Drake – Scorpion
Jun 29 2018 | Hip - Hop, Rap

Drake – Scorpion

Drake – Scorpion
Genre
Hip - Hop, Rap
Release date
June 29 2018
Artist
Drake
Drake – Scorpion
June 29 2018 | Hip - Hop, Rap

Scorpion is the fifth studio album by Canadian rapper Drake. It was released on June 29, 2018 by Young Money Entertainment, Cash Money Records and Republic Records. Scorpion is a double album consisting of 25 tracks. Its “A side” is primarily a hip hop album, whilst its “B side” has been described as R&B and pop.

The album features guest appearances from Jay-Z and Ty Dolla Sign as well as posthumous appearances from Michael Jackson and Static Major, and additional vocals by a variety of artists, including James Fauntleroy, PartyNextDoor, Nicki Minaj, Future, Lil Wayne,and Nai Palm. The album is executively produced by Drake himself, alongside frequent collaborator Noah “40″ Shebib and manager Oliver El-Khatib, and features production from 40, alongside a variety of producers, including No I.D., Boi-1da, DJ Premier, DJ Paul, T-Minus, Murda Beatz, Cardo and Noel Cadastre, among others.

It was supported by the singles “God’s Plan”, “Nice for What”, “I’m Upset”, “Don’t Matter to Me”, “In My Feelings” and “Nonstop”. All six singles reached the top ten on the US Billboard Hot 100; three of them (“God’s Plan”, “Nice for What” and “In My Feelings”) reached number one. On the July 14, 2018 Billboard Hot 100 chart, all 25 songs were listed, beating the record of 22 entries by his previous release More Life.

Background
Drake announced the album on Instagram on April 16, 2018, followed by the announcement of its release date on June 14.

Two days before release, Scorpion was confirmed to be a double album, Drake’s first, after a promotional billboard alluded to the format. The double album consists of a rap-oriented side and an R&B-oriented side, the two genres that Drake focuses on.

Critical reception
At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream publications, Scorpion received an average score of 67, based on 26 reviews, indicating “generally favorable reviews.” Neil McCormick of The Daily Telegraph deemed the album’s first side as a “sharply focused hip-hop album, with Drake delivering eloquent zingers,” while he thought the second half “showcases Drake’s flip side, sensitive R’n'B loverman.” Alexis Petridis of The Guardian wrote that the album “is frequently fantastic, making a stronger claim for Drake’s greatness than any amount of swaggering braggadocio”, but also noted “there isn’t quite enough strong material here to support its gargantuan running time.” Mikael Wood of Los Angeles Times commented, “yet for all its tiresome megalomania, is so beautifully rendered–from vocals to samples to features to beats…”; though he also noted Drake “tired and tiring.” Nick Flanagan of Now mentioned the A side as “mostly introspective threats, neurotic boasting and paranoia about enemies”, while the B side as “the same but with a focus on women and his love life”, labelling the album “well within his pocket.” For The Independent, Roisin O’Connor described the album as “oddly erratic… The way he darts between different sounds is exhausting and, ultimately, messy. On certain tracks he raps like he has something to prove, on others it’s like he has nothing.”

In a mixed review, Andy Hutchins of Time said, ” ponderous choice to cleave the overstuffed Scorpion into Sides A and B results in two uneven suites of songs.” while “a long-frustrating inability to self-edit mars .” NME’s Luke Morgan Britton noted a “lack of quality control”, and felt the album “simply doesn’t need to be” 25-track long. Jamieson Cox of Pitchfork described Scorpion as a “fascinating, flawed album”. He praised the consistency of the album’s individual songs for a “bloated streaming-era release”, especially those included on side B, as well as the album’s “sumptuous sound”, however criticized Drake’s lack of musical and lyrical development, concluding by noting a sense of redundancy in Drake’s subject matter: “It’s not like Drake needs to serve as a beacon of moral clarity, but this year’s paternity saga—and with Scorpion, its ostensible conclusion—has revealed his shortcomings as a writer and pop personality. Whether it’s 2011 or 2018, you’re getting the same guy: anxious, calculating, and self-obsessed, with a golden ear and a fondness for terrible punchlines. Fatherhood hasn’t made him grow up—and if you’ve gotten older and wiser, Scorpion just feels like the latest in a series of diminishing returns.”

In a negative review, The Hollywood Reporter’s Jonny Coleman said “Drake’s exhausting, uneven double rap/RnB record finds the artist trying to be all things to all people.” Coleman said “the best part of this double album—like much of Drake’s discography—is the production. Of course, it’s the result of a whopping 32 producers being commissioned for the 25 songs in the package As a result, there are some interesting sonic moments, even if there isn’t much cohesion outside of an affinity for low frequencies and baroque existential loops.” For The Washington Post, Chris Richards considered the album “soggy”, expressed discomfort about Drake using the same formula in “melody-bruised grievances”, and concluded “hearing him do impersonations of more inventive artists is a specific kind of sadness that we usually see only on late night television.” In his review for AllMusic, Tim Sendra concluded that “Scorpion doesn’t even come close to being one of his best; instead, it’s a one-trick record stretched out into 25 endless tracks by an artist who’s so deep into the self-obsessed, self-pitying rut he created for himself that he can’t see daylight anymore… It’s a bleak and tiring place to spend time, and one can only hope that Drake himself gets weary of it soon, too.” For The Irish Times, Dean Van Nguyen described the album as “a painfully dull barrage of lifeless tunes.”

Commercial performance
Scorpion was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) the day of its release due to a technicality that incorporates the track-equivalent units moved by previously released singles “God’s Plan”, “Nice for What” and “I’m Upset”.

In its first day of release, Scorpion broke Spotify’s one-day global record for album streams with 132.45 million streams, more than 50 million plays greater than the previous record, set by Post Malone’s Beerbongs & Bentleys two months earlier. It also broke Apple Music’s single-day record with 170 million streams, breaking Drake’s own record set with More Life.

In Drake’s home country of Canada, Scorpion sold 70,000 album-equivalent units in its opening week. It serves as Drake’s eighth number-one album in the country. The album earned 34,000 album-equivalent units in the second week, marking the third highest sales week in 2018.

In the United States, Scorpion opened atop the Billboard 200 with 732,000 album-equivalent units, which included 160,000 pure album sales, making it the biggest first week of the year at the time. It became his eighth entry in a row to top the chart and broke the country’s streaming record with 745.92 million streams in its first week. Although debuting at number one, the album serves as Drake’s lowest first-week pure sales of his career, selling 692,000 less pure copies than Views, and 66,000 less than More Life. All 25 tracks on the album entered the Billboard Hot 100 and Drake also became the first musician to simultaneously debut four new songs inside the top 10 of the US Hot 100, with “Nonstop” (at 2), “In My Feelings” (6), “Emotionless” (8), and “Don’t Matter to Me” featuring Michael Jackson (9), and seven tracks simultaneously in the top 10 of the chart. The album earned 335,000 album-equivalent units in the second week, logging the biggest second week performance for any album since Adele’s “25″ in December 2015. In the third and fourth sales weeks Scorpion earned 260,000 and 184,000 album-equivalent units respectively, marking the first album to spend the first four weeks at the top of the Billboard 200 in two years, since Drake’s previous studio album Views in 2016.

In the United Kingdom, the album debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart, with 64,000 album-equivalent units, becoming Drake’s second number-one on that chart. It remained atop the chart for a second week. Aside from the official soundtrack to The Greatest Showman, Scorpion is the only album to spend more than two weeks at number one in the chart in 2018.

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