In the last days of June, Drake released his 5th studio album; Scorpion.
The album tackles many different themes underneath flawless sonics. In addition, he manages to deliver catchy tunes while addressing what everyone was waiting for; the news of his son, Adonis.
Yet with 25 tracks and that much to address, Drake still manages to lack the substance he had in an earlier time. He has embraced what the public has begged for and ran with it; verses that are simple and catchy, that lack complexity and development. They are good for relief, and his audience will forever eat that up. But the latch onto that, makes us miss what we know Drake is capable of.
Perhaps it was the pressure to address these issues that made him extend the album by however many tracks. A lot of these tracks seem to fill-in information. It could have been less obvious, but the context is so contemporary that it becomes recognizable. If Jay-Z mentions the death of XXXTentacion on ‘Talk Up’, that reveals how rushed most of these tracks had to be.
Despite the rush, Drake always manages to remain consistent, production-wise. The album is richly produced on both sides. Yet, where growth is concerned, there seems to be something lacking. Side A of the album features songs discussing topics that are repetitive, making it tiring to listen to. When you get to Side B, Drake simultaneously gives us the tunes that we love him for, while exploring a different side of him (which may have been the ultimate goal).
In times like these, we expect an artist like Drake to develop his sound; which he does quite well with production, featuring new artists and using concepts not yet recognized. Yet, what separates him from everyone else? What makes this album worthy of respect or accolades? The substance is sufficient, but will not survive with strength or longevity? Drake is capable of delivering so much more but unfortunately, he has avoided doing that for his last couple records.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t some absolute bops! But he ought to take his time with the next record…or perhaps not think of the next record until Scorpion has lived all that it has been allowed to.