Scorpion delivers on both sides

Cover photo used by Drake for Scorpion, his fifth studio album. Photo credit: Piri Sinnathurai

On Scorpion, his fifth studio album, Drake gives fans what they’ve been wanting for a long time: rapper Drake and R&B Drake focused all at once.

Not much R&B was heard on his last album, Views, so the decision for a double disc was genius.

Scorpion can be considered two different albums, depending on the way you decide to play it.

If you start with Side A, you’ll hear a more braggadocio side of the Toronto rapper that exudes confidence and explains some real-life situations he’s been dealing with as of late, including his dispute with rival rapper Pusha T.

It then moves to a much softer side B. The venomous attacks from Push do not ooze into the R&B side and have no effect on the rapper and his music content wise.

Side B isn’t feel dark like Views, which was full of mistrust because of Drake’s dispute with Philly-born rapper Meek Mill but Drake did a good job not letting his feud direct the angle of his album.

Side A has standout tracks like “Emotionless,” which samples the song “Emotions” by Mariah Carey. Drake narrates a true story of his legacy as a rapper about coming up in the industry and surpassing all his idols.

In “Sandra’s Rose,” he describes his precious relationship with his mom, which many rappers fail to express on songs because their pride is too strong but Drake has no issues being sentimental with this album.

Throughout the rest of the first side, he spits bars, delivers on production and slays his verse on “Talk Up” holding his own against a feature from the legendary Jay Z, someone who doesn’t collaborate with many artists unless he truly believes they are great.

Side B is what everyone has been longing to hear from Drake. He gave the public those late-night Take Care vibes with songs like “Jaded” and “Don’t Matter to Me,” featuring Michael Jackson, which deserves more praise than it got.

Drake, the four-time Grammy award winner, manages to bring back some old school R&B vibes while mixing in a modern sound like “After Dark,” featuring Static Major and Ty Dolla $ign.

Whether it’s blasting high notes to show the intensity in his emotions or converting to a low and sombre melody where it feel like he’s whispering into your ear, Drake shows he has versatility with his singing voice, which is commendable considering the fact he’s a rapper.

“In My Feelings” can be considered the biggest surprise but in a positive way because it turned out to be the song of summer 2019.

ScorpionThe album finishes off with the unforgettable “March 14,” which gives insight to the day Drake found out he would be a father. It is a very personal and emotional song talking about his relationship with his baby’s mother and shows the softer side of Drake.

It’s extremely tough to pull off a double album, especially one with two completely different sounds. It’s an impressive feat to be able to release a 25-song album with barely any features and make it worth listening to, especially nowadays when everything is made for quick consumption.

When you try to please everyone, you can’t win but Drake did an exceptional job, nonetheless.

Overall, I give it a solid 8.5/10.

For me, it ranks as Drake’s fourth best project behind Take Care, If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late and Nothing Was The Same. These previous albums feature the vibe of early Drake, which is second to none: a classic sounding Drake when he resonated more with the people and didn’t sound as show-offish as he does on Scorpion.