Scorpion (Drake album)

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Scorpion by Drake.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedJune 29, 2018 (2018-06-29)
  • NightBird (West Hollywood, California)
  • Ritz Carlton and S.O.T.A. (Toronto, Ontario)
  • Sandra Gale (Yolo Estate, California)
  • Studio 5020 (Miami, Florida)
Drake chronology
Scary Hours
The Best in the World Pack
Singles from Scorpion
  1. "God's Plan"
    Released: January 19, 2018
  2. "Nice for What"
    Released: April 6, 2018
  3. "I'm Upset"
    Released: May 26, 2018
  4. "Don't Matter to Me"
    Released: July 6, 2018
  5. "In My Feelings"
    Released: July 10, 2018
  6. "Nonstop"
    Released: July 31, 2018
  7. "Mob Ties"
    Released: January 6, 2019

Scorpion is the fifth studio album by Canadian rapper Drake. It was released on June 29, 2018, by Cash Money Records, Republic Records, and Young Money Entertainment. Scorpion is a double album consisting of 25 tracks. Its first disc is primarily hip hop, whilst its second disc has been described as R&B and pop.

Scorpion features guest appearances from Jay-Z and Ty Dolla Sign as well as posthumous appearances from Michael Jackson and Static Major, and additional vocals by a variety of artists, including PartyNextDoor, Future, Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, and Nai Palm. It is executively produced by Drake himself, alongside frequent collaborator Noah "40" Shebib and manager Oliver El-Khatib, and features production from 40, alongside a variety of producers, including Allen Ritter, No I.D., Boi-1da, DJ Premier, DJ Paul, Tay Keith, T-Minus, Murda Beatz, Cardo, and Noel Cadastre, among others.

Despite receiving lukewarm reviews from critics, Scorpion performed well commercially, debuting atop the US Billboard 200 with 732,000 album-equivalent units, of which 160,000 came from pure sales. The album was supported by the singles: "God's Plan", "Nice for What", "I'm Upset", "Don't Matter to Me", "In My Feelings", "Nonstop", and "Mob Ties". All seven singles reached the top twenty on the US Billboard Hot 100, with three of them reaching number one: "God's Plan", "Nice for What", and "In My Feelings". As of January 2019, Scorpion has sold over 3,905,000 album-equivalent units in the United States.

Scorpion was nominated for Album of the Year at the 2019 Grammy Awards, with "God's Plan" being nominated for Record of the Year and Song of the Year, and won Best Rap Song. Additionally, "Nice for What" was nominated for Best Rap Performance. The album won Top Billboard 200 Album at the 2019 Billboard Music Awards.


Drake announced the album on Instagram on April 16, 2018, followed by the announcement of its release date on June 14.[3][4]

Two days before release, Scorpion was confirmed to be a double album, Drake's first, after a promotional billboard alluded to the format. The double album consists of a rap-oriented side and an R&B-oriented side, the two genres that Drake focuses on.[5]

Prior to the album's release, Drake became engaged in a rivalry with American rapper Pusha T. In May 2018, after Drake released a diss track titled "Duppy Freestyle" in response to Pusha T's album Daytona, Pusha T released "The Story of Adidon" which alleged that Drake had a secret child. Scorpion finally addressed the rumor, and later Drake admitted to having a son named Adonis with French model Sophie Brussaux.[6][7]

Release and promotion[edit]

On January 19, 2018, Drake released the two-track extended play Scary Hours.[8] It included the singles "Diplomatic Immunity" and "God's Plan", the latter of which served as the lead single to Scorpion after debuting at number one on the US Billboard Hot 100.[9] Following this, Drake released the album's second single "Nice for What" on April 6, which also charted in the same position.[10][11] On May 26, the third single "I'm Upset" was released.[9][12] On July 6, the song "Don't Matter to Me" was sent to British contemporary hit radio as the album's fourth single.[13] On July 10, the song "In My Feelings" was sent to the US rhythmic and contemporary hit radio as the album's fifth single.[14][15] The song later went on to become the third song off the album to reach number one on the US Billboard Hot 100.[16] "Nonstop" was released to rhythmic radio in the US as the album's sixth single on July 31.[17] "Mob Ties" was released to urban contemporary airplay in the US as the album's seventh single on January 6, 2019.[18]

A series of billboards promoting the album surfaced in Toronto on June 22, while a trailer for the album was released on June 26.[19][20] The album's promotion on the streaming service Spotify attracted some controversy from its subscribers for what they perceived to be excessive promotion, with Drake appearing in most of the service's editorial playlists, including ones which he had nothing to do with, such as those for electronic dance music and even gospel music.[21] Following the release of the album, Drake also embarked on his second co-headlining tour with Migos, Aubrey & the Three Migos Tour, which began on August 10, 2018, in Kansas City.[22]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic2/5 stars[25]
The A.V. ClubB−[26]
The Daily Telegraph4/5 stars[27]
Entertainment WeeklyC+[28]
The Guardian3/5 stars[1]
NME3/5 stars[29]
The Observer4/5 stars[30]
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars[32]

Scorpion was met with lukewarm reviews from critics.[34] At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream publications, the album received an average score of 67, based on 26 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[24] Neil McCormick of The Daily Telegraph deemed the album's first side as a "sharply focused hip-hop album, with Drake delivering eloquent zingers," while he thought the second half "showcases Drake's flip side, sensitive R'n'B loverman."[27] Alexis Petridis of The Guardian wrote that the album "is frequently fantastic, making a stronger claim for Drake's greatness than any amount of swaggering braggadocio", but also noted "there isn't quite enough strong material here to support its gargantuan running time."[1] Mikael Wood of Los Angeles Times commented, "yet for all its tiresome megalomania, [the album] is so beautifully rendered—from vocals to samples to features to beats..."; though he also noted Drake "tired and tiring."[35] Nick Flanagan of Now mentioned the A side as "mostly introspective threats, neurotic boasting and paranoia about enemies", while the B side as "the same but with a focus on women and his love life", labelling the album "well within his pocket."[36] For The Independent, Roisin O'Connor described the album as "oddly erratic... The way he darts between different sounds is exhausting and, ultimately, messy. On certain tracks he raps like he has something to prove, on others it's like he has nothing."[37]

In a mixed review, Andy Hutchins of Time said, "[the] ponderous choice to cleave the overstuffed Scorpion into Sides A and B results in two uneven suites of songs." while "a long-frustrating inability to self-edit mars [the album]."[38] NME's Luke Morgan Britton noted a "lack of quality control", and felt the album "simply doesn't need to be" 25-track long.[29] Jamieson Cox of Pitchfork described Scorpion as a "fascinating, flawed album". He praised the consistency of the album's individual songs for a "bloated streaming-era release", especially those included on side B, as well as the album's "sumptuous sound", however criticized Drake's lack of musical and lyrical development, concluding by noting a sense of redundancy in Drake's subject matter: "It's not like Drake needs to serve as a beacon of moral clarity, but this year's paternity saga—and with Scorpion, its ostensible conclusion—has revealed his shortcomings as a writer and pop personality. Whether it's 2011 or 2018, you're getting the same guy: anxious, calculating, and self-obsessed, with a golden ear and a fondness for terrible punchlines. Fatherhood hasn't made him grow up—and if you've gotten older and wiser, Scorpion just feels like the latest in a series of diminishing returns."[31]

In a negative review, The Hollywood Reporter's Jonny Coleman said "Drake's exhausting, uneven double rap/RnB record finds the artist trying to be all things to all people." Coleman said "the best part of this double album—like much of Drake's discography—is the production. Of course, it's the result of a whopping 32 producers being commissioned for the 25 songs in the package [...] As a result, there are some interesting sonic moments, even if there isn't much cohesion outside of an affinity for low frequencies and baroque existential loops."[39] For The Washington Post, Chris Richards considered the album "soggy", expressed discomfort about Drake using the same formula in "melody-bruised grievances", and concluded "hearing him do impersonations of more inventive artists is a specific kind of sadness that we usually see only on late night television."[40] In his review for AllMusic, Tim Sendra concluded that the album "doesn't even come close to being one of his best; instead, it's a one-trick record stretched out into 25 endless tracks by an artist who's so deep into the self-obsessed, self-pitying rut he created for himself that he can't see daylight anymore... It's a bleak and tiring place to spend time, and one can only hope that Drake himself gets weary of it soon, too."[25] For The Irish Times, Dean Van Nguyen described the album as "a painfully dull barrage of lifeless tunes."[41]


Year-end lists
Publication List Rank Ref.
Billboard The 50 Best Albums of 2018
Clash Clash Albums of the Year 2018
Complex The 50 Best Albums of 2018
Rolling Stone 50 Best Albums of 2018
Uproxx The 50 Best Albums of 2018
Vibe 30 Best Albums of 2018 N/A
Ceremony Category Result Ref.
2019 Grammy Awards Album of the Year Nominated [48]
2019 Billboard Music Awards Top Billboard 200 Album Won [49]

Commercial performance[edit]

Scorpion was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) a day before release due to a technicality that incorporates the track-equivalent units moved by previously released singles "God's Plan", "Nice for What" and "I'm Upset".[50]

In its first day of release, Scorpion broke Spotify's one-day global record for album streams with 132.45 million streams, more than 50 million plays greater than the previous record, set by Post Malone's Beerbongs & Bentleys two months earlier. It also broke Apple Music's single-day record with 170 million streams, breaking Drake's own record set with More Life.[51]

In Drake's home country of Canada, Scorpion sold 70,000 album-equivalent units in its opening week.[52] It serves as Drake's eighth number-one album in the country.[52] The album earned 34,000 album-equivalent units in the second week, marking the third highest sales week in 2018.[53] In 2018, Scorpion was ranked as the most popular album of the year on the Canadian Albums Chart.[54] In 2018 the album earned 424,000 on-demand audio consumption units in the country.[55]

In the United States, Scorpion opened atop the Billboard 200 with 732,000 album-equivalent units, which included 160,000 pure album sales, making it the biggest first week of the year at the time. It became his eighth entry in a row to top the chart and broke the country's streaming record with 745.92 million streams in its first week.[56] Although debuting at number one, the album serves as Drake's lowest first-week pure sales of his career, selling 692,000 less pure copies than Views, and 66,000 less than More Life.[56] All 25 tracks on the album entered the Billboard Hot 100 and Drake also became the first musician to simultaneously debut four new songs inside the top 10 of the US Hot 100, with "Nonstop" (at 2), "In My Feelings" (6), "Emotionless" (8), and "Don't Matter to Me" featuring Michael Jackson (9), and seven tracks simultaneously in the top 10 of the chart, becoming only the fourth album to have seven top 10 singles.[57] The album earned 335,000 album-equivalent units in the second week, logging the biggest second week performance for any album since Adele's 25 in December 2015.[58] In the third and fourth sales weeks Scorpion earned 260,000 and 184,000 album-equivalent units respectively, marking the first album to spend the first four weeks at the top of the Billboard 200 in two years, since Drake's previous studio album Views in 2016.[59][60] In the fifth week the album earned 145,000 album-equivalent units, which included only 12,000 pure album sales, making the lowest selling number-one album in 27 years.[61] The album spent five consecutive weeks on the top of the Billboard 200 so far.[61] In 2018, Scorpion was ranked as the second most popular album of the year on the Billboard 200.[62] As of January 2019, Scorpion has sold over 3,905,000 album-equivalent units in the US, with over 330,000 being pure sales.[63]

In the United Kingdom, the album debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart, with 64,000 album-equivalent units, becoming Drake's second number-one album on the chart.[64] It remained atop the chart for a second week.[65] In 2018, Scorpion was ranked as the fifth most popular album of the year on the UK Albums Chart.[66] As of January 2019, Scorpion has sold over 300,000 combined sales in the United Kingdom.[67]

Track listing[edit]

Credits adapted from the album's liner notes and Tidal.[68][69]

A Side
5."God's Plan"
6."I'm Upset"
  • Graham
  • Jordan Ortiz
Oogie Mane3:34
7."8 Out of 10"
  • Boi-1da
  • Sweet
  • OB[b]
8."Mob Ties"
  • Boi-1da
  • Ritter
9."Can't Take a Joke"
  • Graham
  • Max Eberhardt
10."Sandra's Rose"
11."Talk Up" (featuring Jay-Z)
12."Is There More"
Total length:41:41
B Side
  • Graham
  • Shebib
  • Adrian Eccleston
2."Summer Games"
  • 40
  • No I.D.
4."Nice for What"
6."Ratchet Happy Birthday"
7."That's How You Feel"
8."Blue Tint"
9."In My Feelings"
  • TrapMoneyBenny
  • Blaqnmild
  • 40[b]
10."Don't Matter to Me" (with Michael Jackson)
11."After Dark" (featuring Static Major and Ty Dolla Sign)4:49
12."Final Fantasy"
  • Boi-1da
  • 40
  • Sweet[a]
13."March 14"
Total length:48:32


  • ^[a] signifies a co-producer
  • ^[b] signifies an additional producer
  • ^[c] signifies an uncredited additional producer[70][71]
  • "Elevate" features uncredited vocals by French Montana[72]
  • "Mob Ties" features background vocals by Asheley Turner
  • "Talk Up" features background vocals by Baka Not Nice
  • "Is There More" features additional vocals by Nai Palm
  • "Peak" features background vocals by Stefflon Don, Rhea Kpaka and Vinessa Douglas
  • "Jaded" features background vocals by Ty Dolla Sign
  • "Finesse" features background vocals by James Fauntleroy
  • "Nice for What" features additional vocals by Big Freedia, 5th Ward Weebie and Glenshie "Bobby Jean" Rowe
  • "Ratchet Happy Birthday" features background vocals by PartyNextDoor
  • "That's How You Feel" features additional vocals by Nicki Minaj and background vocals by DJ Boof
  • "Blue Tint" features additional vocals by Future
  • "In My Feelings" features additional vocals by the City Girls
  • "Don't Matter to Me" features additional vocals by Paul Anka
  • "After Dark" features additional vocals by Al Wood
  • "Final Fantasy" features background vocals by Daniel Daley
  • "March 14" features additional vocals by James Fauntleroy

Sample credits


Credits adapted from the album's liner notes and Tidal.[68][69]



Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA)[112] Gold 35,000^
Brazil (Pro-Música Brasil)[113] Gold 20,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[114] 2× Platinum 160,000^
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[115] 2× Platinum 40,000^
France (SNEP)[116] Platinum 100,000*
Italy (FIMI)[117] Gold 25,000*
New Zealand (RMNZ)[118] Platinum 15,000^
Sweden (GLF)[119] Platinum 40,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[120] Platinum 300,000^
United States (RIAA)[121] Platinum 1,000,000double-dagger

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format(s) Label Ref.
Various June 29, 2018
July 13, 2018 CD [123]
July 15, 2018 Vinyl [124]


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  117. ^ "Italian album certifications – Drake – Scorpion" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved December 17, 2018. Select "2018" in the "Anno" drop-down menu. Select "Scorpion" in the "Filtra" field. Select "Album e Compilation" under "Sezione".
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  120. ^ "British album certifications – Drake – Scorpion". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved January 5, 2019. Select albums in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Type Scorpion in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
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