Drake's new album Scorpion is a sonic fable.
It isn't clear if Graham ever read the story of The Scorpion and the Frog, but the tale of the arachnid who requests a trip across the river on an amphibian's back perfectly parallels the rapper's current predicament.
Over the course of 25 tracks, he seems to grapple with fighting against his nature or succumbing to it. In the original fable, the scorpion ends up piercing the back of the frog and contributing to both of their demises. Thankfully, it doesn't seem like Drake is comfortable going out like that.
Drizzy has been here before. On More Life's outro, "Do Not Disturb," he demonstrated a sense of clarity about beef and the way it twists and contorts artistry — "Yeah, ducked a lot of spiteful moves / I was an angry yout when I was writin' Views / Saw a side of myself that I just never knew / I'll probably self-destruct if I ever lose, but I never do."
Scorpion isn't self-destruction, but it does arrive at a time when Drake isn't quite in control of his narrative.
Scorpion clocks in at 90 minutes, and much of that time deals with the fallout of Pusha T's Drake-dissing "The Story of Adidon." A majority of the project's A Side concerns itself with sending potential shots at Kanye West and G.O.O.D. Music, numerous bars defending his choice to keep his son out of the public eye, and pitching Graham as the eternal underdog.
Below are the most shocking revelations on Scorpion and what they mean in the context of Drake's career.
1. He raps about his son… a lot
Standout Lyric: "I wasn't hidin' my kid from the world / I was hidin' the world from my kid" — "Emotionless"
As far as baby reveals go, Pusha T emphatically rapping, "You are hiding a child, let that boy come home," was great for him and horrible for everyone else involved. So much of Scorpion is concerned with correcting the narrative that Graham is — in Pusha's words — "a deadbeat." There's even a line on "8 out of 10" where Drake spits, "The only deadbeats is whatever beats I been rappin' to."
Elsewhere on the album, "March 14" finds Drake coming to terms with having a child with a woman he met twice and admitting that he's only seen his son once. In this case, the reality of the situation is more brutal than anything Pusha T said.
2. Guess Drake wasn't a fan of the Kanye albums
Standout Lyric: "All sevens, no sixes, rest easy, get some shut eye" — "8 out of 10"
The genius of a Drake subliminal is trying to identify his intended target. On "8 out of 10," he seems to throw shade at the five albums Kanye produced in 2018.
"Nonstop" sees Drizzy calling out rappers "pullin' gimmicks 'cause they scared to rap," which is a two-pronged barb — the first part of the lyric likely references the strategy of G.O.O.D. Music's release schedule, while the second sounds like an indictment of West using writers like CyHi The Prynce, Chance the Rapper, and even Drake to help with his latest solo album.
3. Did Drake just admit he dated Bella Hadid?
Standout Lyric: "My house is full of supermodels just like Mohamed Hadid" — "Sandra's Rose"
Last year, rumors circulated that Drake dated Bella, which was awkward because the model famously dated Drizzy's OVOXO brother The Weeknd. On Scorpion, Drake drops multiple hints that he may have had a brief fling with Bella.
On "Finesse," for example, he raps, "Should I do New York? I can't decide," which is a possible allusion to New York Fashion Week. He continues dropping clues by potentially referencing Bella's sister Gigi: "You and your sister / Too hot to handle."
Something tells us Zayn might have a problem with that particular bar.
4. The blackface controversy
Please stop referring to this picture as "artwork"...I'm not an internet baby, I don't edit images...this is a REAL picture...these are his truths, see for yourself https://t.co/gd6vRS3HM8 pic.twitter.com/2el58HEZ8F— King Push (@PUSHA_T) May 30, 2018
Standout Lyric: "They always ask, 'Why let the story run if it's false?' / You know a wise man once said nothin' at all" — "Emotionless"
Drake already addressed the blackface controversy in a written statement, but the leaked photo still doesn't sit well with many people. On "Emotionless," he hints about why he didn't speak up sooner — though wouldn't that bar and his aforementioned statement constitute saying something?
5. No more YMCMB?
Standout Lyric: "Soon as this album drop I'm out of the deal" — "Is There More"
The era of YMCMB might finally be coming to a close. Scorpion has the potential to be the last album in Drake's contract with Young Money/Cash Money, if his lyrics on "Is There More" are to be believed.