Label: Young Money Entertainment/Cash Money Records/Republic Records
Released: June 29

We were all hoping Drake would deliver a classic in response to “The Story of Adidon” this summer. Instead, we got Scorpion. Drizzy tried to come out swinging on Side A; the Tay Keith-produced “Nonstop” is fantastically hype, and songs like “Mob Ties” prove he can keep that same energy. But too often, the music is held back by the same problems that have fueled his detractors for so long: “Emotionless” is ruined by fake-deep ruminations on Instagram culture, “I’m Upset” couldn’t even be saved by a Degrassi reunion, and “Survival” is yet another forgettable opening track (word to Views). Side B is bloated, but it does have redeeming qualities, thanks to standouts like “Peak,” “Jaded,” and the Ty Dolla Sign-assisted “After Dark.” “Ratchet Happy Birthday” is silly, but it’s nowhere near as bad as Rap Twitter claims it is. “Nice for What” and “In My Feelings” were two of the biggest songs of the year, and for good reason: They’re Drake at his most lovable, made more powerful by the fact that he was arguably at his most hateable in 2018. It’s not his strongest work by any means, but Scorpion has its moments, and Drake will ultimately make it out of this mess of a year alive. —Carolyn Bernucca