Where do you even start with Scorpion? This deluxe whopper-with-extra-cheese of an album consists of 25 wildly uneven tracks featuring Canadian rapper Drake mansplaining and manspreading so often the album should come with a warning sticker.
You could start with Drake finally admitting what Pusha-T accused him of several weeks ago: he's a solo dad. But not, apparently, a very good one. "The kid is mine," Drake declares on the tacked-on, out-of-time plod of March 14, but, "we only met two times". That means Scorpion contains more mentions of Drake's son than the times the rapper's actually met him.
Perhaps, then, you need to pick sides. Scorpion's A side has 12 tracks of Drake's harder-edged material. You know the stuff, you've heard it before: the grimy thuds of Nonstop, the minimalist stabs of Can't Take a Joke, and the sweeping cinema of Talk Up featuring Jay Z in an agreeably fiery mood.
Its B side contains the more introspective stuff and is better for it: the Weekend wooze of Peak, the skittery stand-out That's How You Feel, and the stunning After Dark, a bedroom booty call that shows Ty Dolla $ign is enjoying the run of his life.
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Maybe you could start with the big-name guests. But even they have problems. Why cough up for an unreleased Michael Jackson sample, and then ruin it like Don't Matter To Me does? The same thing happens with Mariah Carey on Emotionless. When some feisty Nicki Minaj samples show up on That's How You Feel, it only serves to show how much Drake seems to be holding back here.
The best thing is to just start at the start. It's named right, but Survival is a shocker of an opener for an album that asks you for 90 full minutes of your time. It's plodding, pointless and tuneless, and an excellent example of Scorpion's biggest problem: too much filler, not enough killer.
It also proves something crucial: this record label boss, touring juggernaut, streaming behemoth, meme-generator and, now, first-time dad, has no one around him capable of saying two simple words: "Dude. No." Right now he needs them more than ever.
Drake - Scorpion
Label: OVO Sound
Verdict: Drake's descent into dad-rap is complete