7 Things We Learned From Drake’s ‘Scorpion’ Album
Drake's fifth solo studio album Scorpion has arrived. The 25-track double album is broken into two sides: The A-SIDE is mostly cutthroat rap records, while the B-SIDE is filled with smoother R&B cuts. It's one of the most anticipated albums of the year—and perhaps of Drake's career, too. Fans and critics alike had a lot of hard-hitting questions for the 6ix God to answer; primarily whether he has a secret child.
Since Drake didn't respond to Pusha-T's "The Story of Adidon" diss track, it was believed he would address his rival's claims on Scorpion. In true Drizzy form, he let the music speak for him, and got off much more than just a child reveal.
Drake has always been tremendously candid in his music, speaking on a variety of personal topics that some rappers wouldn't even dream of divulging. Scorpion is no different and perhaps one of Drake's most honest projects to date—even more so than his prior albums and mixtapes. From the highly aggressive raps on the A SIDE to the lo-fi croons on the B SIDE, Drake manages to touch on financials, family, friends, flings, feuds and, of course, offspring. Any answers you're seeking about Drake's life at this current moment are probably addressed on the album.
With Scorpion already well on its way to breaking streaming records, XXL breaks down the seven most important things we learned about the boy himself on his latest body of work.
Drake Is a Dad
It looks like Pusha-T was telling the truth on "The Story of Adidon." Drake really is father to a child, according to the lyrics he kicks on Scorpion.
Drake confesses to having a son that he hid from the mainstream. There is no mention on if the mother is actually adult film actress Sophie Brussaux, but he loosely alludes to having having a one-time fling that resulted in his paternity.
On “Emotionless,” Drake tactfully dishes out his reasoning for keeping the news quiet. “I wasn’t hiding my kid from the world/I was hiding the world from my kid/From empty souls who just wake up and looked to debate/Until you staring at your seed, you can never relate.”
He later rhymes "Kiss my son on the forehead then kiss your ass goodby" on "8 Out of 10." But he's most candid on "March 14," an open letter to his son that has some revealing bars like, “Yesterday morning was crazy/I had to come to terms with the fact that it’s not a maybe/That shit is in stone, sealed and signed/She not my lover like Billie Jean but the kid is mine.”
The biggest takeaway from the whole situation is not only how it “took one time” for a baby to be conceived, but how he’s clearly ashamed that he is now a co-parent in the same way that his own parents raised him.
“It's breakin' my spirit/Single father, I hate when I hear it/I used to challenge my parents on every album/Now I'm embarrassed to tell 'em I ended up as a co-parent/Always promised the family unit/I wanted it to be different because I've been through it.”
Drake Is Out of His Cash Money Records Deal
Cash Money Records is known for its amazing cultivation of raw talent and deep catalog of hits from throughout the years. Unfortunately, fulfilling contractual obligations doesn't seem to be the label's forte.
From accusations of unpaid production to the recently settled Lil Wayne/Tha Carter V legal battle, Cash Money stays in civil court, leading fans to speculate on the contractual commitments of artists like Nicki Minaj and Drake. In one swift line on A SIDE closer “Is There More,” Drizzy claims, “Yeah, soon as this album drop I'm out of the deal."
Drake has long shown interest in ownership, most recently on Lil Wayne’s Dedication 6 track “Family Feud,” where he urges Apple Music executive Larry Jackson to give him a piece of company: “Somebody get Larry Jackson on the phone/I need some ownership if we pressin' go/'Cause business is boomin' on behalf of me/I need a bite outta the Apple like Adam and Eve.” Getting out of his Cash Money deal could mean Drake is ready for label independence or perhaps a move to another major.
Drake Has a New Sneaker Deal
It has been rumored for a while that Drake has left Jordan Brand for a new sneaker deal with Adidas. On top of being seen draped in Adidas apparel and kicks, Pusha-T's "The Story of Adidon" explicitly made reference to Drake's new deal with the three stripes but, again, nothing has been 100 percent confirmed.
That seems to change here. On "Nonstop," Drake confirms that he inked a sneaker deal but remains tight-lipped about what brand it's with. "Got a sneaker deal and I ain’t break a sweat."
Drake Is on Good Terms With Jay-Z
Drake and Jay-Z have had a rocky history over the years, bickering on and off records about silly things like art rap and who dominates the summer months. Yet they've joined forces a few times in the past decade, from Jay-Z’s Blueprint 3 album in 2009 ("Off That"), to Drake’s 2010 debut Thank Me Later ("Light Up"), Drake's 2013 project Nothing Was the Same ("Pound Cake/Paris Morton Music 2") and Views in 2016 ("Pop Style").
The mentor and proégé turned rivals turned collaborators get together again on Scorpion's "Talk Up." Over a thunderous beat from DJ Paul, Jiggaman joins the 6ix God for some of the best rapping on the entire album. There is no explicit mention of their amicability from either of them but the way they trade rhymes sounds like teamwork. Jay-Z also gets off an extremely timely line about the murder of XXXTentacion: "Y'all kill X and let Zimmerman live ... streets is done.”
Drake Is Not on Good Terms With Kanye West
Despite ending the Pusha-T/Drake beef on Twitter, Kanye still took a swipe at Drake on his Ye album.
On “No Mistakes,” Yeezy raps, “Too close to snipe you, truth told, I like you/Too bold to type you, too rich to fight you/Calm down, you light skin.”
Drake responds frankly on "Nonstop": “Yeah I’m light-skinned, but I’m still a dark nigga,” which is as clear a response as any. He dishes another disgruntled response on “8 out of 10,” rapping, “Too rich for who? Y'all just got rich again/Who grips the mic and likes to kill they friends?/I've never been the type to make amends.” He also pokes fun at G.O.O.D Music’s seven-song albums with lines like, “I guess luck is on your side/All sevens, no sixes, rest easy, get some shut-eye.”
While there's no direct mention of Kanye, the subliminals are loud and clear.
Drake Didn't Want to Further the Pusha-T Beef
Fans, critics and casual pop culture indulgers were left scratching their heads when Drake didn’t respond to Pusha T’s wounding “The Story of Adidon” diss track. According to the boy on the album opener “Survival,” he claims, “I’ve seen this movie a hundred times, I know where it’s headed/Realize someone gotta die when no one will dead it/ Niggas gambling with their life for some content/That’s the type of lottery that could get your top picked.”
Whether it was J. Prince who told Drake to not fire back before things escalated is not confirmed here. Yet Drake claims his choice not to clap back was strategic and supposedly better for everyone’s well-being.
Drake Acknowledges Fans' (Oft-Unwarranted) Criticisms
Before the album even starts, Drake shows a giant stroke of self-awareness in the Editor’s Notes section of the album. He simply writes:
I Hate When Drake Raps, Drake Sings Too Much, Drake is a Pop Artist, Drake doesn’t even write his own songs, Drake Took an L, Drake Didn’t Start From the Bottom, Drake Is Finished, I Like Drake’s Older Stuff, Drake Makes Music for Girls, Drake Thinks He’s Jamaican, Drake Is an Actor, Drake Changed, Anybody Else > Drake…Yeah Yeah We Know.
It's a tongue-in-cheek stroke of self-awareness that shows Drake keeps his ears to the streets and tweets. He's just like us!