SCORPION (Drake)

With every subsequent single release this year, one better than the next, Drake’s exemplified how seamlessly he balances his R&B roots with his more recent pop breakouts, injecting both ends of this musical spectrum with modern touches of the 21st century’s EDM craze.

If More Life was the soundtrack to a pregame, pumping up the revelers to get their asses to the club, Scorpion — particularly the second half of this new double album — is the postgame comedown, retaining the remnant vibes of the party that was, chilling into the smoke sesh that will be (and like all good tokes, it goes on a tad too long).

You might not bust a move to this ish, but you’ll definitely shuffle from side to side, no matter where you are (personal confession: there’s nothing better than dancing to Drake down the streets of New York). That’s a testament to the unmistakable mood Scorpion has the capacity to induce. The songs play on their own, but together they create an all-consuming tone.

Drake, ever the innovator marching to his own drumbeat, obviously pays attention to his marketing, right on down to the finest of details. For instance, he refused to provide Apple Music with a salesman’s version of its usual descriptive copy; instead, he seems to quote common criticisms lobbed at him, in amateurish caps lock from online trolls who don’t understand how to inflict power through writing using subtler and more effective means. The album feels like an emotional response to such trolls; more than just maliciously putting them down in a throwaway lyric, he lyrically reckons with how these downsides to life in the 1% affect his mental state.

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