Drake releases his longest album to date

Drake’s highly anticipated album “Scorpion” was released on June 29. In his longest album yet, Drake exposes his listeners to a mix of rap and R&B. With 25 tracks in total, “Scorpion” has its ups and downs.

This album is a deep contrast to Kanye West’s recent release “Ye,” which I had the pleasure of reviewing last month. I’d argue that Kanye was able to showcase far more in just seven songs than Drake was able to accomplish in 25.

Many fans felt that “Scorpion” was simply released as a way to respond to Drake’s recent controversies. He has been accused of having a son with Instagram model Sophie Brussaux and failing to pay child support. He also released a single (a diss track toward Pusha T) and used blackface on the song’s cover art. After listening to the album, it felt as if Drake put a lot of effort into four or five tracks and simply added the rest as filler.

The album does, however, feature a few standout, summer staples. “In My Feelings” has inspired a dance challenge in which stars like Odell Beckham Jr. and Kylie Jenner have participated, and “God’s Plan” is already the center of countless Instagram captions. The album begs the question, “Can Drake do more?”

Drake’s most popular hits include “God’s Plan,” “One Dance” and “Summer Sixteen.” These tracks all showcase Drake’s ability to produce pop hits while still carrying the title of a rapper. On “Scorpion,” Drake does his best to return to his rap roots while still exploring his soulful side.

“Scorpion” is a double-sided album, half rap and half R&B. The rap album is far more reminiscent of the Drake we all know. “I’m Upset” and “Mob Ties” are easily the most interesting and enjoyable songs on the first half of the album, primarily because the focus is on Drake’s recent feud with Pusha T.

Drake and Pusha T’s tumultuous relationship goes back to 2006, when most people still knew Drake from “Degrassi.” Recently, tensions between the rappers rose when Pusha T included lyrics in his track “The Story of Adidon” that directly call Drake out for having a son who he kept secret for years.

In the track “Emotionless,” Drake admits to fathering a child and being far less present than he should be. The album is littered with references to his son and Drake’s plan to be a better father, but it makes you wonder if he would’ve owned his mistakes had he not been publicly called out.  While his honesty is commendable, it’s done in such a way where it feels forced and commercial.

The album’s length is its greatest downfall in my opinion. It plays into the idea that “there’s a Drake song for every situation,” but it provides a lot of room for error. A lot of tracks like “8 out of 10,” “Sandra’s Rose” and “Ratchet Happy Birthday” feel like fillers with very little to offer.

“Scorpion” provides all of the summer hits you would expect out of a Drake album, but fails to pack the same punch as his previous releases. The R&B side is full of dead weight and could’ve been cut down significantly. The entire album felt more like a publicity stunt than a showcase of Drake’s true artistic talent.

Rating: 2.5/5 stars