We’re less than 48 hours away from the release of Drake’s fifth studio album, Scorpion, and yet, little about the album has been confirmed. We know that Drake’s longtime collaborators, Noah “40” Shebib and Oliver El-Khatib, will serve as executive producers, we know that it’ll be a double album, and we suspect that the singles “Nice for What” and “I’m Upset” will be included.
On Tuesday, however, a rumored tracklist for the album was leaked online. The screenshot in question appears to be taken from the twitter account of Tidal, the streaming service owned by Jay-Z. The tweet read: “Available @TIDAL this Thursday at midnight! @Drake Scorpion Side A”, alluding to the fact that it only contains half the tracks that will be on the final release. Check out the screenshot below.
Is the tracklist legitimate?
The rumored tracklist includes features from Lil Wayne, Ty Dolla Sign, and The Weeknd. The latter has had a complex history with Drake, working alongside him for the Take Care sessions, feuding with him briefly, and then reconciling sometime last year.The duo have since posted photos together on Instagram, and have teased a reunion at some point in the near future.
The aforementioned singles, “Nice for What”, “I’m Upset”, and “God’s Plan” are listed as bonus tracks. The tracklist also lists Michael Jackson as a feature, presumably through unused vocals or a sample, in the vein of the Drake and Aaliyah duet “Enough Said.”
But is the tracklist legitimate? Not likely. There are several pieces of evidence that support this. Firstly, the Tidal account that supposedly sent the tweet has not issued an apology or commented at all regarding the leaked tracklist. Secondly, Tidal has no exclusivity when it comes to Drake, so the chances of them having access to crucial album information before Apple Music are slim.
The rapper partnered with Apple Music in 2016, and the success of albums like Views and More Life has broken dozens of streaming records. Drake also runs OVO Sound Radio, a popular Beats 1 show that remixes and premieres music from his label affiliates. If anyone were to tweet a tracklist, or divulge featured artists, it would be Apple Music.
Drake released a video promo for the album, as he did with Nothing Was the Same and If You’re Reading This, It’s Too Late. Unlike those previous releases, however, the promo doesn’t feature music from the album. It shows the rapper looking pensive and driving around with the soundtrack to the science fiction film Annihilation playing behind him.
Drake has also put up billboards advertising the album throughout Toronto. Each billboard had a different phrase on the back of it, which led fans to speculate as to what they meant. Phrases included “Changing from Boy to a Man,” “I Just Flipped a Switch,” “Don’t Hit Me When You Hear This”, and “Is There More.” The latter, coupled with a billboard that read “A Side” and “B Side” sparked the rumor that Scorpion will be Drake’s first official double album.
On Wednesday, The Joe Budden Podcast confirmed that Scorpion will be split into stylistically distinct halves. Mal, a Budden regular and OVO insider, said that Drake is making a double album so as to better reflect the different aspects of his persona. “It’s a double album”, he explained. “an R&B album and a rap album.” Listen to the episode below.
The conversation about Drake starts around the one hour and fourteen minute mark.