, a whopping $996,631.90, and gave it away to families, schools, charities, and more. It was directed by Karena Evans, who also hails from Toronto, and is a protégé of Director X.

“Can’t Take A Joke”: With “Can’t Take a Joke,” Drake braggadociously details his busy life as a celebrity.

From touching on his home life in Hidden Hills, Calabasas, to mentioning taking vacations and talking about his nightlife antics with his Reps Up Crew, Drizzy boasts about his success in the rap game while notifying his opposition that he jokingly looks down on them, as seen in the chorus of the track:

I be tryna laugh with the bros ‘bout the opps that we know
But they can’t take a joke, ’cause it’s not one

“Survival”: Drake talks about his experience in the rap game by mentioning significant moments from throughout his career.

These moments include his career including his beef with Meek Mill, experiences with Cash Money records, and minor beef with Diddy.

Overall, I vibed more with Scorpion more than Views but one thing is for sure, Drake is a legend that always seeks for substance and truth than to use his music to brag on himself, and that is something I can get behind.

Missed my Views review? Click below to read it now.

#MusicReview: What kind of ‘Views’ does Drake offer us?

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