It’s been refreshing to see Kanye bucking the pop trend with his string of G.O.O.D Music projects. As you may know, Kanye produced five albums in as many weeks recently – Pusha T’s DAYTONA, his own album ye, a collab with Kid Cudi called Kids See Ghosts, Nas’s NASIR and Teyana Taylor’s K.T.S.E. Other than Taylor’s eight-track project, all ‘albums’ contained just seven tracks, providing a pause from the bloated pop albums aimed at the streaming charts.
This year, Post Malone and Migos have dropped over-inflated albums – 18 and 24 tracks respectively – hijacking charts with dozens of songs featuring at the time of release. Now, the King of Streaming – who seemingly initiated the trend back in 2016 with Views and again on his 2017 ‘playlist’ More Life – has continued his love affair with swollen track-lists on his new ‘double’ album, Scorpion. The Toronto rapper’s fifth studio album is Drake’s longest project yet, running 01:29:00 over its 25 tracks.
While Drake uses the two discs to separate his contrasting styles – disc one poses to Drizzy’s rap fans and disc two is more pop/RnB friendly – the real problem lies with the amount of filler on Scorpion. It’s not just on one of the discs, they’re evenly proportioned to feature some killer and some filler on each. A simple cut of tracks would’ve solved the issue.
So, imagine an alternate reality where Kanye is Drake’s mentor. Drake’s a member of the G.O.O.D Music crew, rather than the leader of OVO Sound. Drake and Pusha T are homies, too. Scorpion is the sixth and final release of Kanye SZN and, like the other releases, contains just seven tracks. The result is one of the strongest albums of the year.
If it’s only seven of 25 tracks, what makes the cut?
It’s important to have representation of the most newsworthy topic from Scorpion – Drake acknowledging fatherhood – so the Mariah Carey sampling ‘Emotionless’ is in. ‘Nonstop’ is the best of the rap-oriented tracks on Scorpion. Similarly, ‘Summer Games’ symbolises the RnB tinge across disc two. It’s a toss-up between a pair of soulful tracks in ‘8 Out Of 10’ and ‘Sandra’s Rose’, but the latter takes the cake to maintain Kanye’s push for brevity – ‘8 Out Of 10’ has a lengthy, jarring out-take from Plies. The pre-proven smash hits in ‘God’s Plan’ and ‘Nice For What’ choose themselves. The King of Pop, Michael Jackson, provides some big hit ability on ‘Don’t Matter To Me’ and you just can’t cut the King.
For good measure, Scorpion’s B-side companion EP would feature ‘Survival’, ‘8 Out Of 10’, ‘Talk Up (feat. Jay Z)’, ‘After Dark (feat. Static Major and Ty Dollar $ign)’ and ‘In My Feelings’. The rest of Scorpion is pretty fucking boring. Seriously, ‘Ratchet Happy Birthday’? More like ‘Trash Happy Birthday’. But put Kanye behind the boards… “shit got super hot.”
If Kanye produced Scorpion, this is how it’d turn out:
- ‘Summer Games’
- ‘God’s Plan’
- ‘Sandra’s Rose’
- ‘Nice For What’
- ‘Don’t Matter To Me’