“SCORPION” Album Review: Did it Live Up to the Hype?

It’s been 3 days since the release of Drake’s 5th studio album, “Scorpion”, and after sitting with it for the weekend with about 5 or 6 listens throughout, I’m ready to give my review on the project.

With every Drake project, there are always a few things that you can always expect; He’s going to rap on some songs, he’s going to sing on others, and there will be at least 1 or 2 smash hits on there. Known for being a dual talented artist, Drake and his camp decided to take this to a whole new level by delivering a 2-disc album (One dedicated to rap, the other focused on R&B); a move that shows a lot of confidence in the artist’s song making ability. But how effective was it?

Honestly, when hearing about the idea of the 2 discs, I was excited, but after hearing the album, I realized it was kinda unnecessary. Of course I understand the thinking of it, Drake is such huge star these days he has all kinds of fans, many who may not like him rapping, so to basically make 2 albums for his two kinds of fans is marketing genius. But as a fan of both sides of Drake, the album just seems to drag on.

Not to say that the album was bad, but there are definitely “skip-worthy” tracks on both albums. So on a 25-track album, I found myself keeping about 18 of them. A lot of these tracks are the songs where you can tell Drake is trying to appeal to the younger generation of music listeners, songs like “Nonstop”, “I’m Upset”, and “Ratchet Happy Birthday”. Then some tracks aren’t necessarily horrible, but they just seemed to be forgettable, and on such a long project, I don’t need to sit through a song I’m not in love with; some of these songs included “Peak”, “That’s How You Feel”, & “Mob Ties”.

Then you had the songs where you read the tracklist and saw the features and became extremely interested, these songs would be “Don’t Matter to Me” (ft. Michael Jackson) and “Talk Up” (ft. Jay-Z). And while both songs were good, they definitely didn’t meet my initial expectations, so that was kinda disappointing. Especially because these are two of the greatest of all time, I was expecting to be blown away by these songs and after hearing them they were really nothing special.

But even with that being said, there were still high upsides on this album. Great rapping tracks like “Emotionless” (which featured a beautiful sample of Mariah Carey), and “Sandra’s Rose” reminded me of how great Drake can be when he decides to rap seriously. And on the R&B side, songs like “After Dark” and “Jaded” were definitely some of my favorites, and seemed to be the same for the listening public.

If you listened to this album, you’ll notice on huge thing, Drake’s references to his child. It seems that on at least more than half of this album, Drake is talking about his son or his baby mom or making subtle references to his recent beef with Pusha T, which left me thinking one thing, Pusha T won their beef and his raps really stuck with Drake. Lines like ‘The only deadbeats, are the beats I’m rapping on” and “I wasn’t hiding my kid from the world, I was hiding the world from my kid” are obvious attempts of Drake to save his image, and honestly, they’re failed attempts. Possibly the worst of them is “March 14th” where Drake basically dedicates a whole song to his child, and honestly, listening to it is cringe-worthy. It sounds as though Drake wrote it up in an hour and nothing about it sounds genuine, just a lazy song and it shouldn’t have been on the album, especially not the last song.

Overall though, SCORPION is a solid Drake project. Definitely not his best, but far from his worst. One of the most intriguing takes I saw on this album was that Drake no longer makes cohesive albums, now it just seems as he though he makes large compilation projects, and I’m inclined to agree. Drake’s album haven’t felt cohesive since maybe Nothing Was The Same, now does that mean that’s a bad thing? No, but its definitely something to think about. What did you think about the album?

SCORPION is available on all music streaming services.

What Twitter Has Taught Me About Rap Beef

I think I learned a long time ago that Twitter is probably the absolute worst place to get objective opinions on pretty much everything. Twitter is the birthplace of extremely wild theories and people just saying whatever they think will get them the most Retweets or favorites. And that’s totally fine, but when it comes to actually having a real conversation about anything, Twitter should be taken as one thing and one thing only, entertainment.

Now with Pusha T dropping his response diss to Drake’s “Duppy Freestyle” with his “The Story of Adidon”, it’s safe to say that a lot of Twitter fans are either new rap fans or just plain have no clue about what rap beef is actually like, or battle rap in general.

In previous disses, Pusha kept it light by talking about strictly finances and ghostwriting rumors about Drake. But since Drake mentioned Pusha T’s fiancé in his diss, I guess this was the perfect opportunity for Push to release some of the info he’s had on Aubrey for quite some time. And boy did it get one hell of a reaction.

Pusha T mentioned Drake’s alleged pornstar baby mother Rose Devine, his potential son with said pornstar, the fact that Drake struggled with his identity issues being biracial, Drake’s father abandoning him at an early age, his mom never being married, and even talked about how Drake’s producer 40 has MS and will probably die soon.Yeah, it was that deep. And maybe the worst part of it all was the cover art for the song, it was a picture of Drake in blackface! Now I don’t think I have to go into detail about how crazy that is but, yeah that’s pretty insane.

So of course, Drake fans came to his defense and they were more than displeased with Pusha’s attempt to ruin Drake’s character.

These tweets are just the example of how Drake fans argued against the diss. It even got so bad that people were making whole threads defending their 6 God. Although I can admit Pusha T’s bars were hurtful it’s nothing new to things we’ve seen in past battles between rappers. Just look at any one of them in the past and you’ll fine way worse things said, and that brings me to another point that this generation is far too sensitive but that’s a talk for another day.

If you aren’t on Twitter I suggest you make one because if nothing else, Twitter is definitely an experience when big moments in pop culture occur like this one. I can only imagine the feedback if Drake chooses to respond to this. I honestly can’t wait. I love it.

Take a listen to the monstrous diss track:

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Beef is Great for Hip-Hop

 

In case you been living under a rock for the past 24 hours, just know that we’ve been blessed with another great moment in hip-hop. Beef/tension is something that makes Rap unlike any other genre, because in this culture, rather than immediately try to squash it, we encourage it (unless it results in any violent activities then by all means we try to end it). The best part of any rap beef is when we get great music that comes from it, because in its essence, Hip-Hop is competition and hearing two emcees duke it out on tracks is the greatest. Whether its Ice Cube vs NWA, Biggie vs Pac, Jay vs Nas, 50 vs Game, or even today with Drake vs Pusha T; Hip-Hop fans relish at the opportunity to hear a great diss records.

To give some background, Pusha T has been sending shots at the head of Drake and Cash Money records for quite some time. Whether it be more subtle on a verse or more blatant on full records like “Exodus 23:1”; its safe to say that Push has wanted the smoke for quite some time. To the casual fan, putting a diss record like “Infrared” on his new album, DAYTONA may come off as a ploy to get more attention, but to the people who know, this is just Pusha being Pusha.

“The game’s fucked up
Niggas beats is bangin’, nigga, ya hooks did it
The lyric pennin’ equal the Trumps winnin’
The bigger question is how the Russians did it
It was written like Nas but it came from Quentin”

For years Pusha T has been making records like this, so of course this isn’t what made the headlines. When the snippet of this record began to surface, rumors began to circulate from Drake’s camp that a response may be in the works, but no one thought anything of it due to the fact that Drake had been ignoring him for so long.

BUT BOY WERE WE IN FOR A SURPRISE. Not only did Drake surprise the world, but he came out swinging with nothing but haymakers. From the moment Drake’s “Duppy Freestyle” dropped, Twitter could not stop talking about it. And for good reason:

Must’ve had your Infrared wrong, now your head in the beam
Y’all are the spitting image of whatever jealousy breeds

Don’t push me when I’m in album mode
You not even top 5 as far as your label talent goes
You send shots, well, I got to challenge those
But I bring Calicos to the Alamo

Beef excites the hip-hop community, and if these are the type of records we’re going to get, I honestly can’t wait to hear about whatever happens next.