After what feels like a lifetime on anticipation, Drake finally dropped his double-disc Scorpion album. To say his roll out went exactly as the OVO frontman planned would be a lie, seeing as Pusha T’s scathing “The Story of Adidon” gave away Drake’s grand reveal and left fans with more questions than answers. The biggest one of those: does Drake have a secret child?
Luckily, the 6 God did not ration his air-clearing opportunities as Scorpion has a tracklist of 25 songs, broken into two sides, A and B. The A-side is packed with scorching rap tracks similar to the chest-popping flex cuts found on If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late. This is where songs like “God’s Plan” and new street favorite “Talk Up” reside. The beats are brazen and the bars are even more poisonously potent.
The B-side, however, is the intended R&B portion of the album. This is where Drake gets to comfortably get into his feelings and speak his most vulnerable truth. The production operates in familiar territory thanks to 40’s classic lo-fi frequencies and pounding 808s but there are certainly some electronic curveballs that Drake handles seamlessly. Whether you like rapping Drake, singing Drake or a mix of the two, these 13 tracks are sure to have you texting your ex by the end of the night.
Below are all songs on Scorpion’s B-side, ranked.
13. “Ratchet Happy Birthday”
“Ratchet Happy Birthday” is one of the only questionable cuts on Scorpion’s B-side. Jahaan Sweet, D10 and Boi-1da serve up a peculiar beat to which Drake delivers lyrics that are just as odd. The beat hops all over the place while Drake tries to ooze smooth croons all over it. The intention and sentiment are in the right place but Drake’s wobbly Auto-Tune, gun sounds and reference to Reese’s cups don’t necessarily blend well together.
12. “That’s How You Feel”
This middling cut is a little less polished than the rest, using distorted instrumentation on top of Drake's truncated vocals. Drake gives us a catchy chorus with lines like “I know you like to drink 'til the sun up/Grind 'til you come up/Work all winter, shine all summer” but it’s in fact a live rendition of “Boss Ass Bitch” from Nicki Minaj that steals the show.
The song interpolates Nicki getting some braggadocio bars off at a live show throughout the song which rides the beat seamlessly and actually adds some serious anticipation for her Queen album due out August.
11. “In My Feelings”
This cut has a beautiful bounce courtesy of 40, TrapMoneyBenny & BlaqNmilD. Drake fares well with his harmonies and bars but the what really makes this song go off isn’t Drake at all. Young Money boss Lil Wayne gets sampled and repeatedly says “bring that a– back.” On top of that, City Girls got a sample from FX’s hit show Atlanta. It’s a true Frankenstein production that works fairly well in the grand scheme of the album.
10. ”Blue Tint”
“Blue Tint” is trappier than most of the slow jams on the B-side, but nevertheless renders itself a formidable cut on the album’s back half. There are uncredited vocals from Future who plays a minor role on the track while providing a few repeated lines, harmonies and ad-libs. The lyrical stylings don’t advance the narrative a ton but still let Drake get off some flexing bars like “Way this s–t set up I live like Ronaldo/But I never been in Madrid, whoa.”
9. ”Final Fantasy”
“Final Fantasy” is the most sexually explicit Drake gets on the album. He opens it up by getting straight to the point: “Yeah, I never really talk about dick that I wanna give you/Or places I wanna get to/Neck grab, head grab/Arch back, heart attack, cardiac.” He proceeds to break it down a little more subtly on his second verse but keeps the same intimate energy. The second half of the song switches to a slow-burning, guita-rladen ballad where his sensitivity shines through more than his sexual advances.
8. “Don’t Matter To Me” Featuring Michael Jackson
Leave it up to Drake to get an extremely rare posthumous Michael Jackson feature. “Don’t Matter To Me” blends Nineteen85 and 40’s tropical sonics with a classic R&B ballad pulse giving it a modern yet timeless edge. Michael’s vocals sit neatly in a simple pocket that make “it don’t matter to me” an immensely powerful phrase.
Drake keeps up — perhaps not with vocal stylings, but definitely with his traditional rap/sing hybrid. The song follows a simple narrative of Drake, yet again, getting into a qualm with a femme fatale – a subject MJ definitely knew a thing or two about.
Another deep, rainy day Drake cut featuring strong backing vocals from Ty Dolla $ign. This song isn’t revolutionary to Drake’s musical arsenal but pads the B-side with another vibey cut jam-packed with lines perfect for subliminal Instagram captions.
Drake details his jaded attitude towards one of his female counterparts, which can be heard (and more so felt) with bars like “You've shared stories where you did amazin'/Things to be loyal, things to be patient/That was before me, I musta changed it/Shifted your focus, lens lookin' jaded.”
“Finesse” carries the darkest and most haunting beat of the entire album. OVO Noel crafts a slow piano progression and sharp periodic snaps that usher in candid lines like “I want my baby to have your eyes/I'm going against my own advice/Should I do New York? I can't decide/Fashion week is more your thing than mine.”
The Internet quickly inferred that these lyrics were about Bella Hadid, though in true Drake form, everything is mysterious. It’s an immediate mood changer and should only be listened to in moments of deep emotional reflection.
5. “After Dark” Featuring Static Major & Ty Dolla $ign
“After Dark” is the most collaborative Drake gets on Scorpion with vocal assists from Ty Dolla $ign and the late Static Major. The thumping drums compliment the Spanish-esque guitar riff and vocal chop seamlessly to the point where the vocals are just a bonus. It’s simple to follow, with Drake and Dolla $ign effortlessly enticing a woman to be theirs for the night. It’s capped off by a late night radio personality from Buffalo’s 93.7 WBLK spinning the most “seductive” four hour show.
4. ”Nice For What”
“Nice For What,” oddly enough, finds itself on the non-rap side on the double disc despite having some solid bars from Drake and a near perfect instrumental from Murda Beatz. The electrifying Lauryn Hill sample breaks up the slow, underwater vibes that fill up the B-side. It’s the perfect summer single and a great contrast to the modern sound of “God’s Plan,” which occupies the smash single seat on the A-side.
The B-side opens with the slow building “Peak.” Sonically and lyrically it’s not new territory for Drake – in fact, it’s quite clearly one of Drake’s most familiar sounding songs, a track that lets listeners know what this R&B-side has begun. What makes “Peak” such an intriguing listen is the twangy electro-chord that comes through like a lightning bolt of sound right through the verse breaks. He also goes off on some millennial critics with lines like “People are only tough as their phone allows them to be.”
2. ”Summer Games”
This track features a type of electronic production that Drake has never dabbled with in the past. 40 and No I.D. give him a pulsating electro groove that crosses pumping 808 drums with what can be best described as vintage Tron theme music. Its tempo is fast enough to dance to but smooth enough to inspire relaxation, one that strikes the perfect balance for beat, rhyme and tactical songwriting.
1. ”March 14th”
The last song on the B-side and the album in general is Drake’s grand reveal and potentially the most honest track of his catalog. The question on everyone’s mind going into this album was whether or not Drake had a secret child – which according to this closing cut, he does.
In an open letter to his son, Drake admits “She not my lover like Billie Jean, but the kid is mine.” Even more eye-opening is the shame Drake feels about being a co-parent: “Single father, I hate when I hear it/I used to challenge my parents on every album/Now I'm embarrassed to tell 'em I ended up as a co-parent.”