Yeah, yeah, there's a lot to sort through on "Scorpion," Drake's new double album released Thursday night: The 25 tracks, the posthumous Michael Jackson cameo, the guest Jay-Z verse.
But let's get to the juicy part first, the one that set the internet aflame earlier this month. Pusha T was telling no lies: Drake is a father.
The extremely long beef between the two rappers came back to life this year as they traded barbs over tracks. On Pusha's album "Daytona," he brought up all Drake's ghostwriting drama. Drake name-dropped Pusha's fiancee by her real name in "Duppy Freestyle," which then caused Pusha to declare "all bets are off" and "everything else is fair game" before releasing his diss track, "The Story of Adidon." In it, Pusha accuses Drake of hiding a son and abandoning him. He also used a real photo of Drake in blackface as the cover art. Drake had to clarify he took the photo as part of an art project highlighting the struggles of black actors.
Drake confirms he has a son on at least three songs off "Scorpion" and adds some context.
In "Emotionless," he raps: "I wasn't hidin' my kid from the world/I was hidin' the world from my kid."
Why, exactly? "From empty souls who just wake up and looked to debate/Until you starin' at your seed, you can never relate," he continues. "Breakin' news in my life, I don't run to the blogs/The only ones I wanna tell are the ones I can call."
On "8 Out of 10," he brings up his son in passing: "Kiss my son on the forehead."
The most revealing song is the album's final one, "March 14," which delves into how he became a father and what it has been like for him.
"Yesterday morning was crazy/I had to come to terms with the fact that it's not a maybe," he raps.
Then, referencing the famous Michael Jackson song about a woman claiming to be pregnant with the singer's child, Drake raps: "She not my lover like Billie Jean but the kid is mine." That's settled, then.
According to "March 14," Drake only met his baby's mother twice before the pregnancy.
On "The Story of Adidon," Pusha brings up Drake's family, including his absentee father, and accuses of him of repeating history.
Drake does not shy away from the subject on "March 14," rapping:
"It's breaking my spirit
"I hate when I hear it
"I used to challenge my parents on every album
"Now I'm embarrassed to tell them I ended up as a co-parent
"Always promised the family unit
"I wanted it to be different because I've been through it "
Drake also reveals: He received the paternity news while in Miami and celebrated with close friends; the rumors he flew out his son and his mother for Christmas are true; he does not see his son much, and his father has not met him; the baby was born in October; and he and his son's mother have a rocky relationship.
Here are a few other things we gleaned from listening to "Scorpion":
- There are a lot of famous voices
Michael Jackson vocals appear on the album, singing the chorus and outro on "Don't Matter To Me." Static Major and Ty Dolla $ign are both on "After Dark."
Jay-Z contributes a guest verse on "Talk Up," in which he references the June 20 death of rapper XXXTentacion. He also raps, "I got your President tweetin'/I won't even meet with him," which probably refers to this President Trump tweet (and is maybe a dig at Kanye West, who did meet with Trump).
We also hear a snippet of Nicki Minaj from what sounds like a 2014 live performance on "That's How You Feel." Mariah Carey's "Emotions" gets sampled on Drake's "Emotionless."
Drake even includes a snippet from an "Atlanta" episode on "In My Feelings." In the scene, Zazie Beetz's character goes to a party at Drake's house for the sole purpose of grabbing a photo with the rapper and bolstering her Instagram profile.
- Drake might no longer be with Cash Money
The terms of the deal Drake signed with Cash Money back in 2009 have been the source of ongoing public speculation.
On "Is There More," Drake hints at this possibly being the last release he puts out under the Birdman's label: "Yeah, soon as this album drop I'm out of the deal."
- So, maybe he did have a fling with model Bella Hadid?
Let's get into some tea leaf-reading territory. You could read into these lyrics as you want, but they do bring to mind the rumored but totally unconfirmed romance between Drake and model Bella Hadid.
"You and your sister/Too hot to handle." Bella's sister, Gigi, is also a model. (From "Finesse")
"I want my baby to have your eyes/I'm going against my own advice. Should I do New York? I can't decide/Fashion Week is more your thing than mine." Now, this could be Bella, or Rihanna, or someone else completely. (From "Finesse")
"My house is full of supermodels just like Mohamed Hadid." Yup, Mohamed Hadid would be Bella's father. (From "Sandra's Rose")