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We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Album Review

Drake is a big name. Though his entertainment career began as an actor on the Canadian teen TV show Degrassi, few think of him as a TV star anymore.

Since Drake's acting days, he’s dropped a total of five studio albums (not including informal "mixtapes"). His latest double LP, Scorpion, is comprised of a whopping 25 songs. The album is divided in two, the "A Side" showcasing his rap skills and the "B Side" serenading listeners with R&B. The album includes samples from Mariah Carey, Lauren Hill, Nicki Minaj and Michael Jackson, as well as guest contributions from Jay-Z and Ty Dolla $ign.

While each “Side” brings a different vibe to the table, the album as whole shares thematic similarities. Drake sends various messages (some not so subtle) to haters, exes and even his long-rumored baby mama. He wades into personal feelings about his son, his wealth, his parents and women, and has some positive things to say along the way. But those positives can be hard to identify when they’re mixed with harsh profantiy on 22 of his 25 songs here.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements

Conclusion

Pro-social Content

Drake makes it clear that he is deeply saddened for his son now that he is co-parenting with the boy's mother. He admits that he always pictured his life differently, especially after being raised by divorced parents himself. “I wanted it to be different because I’ve been through it," we hear on "March 14.” But Drake says that he wants to give his child the best life possible, despite the baby's out-of-wedlock birth: “I don’t want you to worry about whose house you live at/Or who loves you more, or who’s not there/Who did what to who 'fore you got here.” Similarly, “Emotionless” shares his desire to protect his baby boy from the media's harsh spotlight: “I wasn’t hiding my kid from the world/I was hiding the world from my kid.”

Drake ponders the meaning of his life in “Is There More?” He wonders, “Is there more to life than digits and bankin’ accounts?/Is there more to life than sayin’ I figured it out?/ … Am I missin’ somethin’ that’s more important to find?/Like healin’ my soul, like family time.” And on songs such as “Peak” and “Emotionless,” he recognizes how social media can keep us from being present in the moment as we try to make our lives look good online. On the latter, we hear, “I know a girl whose one goal was to visit Rome/Then she finally got to Rome/And all she did was post pictures for people at home.”

Drake often sees himself as a good guy who gets the bad end of the deal (even if this isn’t always true). On “8 out of 10,” he says, “As luck would have it I’ve settled into my role as the good guy.” He also places a high value on determination despite criticism, a theme we hear repeatedly on “Is There More,” “Sandra’s Rose,” “Survival” and “God’s Plan.” Similarly, Drake credits some of his success, and his survival, to God in “God’s Plan and “Elevate.” The latter says, “I wanna thank God for working way harder than Satan/He’s playing favorites, it feels amazing (yeah).”

Drake encourages women to pursue healthy independence and praises them for working hard. He gives a sort of stamp of approval for them to enjoy the lives they’ve worked hard to build in songs such as “Ratchet Happy Birthday” and “Nice for What.” In “Nice for What,” he says of a woman, “I’ve been peepin’ what you bringing to the table/Workin’ hard, girl, everything paid for/First, last phone bill, car note, cable.” In “Blue Tint” he mentions a mom who goes to court to fight for her child: “She got court in the morning/To fight for her kid/I told her I’d pray for the kid.”

At times, we seem to glimpse a yearning for true love hidden in a corner of Drake’s heart (even though he obviously has trouble committing to one woman). “In My Feelings” asks, “Do you love me?/Are you riding, say you’ll never ever leave?/From beside me, ‘cause I want ya', and I need ya'/And I’m down for you always.”

Objectionable Content

But though Drake sometimes claims he wants a permanent relationship with one woman, that ideal often gets mixed up with mean, cheap, casual sex. In songs such as “In My Feelings,” “Talk Up,” “Final Fantasy,” “Is There More,” “After Dark,” “Finesse” and “Blue Tint,” he graphically describes some of his sexual encounters. In “Final Fantasy,” we hear, “I need it nasty like/Like Evil Angel, like Vivid"—one of the printable lines here among many that are too explicit to include. And in “After Dark,” he tells a woman, “You can put your phone out here girl, you need two hands/ You can’t get enough, girl, you know I set it up for after dark.” And there are plenty more lines like those to be found here as well.

Sex isn’t the only topic discussed when it comes to women. He admits that many past relationships have left him bitter (such as his rumored relationship with model Bella Hadid) in “Don’t Matter To Me,” “That’s How You Feel,” “Finesse,” “Jaded,” “Summer Games,” and “Peak.”

Another pastime of sorts for Drake is arrogantly letting haters know that they will always take a back seat to his success, a brag-filled theme we hear on “Talk Up,” “Can’t Take a Joke,” “Mob Ties,” “Non-Stop,” “Blue Tint” “Sandra’s Rose,” “8 out of 10,” “I’m Upset,” “Elevate” and “Survival.”

Sometimes, those conflicts boil over into threats of violence. In “I’m Upset,” we hear, “Fifty thousand on my head, it’s disrespect/So offended that I had to double check/I’ma always take the money over sex/That’s why they need me out the way.” And in “Mob Ties,” Drake threatens to kill those who come against him: “Sick of these n-ggas/Hire some help, get rid of these n-ggas.”

In “Don’t Matter To Me,” a woman lives dangerously to get over her breakup with Drake, “Trips to wherever feels right/Don’ it all just to feel things/Drinking’s enough of a vice/Drugs just aren’t suiting you right/ … That’s not the way to get over me.” The song "Survival" says, "You n-ggas pop mollies,” while “Is There More” also talks about people getting high.

Summary Advisory

Drake has some positive things to say on this fifth studio album, even if he doesn’t always heed his own advice. We hear honest moments where he grasps at his purpose on earth, wonders at this generation’s obsession with technology, praises strong women (including shout-outs to his mom), speaks of his love for his son, expresses a desire to be in a loving relationship and moves forward from past hurts.

Still, Scorpion earns its "Explicit" sticker for a reason. Quite a few of them, actually: It’s filled with harsh profanities and offensive language that's often aimed at women Drake deems unfaithful (never mind his role in those broken relationships). Descriptions of sexual encounters border on the pornographic at times. And we hear references to alcohol, drugs and drug use, as well as his violent distaste for those who defame his name, or those who dare to withhold the respect he feels he deserves.

Scorpion is an apt title Drake's fifth album: Anyone who listens can't help but feel its sting.

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles

Profanity/Violence

Kissing/Sex/Homosexuality

Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

Credits

Rating

Readability Age Range

Author

Cast

Director

Distributor

Network

Performance

Debuted at No. 1.

Record Label

Republic Records

Platform

Publisher

Released

June 29, 2018

On Video

Year Published

Awards

Reviewer

Kristin Smith

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

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