#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?

#BookReview: Like an earworm that’s stuck in your head; #ChasingEveline by @lhauser27 sticks with you

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Fangirling about being a Fangirl of Chasing Eveline

This book is much like an earworm that gets stuck in your head and sticks with you long after you are no longer reading it. Every song has a possibility, and this book is by far, one of THE BEST, I’ve read in a while. It keeps you hooked and invested from the first line until the last and I will now list it as one of my favorite books of all time.pablo (16).png

#MusicLove:@ColtonDixon ‘s latest #Identity reinstates what we believe

I’ve admitted this before but I’ll say it again. I cried my eyes out when Colton Dixon got voted off American Idol and shortly after that, I stopped watching it at all. I was like how in the world could someone so handsome and talented not get farther, especially with God on his side. The good news is I wasn’t the only one who thought that. God heard my thought and obviously had a greater plan in mind for Colton. In a way, you could see that anyone who had that same thought in that moment was praying in agreement according to God and God grants the secret petitions of the heart.

Releasing March 24, The 17-track deluxe record presents three personal and artistically unique sides to his music in MIND, BODY and SPIRIT, blending his traditional alternative-rock sound with newer pop elements. Dixon more closely examines the elements that make us who we are, from MIND – upbeat, high energy pop to BODY – edgier, rockier to SPIRIT – a calming chance to rest. Each of the three sections of the album varies sonically and is divided by cinematic-like instrumental tracks to prepare the listener for what’s to come. Echoing all sides of Dixon, Identity offers a musical escape from reality, reminding listeners to look towards what really matters – their identity in Christ.

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Song by Song Review

The Mind: An instrumental track where a robotic voice (reminds me of the voice overheard on the Transit Authority ride at Walt Disney World), repeats Romans 12:2 and Philippians 4:8.

Identity A great song to build faith in the times we live in, specifically the issues that plaque the United States of America in 2017.

We are the chosen

We are royalty

We are your children

You set us free to roam

in my identity.

All That Matters: Anthemic with rock music elements, this song portrays God’s love for us: “all that matters is that I matter to you,” My favorite song because it has the heart of a worshiper.

Brand New Life: Based off Matthew 11:28-30 which says, “Come to me, all you heavy-laden, for I will give you rest.” It is another favorite because it has great potential and was recently announced as the next single for the album.

Technicolor:  This track talks about how walking by faith and not sight actually creates a brightness and beauty to the world around us because of our third eye, or spiritual sight. It has musicality that is EDM meets rock music vibes

The Body: This instrumental track with the same Google assistant voice reads the verses from 1 Corinthians 12:14-27 regarding the Body of Christ as a whole and a whole is the sum of its parts.

In My Veins: In classic Colton Dixon style, we are reminded with this song that we as believers live because of the redeeming blood of Jesus.

Down: With musicality that reminds me of a movie soundtrack and a little of EDM meets rock vibes, it is another favorite of mine because it’s like a remixed or new take on Love Has Come For Me.

I Would Choose You: Fun-loving vibes make this song an original, genuine in choosing God no matter what road life takes you on.

Warriors: My absolute favorite off the album because of the ancient warrior soundbite and overall war song vibes. A good reminder that the battle is the lord’s always and our victory  ,even our faith.

Human: Sounding like a 2017 pop song with electronic dance elements, it shares the story of how God’s strength is shown best through and in our human weaknesses.

The Spirit: This instrumental track reads Galatians 5:22-23 and Isaiah 41:10.

No Greater Love: I’m calling it now but this is going to be a single and climb up the Christian charts likened only to God’s mad love for each one of us.

Breathe: A ballad with electronic elements based on Psalm 46:10, which highlights Dixon’s amazing vocal range.

High: Almost like the Colton Dixon song version of Peter Pan. My favorite line:

Hold my hand, you hold my heart, while I’m holding onto you.

The Other Side: A piano ballad that reminisces Colton’s American Idol days talking about those who leave us behind when they pass away. A hopeful bright look at death. Beautiful piece where Dixon has outdone himself.

Autopsy: A bit of a creep factor created by minor chords on a piano as Dixon’s vocals whisper the words,

“We all are one heart beat from heaven,”

This track creates a visual image of a cadaver in a morgue and asks the eternal question regarding afterlife, “Where you gonna go?”

A gorgeous haunting finale to an exquisite musical masterpiece.

Enter my giveaway to win a signed YA book, Corrupting Darkness!

#MusicLove Love @alessiacara? Then, you’ll enjoy my review of #Knowitall

I usually write here but the fact is, I don’t get paid for the writing I do here other than the little commission I get from advertisers and donations from kind souls.

Therefore, I ventured out and wrote a review for Beat Media which you can read here.

#BookReview: Do you have the key to unlock the secret that makes the Door Keeper a must read?

Fantasy is probably my least favorite genre. I can’t really tell you why but all I can say is blame Harry Potter and the hoopla with it.

Title: The Door Keeper

Author: Steen Jones

Rating: Five out of five cookies

That’s why I am as surprised as you are that I finished this book in one day. One day, people. This book follows Eden Saunders who lives an ordinary life as a widowed mother to ten year old Gabby, until she notices a door in the trees near her house. This leads to her finding out that she though she was adopted, there is a lot that her adopted parents knew about her birth mother. Once her first visit to Italy, where she was born, Eden finds out that she’s not at all who she thought she was but instead a greater destiny awaits her: her lineage as a door keeper.

I hope there is a sequel to this book in the works because the book itself ended in a bit of a cliff hanger. All in all, don’t open this book hoping to read it and forget it because Eden’s adventure will open the door to a fantastical world of romance, adventure, and butterfairies.16319042

There is a giveaway that the publisher is holding where winners can receive a signed copy of The Door Keeper.  It ends on release day or February 20, 2017. May the butterfairies be with you!

#BlogAffiliates: From The Desk of The Smart Cookie, News about my affiliates

Recently,

I got an email from Amazon affiliates stating that they found my site to be not a unique enough business opportunity so any posts you find amazon links in no longer work to contribute fiscally to The Smart Cookie Philes.

I forgive Amazon for their decision as I have recently become a brand ambassador for Alice’s Table.

More on that soon, yet if you would like to become an event host or a brand ambassador please send me an email at wittywriterpoet26@gmail.com

For now, scan0002

If you happen to purchase via Amazon, use smile.amazon.com and enter KCM in the support box.

A portion of your purchase will be donated to a ministry that is now celebrating it’s 50th year.

You can find all my other affiliates here.

If interested in advertising on The Smart Cookie Philes site and social platform, email me at wittywriterpoet26@gmail.com

Espresso Yourself,

The Smart Cookie

 

 

 

 

The Most Lit #Superbowl America Has Ever Seen #SB51

I’ll admit. I’m not a big football fan but I watch the superbowl every year since I graduated college because the ads are some of the best you will see all year!

This year, I felt that overall, the ads fell short.

What follows below are my favorite ads throughout the Superbowl:

I liked the simplicity of this ad. How it was all about the sound that happened when he cracked that beer. How he was just a woodsy-flannel wearing all around burly guy.

By far MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE because Hello, Bieber.

I liked how Justin was dressed like a nerd in a tux, and it was football related but incorporated T-Mobile’s new #UnlimitedMoves campaign.

Who doesn’t like Melissa McCarthy? Other than that, it gave me a genuine laugh for the first time all night (so much seriousness; no one knows how to laugh anymore).
Plus, it was a Kia commercial advertising their new crossover car, and after all,
“Kia is the car God himself would drive.”

Thank you! Finally someone made a UNITED statement instead of a DIVISIVE one.

So simple but very powerful because after all, Football is an All-American sport.

e-readers_v-day-tpr_associate_300x250 sale ends February 13.

A Giant Page Turner: Proof by Ted D. Berner #BookReview and #Giveaway

I am a huge fan of science fiction. I have been since I was young. I couldn’t get enough of those “My Teacher Is An Alien” books. Now that I am older, I am intrigued by historical fiction just as much. The key to great fiction is to create tension within each temperature. This is done by allowing to know the reader certain things the characters don’t yet know.

Title: Proof 

Author: Ted D. Berner

Rating: 5 cookies

Proof is an excellent example of this concept. I was hooked from the beginning but found some familiarity in the content. I was intrigued by how a story could be weaved from a simple Bible verse in Genesis 6:4:

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Then, the story became even more intriguing because of the actual historical research Berner uses to weave a mystical tale of whether giants do exist.

Some questions that may come up may be:

  • Do giants exist?
  • How were the pyramids built?
  • Who was Edward Cayce?
  • How was the Coral Castle built?

From the first page until the very last, Proof will have you fervently reading and wondering whether these theories are true. Given the chance, you should venture toward the mystical adventure ahead.

U.S. Entrants only have a chance to be one of two winners of a signed copy of Proof! To enter, you have two options:

For Those who use Twitter: Follow these instructions!

For those who use Facebook: Follow these instructions!

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FTSCPhiles%2Fposts%2F1771693416381543%3A0&width=500

Giveaway ends Tuesday January 18 at midnight EST!

Shop Amazon – New Year New You

#MovieReview: ‘Me Before You’ Showcases Lead Actress Has More Than Just a Pretty Face and #Giveaway winners!






Based on the best-selling novel by Jojo Mejeres, this novel must have been a page-turner because this movie was incredibly hard to leave the theater from.

It follows the story of Louisa Clarke who goes by Lou as she sets out to find a new job as a caretaker/companion for wealthy bachelor Will Traynor. Right away, you can sense the romantic vibes. Even though the storyline to the entire script was incredibly gripping and moving especially because of the way it deals with heavy themes such as “disabled people need love too” and assisted suicide.

The main reason I loved this movie so much and would recommend it to anyone looking to watch a great film is because of the lead actress Emilia Clarke. Not only is she incredibly stunning in this film and has a light up the entire room smile but she was absolutely brilliant alongside fellow lead (and definite hunk) Sam Claffin.

For more about this movie, watch the trailer below

Congratulations to my #Giveaway winners: B.E. Van de Viere and Nicola Steinbeck!

You won a signed copy each of this lovely book:

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Congratulations Ladies!