2018, Music

Scorpion (2018) by Drake

This is my second Drake album. In reviewing Views, I mentioned how my first musical impressions of Drake were not good. My initial impression was that Drake really sucked. But, given how popular he is (was?) and how potentially innovative he is, or has been, I was willing to try to give him the benefit of the doubt. But Scorpion appears to be the place he lost his fans or lost even more of his fans. It has a hilariously low average rating on RYM. But the really funny thing is, though Scorpion has an average rating lower than most artists of Drake’s renown would ever see (unless we’re talking about Metallica or John Lennon), it’s his second worst album by that metric. If I was a glutton for bad hip hop, I’d have to check out Certified Lover Boy.

So the biggest thing is that it is preposterously long. This album is 90 minutes which is nothing compared to the absolutely worst double- and triple-length albums in existence but is still properly a double album an, well, there is not a lot stylistic diversity (at least that I can hear). This is a classic thing that happens to really successful musicians a lot of the time: at some point they decided that their fans want to hear every idea they have. And…that’s only ever rarely true. The vast majority of these types of projects are just too bloated and this is no exception. Ask me to identify the tracks and I’ll say I can remember maybe one or two.

As others have noted, there’s a lot of “Drake being tough” on this record, which is, as others have noted, pretty funny. Drake is everywhere, especially if you live in Toronto. Without listening to Drake prior to this year, I know the kind of guy Drake is, because he’s unavoidable. And he’s not tough. I would know this even if I had never heard any of his more romantic/”sensitive” songs. I know because he’s on my TV all the time. And I’m not talking about Degrassi, as I didn’t watch his version. Drake works with the Raptors and yet will put on another team’s jersey when he’s in another team’s arena if they’re not playing the Raptors. (Snoop does that but, as far as I know, Snoop is not a “Global Ambassador” for a particularly NBA team.) That is…not the behaviour of someone who doesn’t care about what other people think. (Unless you think that, by trying to fit in while in another arena he’s snubbing the Raptors, knowing they won’t fire him, and that makes him “hard.”) I’ve seen and heard enough of this guy to know this is posing.

It nearly always bugs me when rappers rap about how hard they are but it’s especially ridiculous when we have media information that fairly definitively proves they’re not, including a lot of Drake’s career to this point, right? Anyway…

I don’t know that this is as bad as everyone says it is. I mean, the vast majority (if not all) of hip hop I’ve listened to has been critically acclaimed so it’s not like I know bad hip hop. But, to me, this is just dull. Sure, dull is not good. But I’m not sure dull is 3.7/10. Maybe it is, as I said I don’t know. But I feel like I have heard far worse records than this, though in those cases I knew the genres better and could actually tell you why they sucked.

4/10 I guess

PS I agree with everyone saying “Rachet Happy Birthday” seems terrible. I see fan theories on Reddit as to why it’s somehow not, but there are some people who will defend their heroes no matter what so…

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