The “Blue Tint,” lyric, “top of the charts, back in they hearts” is certainly an apt description of Drake‘s performance on the charts last year. The viral success of “God’s Plan,” “Nice For What,” and “In My Feelings” led Drizzy to topApple Music and Spotify‘s respective 2018 top album and artist statistics, an unsurprising finale to the year, given the omnipresent Scorpion singles’ collective 29 week residency on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. When it comes to the artist with the most Hot 100 entries of the year, Travis Scott and Lil Wayne follow Drake with 31 and 25 entries each, but fail to knock the 6 God’s crown. Drake touts the most Hot 100 entries of 2018, with a whopping 35.
Hip hop entities noticeably dominate Billboard’s list of the 12 musicians to receive the most entries of the year. Cardi B, XXXTentacion, Nicki Minaj, and Post Malone trail Drake, Travis, and Weezy, while Khalid remains the only artist outside of the rap genre to grace the list. While ranking among the highest grossing on Billboard’s list is no small feat, what Billboard’s Hot 100 count ultimately evidences is Drake’s unfaltering hold on the Hot 100 in one year’s time.
2018 was undoubtedly the Year of Drake. The Toronto-native rhymer managed to plant himself in the headlines all year long, from rap beef and juicy drama to the year’s most ubiquitous album, and a handful of broken records to boot. Now, as the year draws to a close, Apple Music and Spotify have both released their top album and artist statistics, and unsurprisingly, Drake occupies both lists with a dominating presence.
Apple’s official rankings for top songs of the year include three Drake cuts, the inescapable “God’s Plan,” New Orleans bounce anthem “Nice For What,” and viral sensation “In My Feelings.” Drake’s Scorpionalso deservedly took home the top album designation, beating out Cardi B, Post Malone, and Travis Scott‘s hugely successful LP drops this year. Spotify’s official year end numbers mirror Apple’s, with Dua Lipa, Ariana Grande, and Ed Sheeran in contention as well. Spotify’s year end totals also claim Drake’s music was streamed a cumulative 8.2 billion times on the platform this year.
As per the lyrics of Scorpion staple, “God’s Plan,” sometimes Drake “feels good” and sometimes he doesn’t, but odds are he’s feeling pretty damn good right now. The artist’s rap reign holds strong as “God’s Plan” newly reaches diamond certification status, signifying a total of 10 million units sold. One of the producers instrumental in the development of the viral hit, Boi-1da, broke the news of the milestone on Instagram. “We did that!” Boi-1da wrote. “God just keeps on blessing us. Thankful for everyone involved in this masterpiece full circle. @champagnepapi I don’t know how you do it but you never fail, salute!!”
“God’s Plan” charted a consecutive 11 weeks in the No. 1 position on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart, causing Drake to break the record for most weeks spent at the peak of the chart in a single year. Drake also became the first artist to surpass 50 billion streams across all global streaming platforms this year, a feat assisted by the release of Scorpion, which went platinum the very same day it was released. Scorpion served as the launchpad for many record breaking accomplishments for Drizzy this year, including Drake’s achievement of one billion plus global streams in one week.
Travis Scott‘s newest album, the long-anticipated, ASTROWORLD, has proven itself extraplanetary, indeed. After a little over a week since its release, the album has eclipsed the number one spot on the Billboard 200 chart — beating out Drake‘s multiple-record-breaking double-sided album, Scorpion, which held a fierce five-week streak at the top. Somewhat ironically, Drake is among the flood of high-profile acts to be featured on the album (appearing on “SICKO MODE”), also including Frank Ocean, James Blake, Kid Cudi, The Weeknd, and even Stevie Wonder.
ASTROWORLD is the “Goosebumps” rapper’s third studio album, following his 2015 breakthrough release Rodeo followed by the following year’s Birds In The Trap Sing McKnight. Scott also capped off 2017 with his collaborative project with Quavo of Migos, Huncho Jack, Jack Huncho.
Despite its astronomical success, ASTRO didn’t arrive without its abundant share of hiccups, including a slew of false release date announcements and a sundry of production delays. The carnival-themed album stands as Scott’s second chart-topper, garnering a whopping equivalent of 537,000 album units, with 270,000 of those in traditional album sales.
Drake is the first artist to “surpass 50 billion streams across all global streaming platforms,” according to Republic Records.
When it comes to Drake, one record seems only to foreshadow another. The 6 God’s double-sided album, Scorpion, notably arose as the first full-length record to garner one billion streams in a one-week period, a feat that the album achieved in just three-days. The sixth studio showing from the Toronto favorite additionally wrote Apple Music streaming history when it charted 170 million plays in the first 24-hours of the album’s release. The LP also went platinum the very day that it dropped.
As “In My Feelings” continues to trend on the charts, Drake further asserts that he knows exactly what his listeners want via his release of the official music video for the viral Scorpion track.
The near eight-minute production sees Drake take to the NOLA streets to bounce to the beat of the album, flashing gold grills at the camera’s lens. The video aptly ends with cuts of stars like DJ Khaled, Ryan Seacrest, Will Smith, and more performing the “In My Feelings challenge.”
The “In My Feelings” video is the fourth music video collaboration between the 6 God and Karena Evans, who previously worked with “I’m Upset,” “Nice For What,” and “God’s Plan.”
Drake’s new album Scorpion ushered in an unparalleled era for the Toronto artist. Having already broken the all-time streaming record in just three days, it seemed Drake was at the height of his accomplishments; but now, Scorpion has officially just become the first album to be streamed over one billion times across global streaming platforms,. Such an achievement that rewrites history for all of music and has since been confirmed by Billboard.
In total, the achievement means that Scorpion‘s tracks have accumulated more than 1 billion streams globally from just June 29-July 5. Previously, Post Malone‘s beerbongs & bentleys held the global record at 700 million streams from April 27-May 3.
Drake went on to share the good news on his Instagram, thanking his fans “a billion times over.”
Popular consensus is that Drake took the L in his highly publicized beef with Pusha T. In the grand scheme, perhaps he lost that battle, but less than one week after The Boy’s massive fifth studio album, Scorpion, it’s becoming increasingly safe to say he’s won the war. That’s because after not only shattering Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon’s single day streaming records, Drizzy also broke the previously standing first week streaming record in a mere 72 hours with over 430 million rinses. The numbers continue to roll in though, and it appears the “Talk Up” rapper’s double-sided album also went platinum in a single day too. According to stats from the RIAA, the 25-track LP release raked in over one million album equivalent units on June 29 — the day it was released.
Drake’s numbers are only bound to keep inflating, with physical copies of Scorpion expected to hit shelves in the coming weeks. In a recent interview, DJ Premier, who contributed to Scorpion on arguably the record’s strongest piece “Sandra’s Rose,” reveals that Drake’s team still has new material in the chamber, including more from Primo himself. Rap beef and viral moments aside, Drake is dominating the charts and the history books at the same time and he could potentially have more music on the way.
It’s record-breaking season for Toronto born and raised rapper Drake as his new album, Scorpion, has just broken the record for the most U.S. streams in any single given week. Originally reported by both Billboard and Chart Data, Drizzy’s new album not only broke the record for the most U.S. streams in any single given week, it did so in just three days. Certainly a massive feat, Scorpion has amassed a total of 435 million on-demand streams, and that’s just over the first weekend it was released.
Drake’s ‘Scorpion’ has already broken the single week US streaming record (435m audio streams in 3 days).
Ultimately, it’s unknown as to just how much Spotify‘s doubling down of the record on its platform contributes to the record’s streaming success, given that it was an unavoidable advertisement on the streaming giant’s pages. Nonetheless, it’s an incredible accomplishment pointing to both the rapper’s reign and success of the padding of album’s on Spotify.
US chart preview: @Drake 725-775k SPS (150-160k pure)
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 Atlanta, Scorpion 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.
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.”
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).”