If one thing has become evident over the past decade, it is that Drake can’t lose. Joining his vast catalogue of smash hits is his new release, Scary Hours 2. None of us saw it coming, but yet again he has gifted us with a pleasant surprise.
Scary Hours 2 is a short 3 track album that captures Drake reveling in his life of luxury all the while guiding us through the mundane reality of it all. Made up of songs like, “Whats Next,” “Wants and Needs” featuring Lil Baby, and “Lemmon Pepper Freestyle” featuring Rick Ross, we get to live vicariously through the chart topping rapper. We come to learn that he’s got one of the world’s only two Off-White Patek Philippe Nautilus watches, he’s got jet skis docked at the Florida Keys, the crown princes of Dubai are like family to him, who wouldn’t want to be him? Yet, we also come to learn that just like us he takes pleasure in monotonous activities as he sings, “Summer, all I did was rest, OK?/ And New Year’s, all I did was stretch, OK?/ And Valentine’s Day, I had sex, OK?/ We’ll see what’s ’bout to happen next, OK? OK? OK?” It’s the small glimpses we get into the life of the otherwise secretive rapper that compel us to tune in and partake, even from afar, in his world.
“What’s Next” is solo Drake boasting his triumphs. In that way, it’s a lot like “God’s Plan,” the monster hit that led off the first Scary Hours in 2018. The “What’s Next” beat is easy, its like floating down a lazy river. Drake eases into a flow that’s both conversational and purposeful. But, theres nothing easy or lazy about what he’s rapping. He spits, “Soon as you give ’em your soul, you blow up and they say you’re sеlling your soul, OK?/ They want my life exposеd/ They wanna know about the highs and lows.” We get the feeling that the Canadian rapper’s success has come at an exhausting cost. Dealing with the media, and those counting on his demise Drake expresses these frustrations and we begin to get the sense that he has grown tired of the rap game.
However, no matter his feelings, he does not waste the opportunity to throw a jab at many artists’ less-than straightforward efforts at getting to the top of the charts as he raps, “I’m on the hot one-hundo, Numero Uno/This one ain’t come with a bundle.” In the streaming era, topping the Hot 100 is no easy feat and we’ve all bared witness to the lengths artists will go to dress up their numbers. But despite repeatedly showing us that he can adapt to any generation’s sonic sensibility, you get the overall sense that bragging about being successful is getting tiresome, even for Drake.
This leads right into the Lil Baby-assisted “Wants and Needs.” Drake uses the track to show off a new flow that manages to fuse itself, rather hypnotically, right into the beat. In the beginning he uses a lyrical syncopation that i’d never heard him use before (and its fire!). On this record the line between rap and conversation gets blurred and it produces a divine mixed effect.
We then get into my personal favorite, “Lemmon Pepper Freestyle,” with the luxury King Rick Ross, and it absolutely feels like sipping on a glass of the finest champagne. Drake has long been known to poetically recount his own biography, but on this track, you get the sense of two hard bosses who know the game is entirely theirs, but are ready to pass on the bouton. The song flips a sample of the Quadron song “Pressure,” and it has the same vibe as listening to El Chapo and Pablo Escobar sit around and talk about their respective careers.
At one point, Drake gets self-reflective, rapping: “Damn, not too many parallels left in our lives.” It’s a moment that acknowledges his appeal to audiences who have seen their own stories in the rapper’s often vulnerable tracks. For what feels like centuries, Drake has made music that feels and sounds like its about everyone and no one. Despite being quite possibly one of the most successful artists in the world, he managed to rap like he was up against the world, and his gift was making it feel like that was true.
On Scary Hours 2, we get to hear the juxtaposition of Drake. We reminisce on the young rapper straight out of Canada who was eager to jump in, and revel in the new less urgent and more relaxed rap icon. “I had it so long, I don’t even celebrate it,” he raps.
The entire project serves as a reminder as to why he’s been such a reliable hit factory for over a decade. I’ve listened to it on repeat for about a week now and theres simply no denying that Drake is truly one of the greatest rappers of all time. And, the charts continue agree.
Stream Drake’s, Scary Hours 2, below!