In October 2020, Drake announced he would be releasing the album “Certified Lover Boy” in January as a follow up to “Dark Lane Demo Tapes,” but after injuring his knee, he delayed the release and dropped a shorter album, “Scary Hours 2,” in the meantime. Drake is undeniably one of the most accomplished and consistent hip-hop artists ever. Despite speculation that Drake was approaching the end of his career, “Scary Hours 2” seems to be just the beginning of even more accolades for Drake.
Despite being a small collection, “Scary Hours 2” exemplifies the focus and emotion fans had been craving from Drake. The album is a fierce, emotion-driven 12 minutes that is essentially a response to critics undermining his recent projects. In the three tracks, Drake addresses the unending demands of life as an influential artist.
On the opening track “What’s Next,” Drake recognizes that he knows people are talking about him and uses his only solo song on the EP to flex his wealth and success from producing number one hits. The music video corresponds with the message in the song, featuring a private jet on which Drake and his friends show off their lavish lifestyle. While possibly overly extravagant, the music video is the perfect pairing to call out the people who have undermined his success.
Drake also points out in the song that there is more to his success than his music, referencing that he also has several business ventures that contribute to his wealth, like being the global ambassador of his NBA home team, the Toronto Raptors, which Drake has prided himself on since 2013. Even though Drake uses the whole song to call people out, he is also able to get people to feel sympathetic toward him for all the hate he gets. Listeners can tell that he is tired of having to prove himself and just wants a break, and when listening, I understand that he is frustrated and deserves some time for himself away from his music career.
On the next track, “Wants and Needs,” Drake ridicules the people who praise his earlier projects after hating them initially. He is annoyed that people think he has fallen off, and warns that his new album, “Certified Lover Boy,” will be a commercial success. Drake is insistent on establishing that he’s the best rapper there is, and I think the message comes through clearly, especially by having a feature from Lil Baby’s that reiterates the message.
The rapper’s fierce feature adds to the intense sound by explaining that he is rising to be one of the greatest artists, even referencing one of Drake’s lines from his 2011 song “The Motto” as a sign that he’ll be on top of the rap game like Drake. I enjoyed that Lil Baby helped to circle back to Drake’s main point in the song and provide another perspective that also views Drake as the best rapper right now.
The last, and my personal favorite, song of the album, “Lemon Pepper Freestyle,” features Rick Ross, rapper and friend of Drake’s. The duo yet again show their chemistry, right from Ross’ opening verse where he discusses topics like COVID-19 and the Black Lives Matter movement. Drake’s soliloquy follows the verse, in which he further emphasizes his lavish lifestyle, even explaining how it affects his son. He explains that he has security escorting him to take his son to school and all the parents know who he is. This example helps Drake show the effects of his success and makes his story more realistic, essentially showing the epitome of Drake’s rap style.
Drake’s emotion really shines through on this track, and I appreciate his vulnerability to explain how fame affects his daily life. Especially after the vexation Drake showed in the previous tracks, it was nice to hear a softer, more sensitive song. Despite all the invigoration the song shows, he also circles back to the fact that he is the best in the game, saying, “We all grateful for Weezy, but no more than me.” Drake has previously referenced that his success is connected to Lil Wayne in Drake´s song “6PM in New York,” and he says it again in “Lemon Pepper Freestyle” to explain that he has just as much credit at being the greatest rapper as Lil Wayne.
“Scary Hours 2” is certainly a fun album to listen to, as it portrays many of Drake’s outspoken feelings towards his fans and the music industry. Despite rumors from fans, the album proves to be more of a prelude to another album rather than signifying the end of his career. Drake successfully heightened interest in his coming album “Certified Lover Boy,” and he will keep fans wanting more.