A complete list of the songs sampled on ‘Scorpion’Drake Scorpion Artwork

A complete list of the songs sampled on ‘Scorpion’

The production of a 25-song album could be a prodigal initiative, yet the arrival of Scorpion, notably Drake‘s most expansive release to date, exemplifies not only the caliber of the ‘6 God’s’ lyrical and beat constructions, but the maturity of both. An album that reflects a clear trajectory of growth, be it with respect to Drake’s progression as a lyricist–and certainly on Scorpion’s A side, not just a lyricist, but a romantic raconteur within the rap genre–or to the individual sonic arrangements and sampling choices that collectively characterize the production, Scorpion surfaces as a release that boasts depth and breadth.

From verses penned by rap’s reigning, self professed queen thereof [Nicki Minaj], to a scene from Donald Glover‘s AtlantaScorpion owes some of this depth and breadth to the expanse of samples that figure on the album. Dancing Astronaut delves beyond the track listings of the album’s A and B sides to further explore the samples that serve as Drake’s musical muses on Scorpion.

Side A

Track No. 1: “Survival”

Sample: Claude Larson’s “Telex”

Scorpion scatters its samples across the album, but begins with Claude Larson’s “Telex,” sampled by Lil B on 2014 single, “Im Tupac.”

Track No. 4: “Emotionless”

Sample: Mariah Carey’s “Emotions (12″ Club Mix)”

Hailed as one of the most commonly implemented and easily identifiable samples, Mariah Carey‘s 1991 single, “Emotions” provides the foundation for the intro to “Emotionless.” Drake uses the “12” Club Mix” of Carey’s original, a version previously sampled by No I.D., 40, and the 25th Hour.

Track No. 7: “8 Out Of 10”

Samples: Marvin Gaye, “All The Way Around,” Detroit Emeralds, “You’re Getting A Little Too Smart,” Plies, “I Can’t Argue With You!” [Spoken Clip]

A trifecta of samples, “8 Out Of 10” makes use of Marvin Gaye‘s “All The Way Around” as the background of “8 Out Of 10.” 1973 release from Detroit Emeralds, “You’re Getting A Little Too Smart,” supplies the drums perceived on “8 Out Of 10.” The track concludes with a spoken clip voiced by Florida rapper, Plies.

Track No. 11: “Talk Up ft. Jay Z”

Sample: N.W.A., “Dopeman”

N.W.A.‘s 1987 single “Dopeman” appears on “Talk Up,” Drake’s surprise collaboration with half of The Carters, JAY Z. Produced by Dr. Dre, “Dopeman” itself samples five songs: Ohio Players’ “Funky Worm,” Herman Kelly & Life’s “Dance to the Drummer’s Beat,” C.I.A.’s “My Posse,” Roxanne Shante and Biz Markie’s “Freestyle Live,” and 7th Wonder’s “Daisy Lady.”

Track No. 12: “Is There More”

Sample: Aaliyah, “More Than A Woman”

A suave segue into Scorpion‘s B side, “Is There More” further evidences Drake’s predilection for an Aaliyah sample. Drake previously sampled Aaliyah‘s “At Your Best (You Are Love)” on debut album, Thank Me Later. A short clip from Aaliyah’s 2001 single, “More Than A Woman.”

Side B

Track No. 4: “Nice For What”

Samples: Lauryn Hill, “Ex-Factor,” The Showboys, “Drag Rap,” Big Tymers “Get Your Roll On” 

Rich in samples, “Nice For What” initially garnered attention upon its release as a lead single from Scorpion on account of its use of Lauryn Hill‘s 1998 song “Ex-Factor.” Cardi B additionally sampled Hill’s track in 2018 single, “Be Careful.” PnB Rock, Lil B, and Kehlani also sampled “Ex-Factor.”

“Nice For What” borrows percussive elements from The Showboys’ 1986 release, “Drag Rap.” The opening line of “Nice For What”–“Everybody get your mf roll on”–follows from Big Tymers’ 2000 single, “Get Your Roll On.”

Track No. 6: “Ratchet Happy Birthday”

Sample: Eddie Kendrick, “Just Memories” [No Video]

Even the title can’t convey the eccentricity of “Ratchet Happy Birthday,” a song that samples Eddie Kendrick’s 1972 tune, “Just Memories.” DMX and Fat Joe among others have previously sampled “Just Memories.”

Track No. 7: “That’s How You Feel”

Sample: Nicki Minaj, “Boss Ass Bitch (Live at Powerhouse 2014)”

That female voice interspersed among the verses of “That’s How You Feel” is indeed familiar: the seventh song of side B samples Nicki Minaj’s live performance of “That’s How You Feel” at Powerhouse 2014. Drake is the first to sample the live performance.

Track No. 9: “In My Feelings”

Samples: Magnolia Shorty, “Smoking Gun Bounce,” Lil Wayne, “Lollipop,” Donald Glover, “Atlanta: Season 2, Episode 7 ‘That Look Scene'”

Drake reminds listeners of his familial tie to fellow Cash Money Records signee Lil Wayne, sampling Wayne’s 2008 mega-hit, “Lollipop.” Drake additionally involves Magnolia Shorty’s “Smoking Gun Bounce,” but perhaps most interesting of all the sample selections on “In My Feelings” is the “That Look Scene,” taken from Donald Glover’s Atlanta. “In My Feelings” closes with a quotation vocalized by Van, who states “I don’t even care, I need a photo with Drake because my Instagram is weak as f*ck.”

Track No. 11: “After Dark ft. Static Major & Ty Dolla $ign”

Sample: Maxwell, “The Suite Theme”

Bearing a distinctive retro groove, “After Dark” enlists featured artists Static Major and Ty Dolla $ign, and Maxwell, through its use of the singer’s 1996 release, “The Suite Theme.” Drake is the first artist to ever sample “The Suite Theme.”

Track No. 12: “Final Fantasy”

Sample: Dorothy Ashby, “The Windmills of your Mind (Harp Cover)”

“Final Fantasy” executes a subtle sample of Dorothy Ashby’s 1969 harp cover of “The Windmills of your Mind.” J Dilla, Rahzel, and Pacewon are just three of the many artists who’ve previously sampled the instrumental cover.

Track No. 13: “March 14”

Sample: Boyz II Men, “Khalil (Interlude)”

Drake famously confirms Pusha T‘s allegation that the rapper covertly fathered a son, rapping “the kid is mine” on the final track of Scorpion, “March 14,” a song addressed to his son, and one that accordingly makes use of the second person. “March 14” samples Boyz II Men’s “Khalil (Interlude).”

H/T: Complex

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