With the release of “Scorpion” last Friday, Drake delivered on the promise he made on the last verse of “Do Not Disturb,” the final track off his last album “More Life,” when he told us he’d be “back in 2018 to give you the summary.”
Since his career took off in 2010, each new album Drake’s made has been longer than its predecessor. “Scorpion,” released last Friday, includes an aggressive 25-song tracklist. Drake fans worldwide lost it over the idea of this much new music from the legend himself. But, while “it takes some finesse” to put out an 89 minute album, at what point do you begin to sacrifice quality for quantity? (Sorry, Drake, just saying.) That’s not to say that “Scorpion” isn’t baller; but could it be cut in half? Perhaps.
After the first play through, I was left mildly confused. The album appeared to be all over the place, to say the least. But, this definitely has something to do with the fact that it was played on shuffle. Rookie mistake, I’ll admit it. Past Drake albums including “Nothing Was The Same,” and “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late” are those that can be shuffle played. However, Drake let us know on “Keep The Family Close” off his album “Views,” that he didn’t like it when people “went and chose a side that wasn’t mine;” so, he went and made both. “Scorpion” is a double album, broken into two sides: A and B.
The A-side, the more hype, rap side of the album, starts with “Survival,” where he spits such fire from the get-go, he has to remind us that “this is just the intro, let me not get ahead of myself.” Side A progresses for 11 more songs, including bangers like “Emotionless,” easily in my top five, despite the lyrics telling us not to tell him our favorite song, “Sandra’s Rose,” and “Talk Up” with a feature by the HOV, Jay-Z. The first side ends with “Is There More,” a question to which he answers with the second side of the album.
Side B gives us the R&B half of the collection that we’ve been anxiously awaiting since Drake’s first album, “Thank Me Later.” The second side begins with “Peak,” and slowly, almost melodically progresses with “Summer Games.” He then makes HUGE moves on this side with “Don’t Matter To Me,” where he features the one and only Michael Jackson. Okay, Drake, we see you. He finishes off the album with a raunchy “Final Fantasy” straight into the closing song “March 14,” in which he alludes many times to his new October baby boy, Adonis Mahbed Graham.
This album left many slightly skeptical the first time around. However, taking it off shuffle and listening to it in its intended order has us all finding it on repeat. That being said, a 25 song album leaves little room for desire, yet much room for editing. Essentially, there’s a solid handful we could do without. Side B, described on DjBooth as “the mask he wears when he’s in the company of women,” feels like Drake is writing about EVERYTHING he’s feeling and putting out EVERYTHING he’s writing. We get it, Drake, you’re “In Your Feelings,” but damn, homie, work with us here!
Fans can’t help but wonder what kind of album we would have gotten had it been released back when it was announced in April 2018, before rival rapper Pusha T leaked news of Drake’s newborn son, calling him a deadbeat dad. Would we see these themes centered around women and proving himself, both as a father and the better rapper? Is being on the charts the driving force behind releasing his every thought EVER? Maybe, maybe not, but we certainly wouldn’t have gotten “house on both coasts but I live on the charts,” nor “only dead beats are the beats that I’ve been rapping to,” and DEFINITELY not “I wasn’t hiding my kid from the world, I was hiding the world from my kid.”
The more songs on an album the more room for haters to hate. Regardless of whatever criticism may have arose surround the new content, “Scorpion” definitely deserves more than an “8 Out Of 10.” 25 songs later, it’s safe to say he got after it.
What do you think? Are you more of an A-side or B-side fan? Lengthy as it may be, you can’t hate on Drake for having SO much content he doesn’t know what to do with it, other than release it for us.