Its been a few years since God's Plan and Scorpion. This new release Scary Hours 2 is a three track EP, warming up some anticipation for the Canadian rapper's sixth full length, set to drop sometime this year. Firstly I'd like to note the covers aesthetic, a gloomy, mysterious shade of blue and the classic Old English font up top. Its a shade of Bathory meets Arkhtinn. My curiosity to the similarity comes unanswered but musically there is no relation to anything esoteric or extreme. Its very much business as usual. On that note there is no mention to the global pandemic, which is a choice for any artist however the glorification of wealth and lifestyle feels especially hollow in its indifference to the pains of our world right now.
What's Next kicks off the record with breezy raps, Drake's easy flow hits a healthy stride spitting on a keen groove, doubling up his rhymes alongside one word emphasis. It works well, the lyrics are structured with plenty of catchy repetition to get stuck in. The mood is energetic and uplifting without bombast, these instrumentals are all tight and snappy, minimal yet effective. It continues on Wants And Needs that steers to a spacey vibe with Lil Baby stepping in to deliver a firm set of rhymes with his wobbly voice. The two exchange narratives around romantic relations interwoven with boisterous behavior. Its got style and swagger, but substance? These songs tend to feel right in the moment but don't leave a lasting impression.
Lemon Pepper Freestyle is the weak link, a more spacious drum arrangement hinges of the soulful vocal sample that cycles on a dizzy looping. For this listener it becomes grinding and dull swiftly. Rick Ross brings an older generation style to the track, even referencing Makaveli and Death Row. Its in partial contrast to the beat and Drake too who probably gives the best verse on the record, an endless train of thoughts spelling out personal grievances and perspectives but ends up trailing off into showman raps and flaunts that occasionally loop back over the same bars. Its a nice flow, sharp, brief sentences with a pause before going in again. Overall though it doesn't yield a bigger sense of self. This EP feels like business as usual for the rapper with a formula that works well but for me isn't all the exciting.