Drake - Scorpion Side A

Scorpion Side A

I need to review this new Drake album. Drake is such a massive star, I would be doing myself a disservice by not reviewing this album and missing out on a major part of the culture. Here's the problem: 25 tracks clocking in at over an hour and a half is just way too much. So I've come up with this compromise for my own sanity, review Side A and Side B separately. It makes sense because in all respect they are different. Side A is boasting Drake, rapping Drake, angry Drake while Side B softens thing and slides into a more R&B position. Scorpion from the first note is not fucking around, it feels like Drake is aboslutley fed up with the constant barrage of disses about how He doesn't write his own rhymes and comes for bodies. "Nonstop" is a relentless attack and the beat creates the perfect place for Drizzy to drop his ad lib filled delivery. With the recent and very public beef with Kanye West and Pusha T, Drake now has something to prove and something to say. That is when Drake is at his best, not sad Drake or celebatory Drake, but the Drake who has never felt accepted and succeeded despite it. Single "God's Plan" which broke both streaming and Youtube views records for the music video still bangs like the day it came out with a beat by longtime Drake Producer Boi-1da that is truly inspired. "I'M Upset" has some of the most cutting lines on the record, but the beat feels hollow and sparse not doing the track any favors. 

"8 out of 10" an interlude and clear call out to internet trolls feels in a word: old. It spills into "Mob Ties" on which Drake does a pretty damn good Young Thug impression. Even the beat with its trippy electronics feels like Thugger had a hand in it, but it's all Drake and it fucking works. "Can't Take a Joke" however feels like more of the same, it doesn't push anything just sort of feels like a placeholder. The sense you get from every track on this album is just how fresh it sounds. Where Kendrick's last record was aggressive in a very in your face way, this record lays back more and stews in the background rather than punching you in the face. The beats work that way too, you need to come to them rather than them directly coming for you. The only feature on this section of the record is Jay-Z on "Talk Up" which feels like their return to a hood anthem, but something feels off like it doesn't explode in your ears like it should. This side closes on "Is There More" which has one of Drake's most diverse flows over one of the worst beats on the record. Drake has to do almost all the heavy lifiting on this track, getting nothing from the beat. This side really sets the bar high from the outset than starts to lose a little steam at the end. There are still undeniable songs on this first side, and some stellar lines. Another Drake classic. 

8.0 out of 10


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