There’s a specific line in “8 Out of 10” that everyone seems to be overlooking. When Drake says “I’ve settled into my role as the good guy,” he is blatantly acknowledging the fact that, culturally, he will always be looked at positively. Let’s not lie to ourselves: this is true. This album is painfully generic, its peak being just above mediocrity, but it’s still charting with a vengeance. There’s nothing new here, but, as the memes say, that won’t stop people from looking up lyrics to use for Instagram captions. Scorpion is a bad album, but that doesn’t matter. Drake is the good guy, and everyone loves the good guy.
Everyone loves to hear Drake talk about the same things for another entire record. People can’t wait for Drake’s generic flows to come in with lines about how ‘they’ are wishing bad upon him, how ‘hurt’ he is by what ‘they’ did, and how well he’s doing regardless. At least when Drake made, as he himself said in his album description, “music for girls,” it sounded like he was emotionally invested in what he was saying. “Ratchet Happy Birthday” doesn’t invoke the same emotions as a “Take Care,” and it’s blasphemous to suggest that “Summer Games” could compare to a “Marvin’s Room” in terms of Drake’s emotional presence. It just feels like Drake is phoning it in, because he’s the good guy, and everyone loves the good guy.
Everyone loves the “rap side.” How couldn’t you? It’s moody, a sound Drake has NEVER done before! Sarcasm aside, while tracks like “Sandra’s Rose,” “Nonstop,” and “Emotionless” manage to draw out a few head bobs and come with a few clever lines, the fact that those are three out of twelve suggests a drop in quality. That’s a 25% average. If Drake was in the twelfth grade like many of his fans, he wouldn’t be graduating. While I’m just plainly sick of “God’s Plan,” the other eight tracks on this side do little more than provide ‘quotables’ and something that is little more than celebrity gossip. But it doesn’t matter that Drake’s lines no longer possess the witty word play that they once had, because he’s the good guy, and everyone loves the good guy.
When an artist of Drake’s magnitude achieves such a level of success, there comes a sense of untouchability. The culture will always rise behind him to support whatever he creates, even if it is an album composed entirely of filler. Consider the way Drake addresses his entrance into fatherhood on Scorpion. Admittedly, “March 14th” is one of the more solid, introspective tracks on the album, but it feels like this is the only time Drake takes this kind of perspective. Though he mentions his boy on “Emotionless” and “8 out of 10,” both times it’s in reference to his stature and public relations. While he has the right as an artist to invoke his son at his discretion, it just feels a little cheap to use your child for some snappy quips when it’s clearly a dramatic change in your life, as evidenced by “March 14th.” Regardless, those snappy quips are the talk of the town, completely ignoring the way Drake manipulates the situation to make himself the honorable victim. He makes himself the good guy.
There’s just nothing here. Scorpion is the desolate wasteland bearing only faint reminders of who Drake once was and bashing us over the head with the fact that this is who he is now. Long gone are the days of introspection, clever wordplay, and emotional presence. Now, there is only the good guy, and we all love the good guy.