For Drake, the best way to make people forget there was ever any beef going on with Pusha T was to either retaliate to “The Story of Adidion” (Drake diss) and/or release another great album. Drake did just that with his fifth studio album Scorpion. For that reason, it was required for him to respond to those allegations somewhere, somehow on “Scorpion.” Not only did he do that, but one could argue that the entire album is about fatherhood. Make no mistake, there’s plenty of the “how dare you speak my name,” dating multiple women simultaneously kind of bars.
It was absolutely genius that Drake made this a double album. Side A is essentially a rap album. Meanwhile, Side B is the R&B/soft side of Drake that takes you back to hisNothing Was The Same(2013) days. This may not be the best album from the Toronto native, but he’s never been better lyrically. Honestly, we’re not even going to address the songs everyone has heard already. Which obviously includes his hit singles, “God’s Plan,” “Nice For What,” and most recently “I’m Upset.” It’s the rest of the album where he spills out all of his emotions.
Throughout most of Side A, Drake address the elephant in the room that he has a kid that he’s been “hiding.” On “Emotionless,” he raps, “Look at the way we live, I wasn’t hidin’ my kid from the world, I was hidin’ the world from my kid.” Which is probably the most quotable lyric on the entire album. He also discredits Pusha T’s proclamation that he is a “deadbeat father” with his lyric, “The only deadbeats is whatever beats I been rappin’ to,” from the DJ Premier and Maneesh produced track “8 out of 10.” Then, he goes on to basically claim the rap world is lucky he has “settled in to the role as the good guy.”
Side B is exactly why Drake is one of the most effective artists of this generation. Not only is he a strong rapper, but he is probably one of the best R&B artists as well when he actually executes. Without the drums and vocals on “Jaded”, or Drake checking in with old friends on “In My Feelings,” or his song to his son on “March 14th,” Side B may have been forgettable. But, they’re far too good and pretty much set the tone.
The one flaw Drake has isn’t necessarily all his fault. Where he’s at in his career, he can basically do what he pleases. Due to that, it led to two dud tracks on the album. Although, it is amazing to hear Michael Jackson’s voice again on “Don’t Matter To Me,” it seemed more like a power move than actual artistic perfection. Also, the Jay-Z feature on “Talk Up” seemed more like a subliminal message to Kanye West.
All in all, the album in its entirety was finely produced and came together quite well. All of the samples helped bring the entire story together. The most memorable samples that resonated included Maxwell’s “The Suite Theme” on “After Dark” (featuring Static Major & Ty Dolla $ign), Mariah Carey’s “Emotions” on “Emotionless,” the late-great Aaliyah’s “More Than A Woman” on “Is There More,” and of course Lauryn Hill’s “Ex-Factor” on “Nice For What.”
To contrast, you’d have to be naive to say the 31-year-old artist hasn’t grown over the years. He’s learned a lot in this business and seems to thrive off adversity. When he was exposed for not writing his own lyrics, he rose to the occasion to put an end to those rumors. When Pusha T dissed him and questioned his morals, he once again rose to the occasion and put together a quality double-album. It’s not necessarily a classic, but nonetheless probably better than More Life or Views. Suppose he has Pusha T to thank for adding fuel to the fire.