It’s hard to imagine that, by the time 2018 rolled around, Drake had any problems left to rant about. He had worked his blueprint meticulously, spinning the same narrative just in different formats; fame sucks, fame kind of rules actually, how can I find the perfect girl? Did you know I’m the greatest rapper alive? No matter the overarching mood, the Drakey themes were always the same. And with Scorpion there was no difference, except for the album technically being a double album (one side hip-hop, one side R&B) and oh, Drake having a kid.
The first half of the album caters to the fans of angry Drake, the ones that love his murderous beats, quick whips and aloof attitude. The showbiz of Drake. It all screams of glitz and glamour and reemphasises just how much Drake is killing it in the rap game. On the opening ‘Survival’ he references certain key points of his career, on the energising ‘Nonstop’ he talks about his money moves, on ‘Mob Ties’ he comes for those who have betrayed him and the Jay Z collab ‘Talk Up’ sees the two reflecting on their past troubles and how they ended up where they are now.
The Mariah Carey sampled ‘Emotionless’ is where we uncover some of the secrets Drake’s been hiding, more specifically his son. “I wasn’t hiding my kid from the world, I was hiding the world from my kid,” reads the iconic line. And he references his baby mama again on the hit ‘I’m Upset,’ a track that sees Drake protecting his money from women. It could be this newfound fatherhood that’s making Drake a lot more profound, but a new theme pops in and out of him feeling like he simply needs to do more. On ‘Elevate’ he’s thankful, but feels like it’s all not enough, and on ‘8 Out of 10’ and ‘Is There More?’ he’s deeply pondering what his life means and where it’s all heading. Not to mention the spiritual super catchy hit ‘God’s Plan.’
Then we’re into the other half, the one catered to fans of Aubrey and all the romantic woes he personally goes through. The Take Care ride-or-dies. We’re thrown into his love drama right away with ‘Peak’ and the heartbreak only continues with the sombre ‘Summer Games’ and ‘Jaded.’ On ‘Finesse’ he unapologetically states he wishes he had his baby with another woman and the uplifting hit ‘Nice For What’ sees him tap into his feminist side.
As he often does, Drake jumps between the decision to rekindle an old flame or pine after someone he doesn’t even know. On ‘Blue Tint’ and the incredibly impressive Michael Jackson collab ‘Don’t Matter To Me’, Drake weighs down on the ex scale. But on ‘That’s How You Feel’, the viral ‘In My Feelings’ and Ty Dolla $ign and Static Major’s ‘After Dark’ he’s lifting the stranger scale a little higher. The album ends with the personal ‘March 14,’ a track that discusses openly his son, his relationship with his son’s mother and Drake’s disdain for being the one thing he’s always hated: a distant father. It’s a new love Drake is learning to navigate, and he’s realising that his dream of white picket fences and happily ever after is changing its form.
The double album felt necessary to let Drake get everything off his chest while still remaining the King. He tapped into all his markets and managed to push out some viral hits while he was at it. In some ways, Scorpion felt like a bit of a goodbye to the Drake we’d come to know and love. Sure, Drake will always be Drake, but the pensive romantic might just be on its way out. At least for now. Clearly all it takes is a new flame to emerge and Drake’s right back there in Marvin’s Room.