Drake - Scorpion Side B
Scorpion Side B
Drake has never been one for brevity, which is why the 25 track double album is no surprise. "More Life" was only about eight minutes shorter than these records so still a massive undertaking. Side B of Scorpion starts with "Peak" a track that smolders rather than burns and brings in a softer less aggressive Drake. He clearly is singing more on this record, shifting more to the pop side of things, rather than going hard at everyone who has come for his throne over the past few years. This is the loving side of the record, but also the one that really forces Drake to step outside of his comfort zone. "Summer Games" begins as this really bare track, but then something clicks in and sentiment of a summer love unfolds over a synth beats that is so fantastic. Each moment of the four minute track feels new and exciting take really bold swings. The first three tracks are painfully slow, which works for the middle of an album, but separating the two sides leaves you with a beginning that is pretty slow to really engage. Suddenly though "Nice For What" comes on and you hear Big Freeda's voice, the Miss Lauryn Hill sample and Drake delivering one of his Drake-iest performances ever. Shouting out to the ladies, New Orleans Bounce and beat that fucking pops there is really no gaps in this track at all. "Finesse" however pulls you right back down into this murky zone that Drake like to inhabit on this record.
"Ratchet Happy Birthday" features a famous sample from __________ while "That's How You Feel" actually samples a live performance from Nicki Minaj rapping "Boss Ass Bitch". On "In My Feelings" Drake uses almost the exact same style of delivery as He used in "God's Plan" which feels a bit odd. The use of samples as and features is also somewhat odd, but genius at the same time. Instead of getting people in the studio he just pulls from literally their greatest hits and He gets away with it. The true surprise here comes on "Don't Matter To Me" which features Michael Jackson from the mother fucking grave. The vocal was apparently an unreleased track from the King of Pop and sounds like it was probably recorded later in his life, but it's still tremendous to hear his voice in your ears again. It's a moody track, but goes with the entire gestalt of this record being somewhat unamused by itself. Maybe it is just Drake fatigue in the later tracks, but this part of the record seems to have some pretty high highs as well as some pretty boring lows. "After Dark" is downright boring and features Drake doing his most basic Drake sings style. "after Dark" is also a 90s R&B throwback that does nearly nothing. There is clearly room for editing on both Sides and you can't help but feel if this record was tighter it would really fucking bang, but that's Drake he always has to be way way extra. Luckily it almost always works for him, so maybe I'm wrong.
6.9 out of 10