June has been an absolutely packed month for album releases, but few records have arrived with as much baggage and anticipation as Drake's Scorpion. At 25 tracks long, it's a pretty intimidating listen, but it nevertheless showcases some of Drake's best work. Filled with some high-profile and obscure samples, Drake takes a lot of time to showcase his love for numerous scenes and eras of music, including '90s R&B and New Orleans bounce.
While not all of the samples have been identified yet, what we do have paints a vivid picture of Drizzy's musical tastes. It's a varied and often surprising affair when it comes to samples, so we've compiled a list of everything we know the record's producers have utilized so far.
The first track of Scorpion comes in immediately with a pretty left-field sample. 40 and No I.D. take the opening of German composer Claude Larson's "Telex." The obscure sample has actually been utilized in a rap song before, with Lil B previously rapping over the song in 2014 with "I'm Tupac."
The first of a few Memphis-oriented sounds to appear on the record, "Nonstop" samples Mack Daddy Ju's DJ Squeeky-produced "My Head Is Spinnin'" from 1995. A offbeat sample that shows Drizzy's affinity for gritty underground '90s rap sound, "My Head Is Spinnin'" also gives Scorpion one of its hardest beats.
One of the most immediate highlights from Scorpion claims one of the most-recognizable samples, making extensive use of Mariah Carey's 1991 single "Emotions." Specifically, No. I.D., the 25th Hour, and 40 make use of the 12" club mix, letting the sample ride for a moment before turning it into the background for some hard-hitting percussion.
"8 Out of 10"
The Boi-1da, Sweet, and OB-produced "8 Out of 10" actually makes use of three different samples, with the least noticeable being the use of drums from Detroit Emeralds 1973 song "You're Getting a Little Too Smart."
Meanwhile, beneath the use of the aforementioned drum track, a sample of Marvin Gaye's "All the Way Around" gracefully swirls about in the background.
The easiest to spot sample on the track, however, comes in the closing moments. Instead of taking extensively from another song, Drake let's a hilarious clip of Florida rapper Plies do all the talking.
"Talk Up" ft. JAY-Z
The surprise collaboration between JAY-Z and Drake is another one of the album's many high points, and it's only further elevated by use of N.W.A's 1987 song "Dopeman." Three 6 Mafia's DJ Paul makes brilliant use of multiple elements of the song here, bringing that distinctive Memphis sound to the proceedings while using a West Coast classic.
"Is There More"
Drake has fostered an obsession with the late Aaliyah for quite some time and has sampled her work before, so it's no surprise that she'd turn up again here. A fraction of her 2001 single "More Than a Woman" turns up right at the end of "Is There More," closing out side a of the album with something of an indication of what's to come on the second side.
"Nice for What"
Besides interpolating lyrics from Big Tymers 2000 track "Get Your Roll On," Scorpion's big single "Nice for What" is built around a sample of Lauryn Hill's 1998 song "Ex-Factor." There's also a brief use of some drums from The Showboys' 1986 cut "Drag Rap," but more notably a great appearance from New Orleans bounce icon Big Freedia steals the show during the song's intro and breakdown.
"Ratchet Happy Birthday"
As probably the weirdest song on Scorpion, "Ratchet Happy Birthday" features a pretty extensive sample of Eddie Kendricks' 1972 track "Just Memories." It offers no further clarity to whatever the hell is going on the song, though.
"That's How You Feel"
For the post-chorus on "That's How You Feel," Drizzy decides to keep it in the family with a sample of Nicki Minaj performing "Boss Ass Bitch" at Powerhouse 2014.
"In My Feelings"
BlaqNmilD, TrapMoneyBenny, and 40 get really inventive with the samples on "In My Feelings," showing off Drake's appreciation of bounce once again by utilizing Magnolia Shorty's "Smoking Gun."
Meanwhile, near the end of the song, the 6 God blesses us with another family appearance in the form of Lil Wayne's 2008 classic "Lollipop."
And of course, Drizzy finally made good use of that bizarre but incredible episode of Atlanta all about him. "I don't even care, I need a photo with Drake because my Instagram is weak as f**k," Zazie Beetz's character Van says in the sample. Full circle.
"After Dark" ft. Static Major and Ty Dolla Sign
The outro to "After Dark," which is produced by 40 and Static Major, closes things out with a decidedly sensual use of 1996 track "The Suite Theme" by Maxwell.
Disappointingly, "Final Fantasy" doesn't use any songs from Square Enix's storied Final Fantasy video game series. It does, however, use a gorgeous 1969 harp cover by Dorothy Ashby.
Scorpion's closer ends the experience on a somber note, but T-Minus and Josh Valle still managed to find an opportunity to fit in a classic '90s R&B track. "Khalil (Interlude)" by Boyz II Men leads the beat change beautifully, allowing Drake to get the most tender he's gotten on all of Scorpion to brilliant effect.