Drake’s Scorpion has arrived, a musical epic stretching well over an hour in run-time. Still, it’s only fitting given the ample subject matter up for discussion, as many have been wondering what Drizzy has been harboring late. Cleverly divided into two sides, ostensibly the “rap” side and the “rnb” side, Scorpion is bound to divide fans vying for a favorite. Expect plenty discussion and debate to ensure, even though first impressions seem almost unanimously positive.
While it’s admittedly difficult to confidently pick out the best songs on an album this young, sometimes one must let instinct do the talking. As such, here are some Scorpion’s early highlights, selected after a first listen. Should you be looking to decide for yourself, be sure to stream the album Apple Music:
Produced by Tay Keith, No I.D. & Noel Cadastre
Side A’s second track serves to set the tone in a big way. Wearing Bay Area influences on its sleeve, Drizzy lays the swagger on thick with references to Mac Dre, sweat-free sneaker deals and more. Instrumentally, the trifecta Tay Keith, No I.D. and Noel Cadastre form to make an art-form minimalism.
Produced by No I.D., 40 & 25th Hour
Though the inherent existence Side B renders this title contradictory, Drake still manages to sell his reputation as a cold-blood individual; he wasn’t born this way, but simply sculpted as a result this unforgiving game. Character studies trolls and aggressive online chest-slappers are deftly delivered with poise.
8 Out Of 10
Produced by Jahaan Sweet, Boi-1da & OB
Never tell Drake the odds. Kicking f proceedings with a triumphant declaration excellence, Drake takes it back to the Thank Me Later/Take Care days over a soulful sampled instrumental. Though some are quick to dub his audience female-friendly, Drizzy flips the script, reminding those with unstable marriages that he can and will swoop in with malicious intentions.
Produced by Allen Ritter, Boi-1da
Borrowing themes favored by nineties New York legends, as well as newfangled rival Pusha T, Drizzy looks to the proverbial family for an up-tempo banger. On the spectrum, “Mob Ties” feels closer to fighter than lover, as he aggressively flexes his gangsta over slick guitar arpeggios.
Produced by DJ Premier and Maneesh
The man has a clear appreciation for the legends. Case in point, his new collaboration with DJ Premier, on the maternal celebration “Sandra’s Rose.” Paying homage to one two things he loves in life, Drake wears his mama’s boy hat proudly on the emotional highlight.
Produced by 40
The introduction the so-called “rnb” side kicks f on a subdued tone. Uniting the OVO-bromance Drake and 40, “Peak” finds Drizzy waxing poetic over contemplative synth pads and futuristic lines. “People as only as rough as they phones allow them to be,” sings Drake, a twenty-first century philosopher.
Produced by 40, No I.D
It’s no secret that Drake, not entirely adverse to geek-culture, seems to love the Netflix series Stranger Things. As such, the homage feels evident on “Summer Games,” which feels at home alongside the eighties retro soundtrack. Over the triumphant tragedy, Drake lays down an tortured love story like only he can.
That’s How You Feel
Produced by Noel Cadastre
A dreamy banger courtesy Noel Cadastre, Drake brings a little bit Side A’s rap sauce to the mix. Employing a suggestive vocal sample from label-mate and longtime homie Nicki Minaj, Drizzy seems at ease embracing the female empowerment tip, especially compared to some his contemporaries.
Produced by Supa Mario, !LLMIND
While a full-fledged collaboration with What A Time To Be Alive partner Future is nowhere to be seen on Scorpion, his presence remains felt throughout “Blue Tint.” Another rap-heavy fering from Side B, Drake likens himself to Ronaldo while laying out real world relationship raps.
Produced by T-Minus, Josh Valle
The boy becomes a man. After Pusha T infamously proclaimed to the world “you are hiding a child,” Drake has come forth to finally address the elephant in the room. Contrasting the situation to his own childhood, Drake shows marked and respectable personal growth on Scorpion’s closing statement.