By Christopher Brocker
Hip-hop Music Director
Scary Hours 2 by Drake released March 5, 2021, and is the sequel to the 2018 EP Scary Hours.
Scary Hours consists of “Gods Plan” and “Diplomatic Immunity.” The title derives from a tweet Drake wrote during the height of his beef with rapper Meek Mill. The tweet came before the release of “Back To Back,” an infamous diss track.
Scary Hours 2 was announced less than 12 hours before its release. Many fans were anticipating the release of Drake’s next album Certified Lover Boy. The release was originally scheduled for January of 2021, but was postponed due to Drake’s leg injury.
Despite the disappointment from the postponement, Scary Hours 2 serves as what appears to be an appetizer before the main course.
The lead-off track, “What’s Next,” to Scary Hours 2 was circulating before its official release. The leak was well received and is now Drake’s new hit song. The looped synth notes are the most prominent aspect of the beat and is quite similar to the work of producer Pierre Bourne with rappers such as Playboi Carti.
However, “What’s Next” from the EP is mixed very poorly, although it serves its purpose as a catchy chart-topper to satisfy eager fans.
Drake is known for his frequent subliminal shots at his foes, and “What’s Next” is no exception. The slick bar “I heard you was giving your chain away, that’s kinda like giving your fame away” is a lethal addition to this trend.
Drake and Lil Baby notably collaborated on the 2018 hit “Yes Indeed.” Three years later Lil Baby is now one of the most prominent rappers in the game and is featured in “Wants and Needs” in this new EP. This track’s menacing beat accompanied by a hard-hitting drum pattern is familiar yet well-executed.
The separation Drake seeks to define between himself and competition in the first verse is not a hyperbole. “S*** is not a contest,” is accurate considering the pop star status he has acquired from his veteran career.
Drake doubles down on combating those who claim he has fallen off the music scene in recent years as his quality from a project standpoint is debated. Drake even references the polarizing nature of his 2016 album release Views, stating, “Come with a classic they come around years later and say it’s a sleeper.”
The most noteworthy line in his verse, however, references Kanye West: “Yeah, I probably should go link with Yeezy I need me some Jesus. But soon as I start confessing my sins, he wouldn’t believe us.” The two have had tension openly throughout the years, but this line feels more comedic than confrontational.
Atlanta rapper Lil Baby, however, is the star of the show with an impressive flow that fits perfectly with the beat and style.
Rick Ross and Drake have collaborated a multitude of times throughout their respective careers. The results have been well received by fans, which has led some to call for a new collaboration project between the two. “Lemon Pepper Freestyle” is the response to that call.
Ross’s opening verse is brief in comparison to Drake but phenomenal. Ross references his verse in Kanye’s “Devil in a new dress” with the line, “Spinning vinyl, Teddy P or is it Lionel.” The song was one of the most prominent in his career and one of my favorite hip-hop songs ever.
Additionally, there is a shout-out to Lionel Richie. The references to legendary acts don’t stop there as Ross later follows with “Death row, that’s for these n***** I’ma hit em up Makaveli, it’s All Eyez on Me.”
Drake follows with a lengthy yet dominant verse. The verse is filled with high-profile references to the likes of Patrick Mahomes, Lil Wayne, Beyonce and Nicki Minaj. There is a clever double entendre as Drake speaks to his influence while referencing Usher’s “Confessions.”
The most humorous and noteworthy segment comes as Drake references his fatherly responsibilities. He describes picking his son up from school in a secret-service-like caravan and poking fun at fellow parents that freak out over his stardom.
Drake finishes his verse with one of my favorite bars, “[a]nd your albums like some mother f****** fire drills, it’s like this s*** feels real, but it’s never real”. “Lemon Pepper Freestyle” is by far the best song of Scary Hours 2.
In conclusion, Drake plays mostly to his strengths in Scary Hours 2 and the result is a very entertaining EP. The project leaves many, including myself, optimistic for what is to come on the next album. Featuring rappers that Drake has found previous success with was a smart move on his part.
There may not be a song in Scary Hours 2 that lives up to the success of “Gods Plan” from the original EP, but this project can surely stand on its own.
Featured image via Scary Hours 2 EP cover art and edited by Andrea Mau via Canva