Adversities either breaks or make a man and for Drake, he utilises his dark moments to create a radiant project in ‘Scorpion’.
Drake had started the year as the heavyweight boxer in the ring, and despite the best attempts by the likes of Kendrick Lamar and J Cole at shooting for the throne, deft moves like giving out the entire budget for his videos for ‘God’s Plan’ and the star-studded ‘Nice For What’, ensured that the belt was tightly wrapped around his waist.
But everything changed in May when Pusha T reignited a long feud by baiting him on Infrared from his long-awaited Kanye West produced Daytona album.
Fired up, Drake released a response in Duppy Freestyle barely 24 hours after the album was officially out, his reply was a deep punch that struck the right nerves and landed Pusha a well-packed punch.
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But everything changed with The Story of Adidon, Pusha went personal, he had unearthed Drake’s secrets, touched on his family and landed a knockout punch that was way below the belt.
This had fans excited, their heavyweight rapper was about to rise up and land his own blows, but Drake never did, he laid with his face in the ring, while the Referee counted away.
Hip-hop don, J Prince had attempted a reason for this, people began to insinuate that this could turn bloody, but the truth is Pusha had won the battle, at least this round of it, now it was time to focus on the war.
Of what use is a Scorpion when it cannot sting?
Friday, June 29, Drake released his fifth solo studio album, Scorpion, the album has two sides, Side A contains 12 songs which cater for his rap fans, while the B Side is filled with 13 RnB songs, so this review will be broken into two parts, with this part focusing on the Side A.
Scorpion shines bright, as he maintains the same concept and delivery styles that worked for him on his early projects, but this time there is an edge to his delivery, a new hunger that makes it more lethal.
The album features previously unreleased material with Michael Jackson and the late Static Major, a verse from Jay Z, Nicki Minaj, TY Dolla $ ign and Future.
‘Survival ‘and ‘Nonstop’ open the doors into Scorpion, on the former, he touches lightly on his industry beefs and how he is the cream of the crop, while the latter sees him demanding for respect like Lebron.
But it is on ‘Elevate’, where it begins to get really exciting as Drake is intricate with his lyrics, this is the ultimate demonstration of his newfound level of domination.
”Couldn’t picture wifing Braden when I was pumping gas on road trips to go from Cincinnati on to Dayton, I couldn’t gauge it, I wanna thank God for working way harder than Satan, He’s playing favourites, it feels amazing (yeah)”
‘Emotionless’ is the reason why we have been waiting for this album with heightened expectations in the past few weeks, as in contrast to the title, Drake lets his emotions out as he addresses the issues raised by Pusha T on his ”Story of Adidion” diss, with the blessings of a Mariah Carey sample.
”I wasn’t hiding my kid from the world, I was hiding the world from my kid, from empty souls who just wake up and looked to debate, Until you starin’ at your seed, you can never relate”.
Previously released singles, God’s Plan, which topped the charts following its release, and I’m Upset are lined up immediately after.
There is the bragging Drake on ‘8 out of 10’, ”I been on top for three sets of three years”, Mob Ties and Can’t Take A Joke is Trap Music with Southern flavour.
”Sandra’s Rose” is one of the most enjoyable moments on the project.
Drake delivers a track that is the very essence of what brought him to this great heights as he makes the beat fall back while he just raps from his soul, there are more names dropped on this song than on a line assembly.
From Sandra (A perceived reference to his mother’s name, Sandi, to Charmalagne, Mohamed Hadid, Adele, Amber Rose and more), this is a line by line dissection of his story.
Jay Z appears on ”Talk Up” and the duo indeed Talk it up, this is a smart move as the duo have also been involved in a beef in the past, but with Pusha’s association with Kanye, it was only wise he aligns with another top-shot in Hov.
No one brags like Jay Z and he reigns ‘Supreme’ (No pun intended) on this, ”Niggas would be like Young, I got your President tweeting, I won’t even meet with him, Y’all killed X and let Zimmerman live, Streets is done”.
Drake is imposing on ”Is There More” as he closes the Side A gloriously while acknowledging there is more music on the R&B part.
It has been a year of great albums, rap has flourished under the Kanye West album series and the unannounced invasion of Everything Is Love by Hip hop’s power couple, Hov and Bey but Scorpion, as expected, doesn’t get lost in the numbers.
There is a plea, a raw one at-times mixed with relatable, catchy and re-energised edge in Drake’s lyrics, even when he is bragging.
Scorpion is not Take Care or Nothing Was The Same, but it is a beautiful masterpiece that even when it does not totally wipe out the cut that Pusha placed on his abilities, it is an album that keeps the crown on his head and reminds doubters of the greatness of the man from Toronto when he is in the zone.
3-Worth Checking Out