It’s difficult to imagine a world in which Scorpion’s release wasn’t interrupted through Pusha-T’s accusation that Drake is an absentee father. With the looming questions of fatherhood hanging over his project, the rapper responded in a way he thought most appropriate: by dropping a Degrassi-themed music video and ignoring the subject completely for the time being. The child in question is mentioned only a few times on Scorpion, and in ways that tend to blame others for Drake’s failures as a parent. The first mention comes on the Mariah Carey-sampling “Emotional,” when Drake disapprovingly swipes at Instagram culture, and the abundance of thots that Adidon (the reported name of his kid) must be protected from. The last mention of Adidon is on Scorpion‘s closer, “March 14,” a track on which Drake uses his parents’ divorce as grounds for the way he himself has abandoned his child, and frames his life as something out of a Greek tragedy, as if he’s been destined by fate to be a shitty dad.
These examples represent the main problem on Scorpion: It’s become painfully clear that Drake hasn’t matured since his days of claiming that he’s a “nice guy” all over Take Care or pettily attacking his musical contemporaries on Views. He’s essentially given no arc or overall narrative to his work, and Scorpion as well feels less like a cohesive album and more a large collection of tracks made for optimal Spotify streams. As a ‘playlist’ (a term that Drake’s favored for his projects in the past), this is often serviceable background music, with the soul-groove bounce of “After Dark” or the light-Southern funk of the Future-assisted “Blue Tint” becoming indelible earworms. But the songwriting never moves beyond that of an artist whose reign at the top has only caused him to dig deeper, and more cynically, into his narcissistic worldview.
Published as part of What Would Meek Do? | Issue 1