If fans miss “the old Drake”, well, that’s too bad. The perpetually jilted softboy known for wearing his heart on his cable-knit sleeve is long gone. For the first time, though, he at least wants to try explaining his hardened veneer. Just weeks after the Canadian rapper dropped his long-awaited eighth album, For All the Dogs, he returns with a surprise project – despite having announced a year-long hiatus from music due to health reasons.
Written in just five days, Scary Hours 3 shakes off some of the toxic sludge Drake has been wading through of late. His grievances on For All the Dogs seemed exclusively directed at women, causing some to wonder whether we’d ever see a return to his puppyish, boy-next-door type. Scary Hours 3 isn’t that, but it does even the playing field somewhat, not least by praising the women in his life and castigating the men. And boy, are there plenty of controversial bars going at the guys.
“Taylor Swift the only n**** that I ever rated/ Only one could make me drop the album a little later,” he raps on ‘Red’. His acknowledgment of Swift lands in the same space in which he calls out their mutual sparring partner, Kanye West: “Every time that Yeezy called a truce, he had my head inflated/ Thinkin’ we gon’ finally peace it up and get to levitatin’.”
Then, on ‘Stories About My Brother’, Drizzy appears to subliminally diss West while referencing him walking around barefoot, as he’s been spotted doing in Europe this past summer. “I can’t wait for the day that you choose to retire your stuff/ Taking off the sneakers ’cause you tired of tying ’em up/ That one day you wake up and tell ’em, ‘Enough is enough’/ That’s how you gon’ find out you not Kobe Bryant to us [laughs]/ Man, you not Kobe Bryant to us… at all,” he says.
The bars come as a reference to Kanye comparing himself to Kobe Bryant on ScHoolboy Q‘s ‘THat Part’, and also made “I Feel Like Kobe” shirts in 2016 to coincide with Bryant’s NBA retirement.
Joe Budden also faces Drake’s wrath on ‘Stories About My Brother’: “Imagine us getting our validation from an ex-musician searching for recognition/ Same story every time, they heckle in repetition/ I’m top of the mountain, these n***** still down at base camp, they planning they expedition.”
Budden and Drake’s beef, which began in 2016, reignited last month after the podcaster trashed Drizzy’s For All the Dogs LP. It resulted in the OVO hitmaker sending the former Slaughterhouse MC a series of strongly-worded messages, which he read out on his podcast.
Elsewhere on Scary Hours 3, Drake resumes sparring with Pusha T on The Alchemist-produced ‘Wick Man’ by spitting: “Man, I remember n-ggas was joking ’bout some tick, tick/ And now that rapper broke as fuck, that boy a statistic.”
These lines are a callback to Pusha mocking Noah “40” Shebib’s multiple sclerosis disease on ‘The Story of Adidon’: “OVO 40, hunched over like he 80—tick, tick, tick/ How much time he got? That man is sick, sick, sick.”
So, it’s clear Drake is back on the offensive, and to be honest, we’re here for it considering the absolute snoozefest that was For All the Dogs. And somehow, this time, he managed not to mention Kim Kardashian, which, for him, is an achievement all in itself.