When Drake announced the surprise release of his “Scary Hours 3” EP — in an elaborate, two-minute trailer posted on Instagram — mere hours before it dropped at midnight on Friday, I could barely muster up a shrug.
When Drake announced the surprise release of his “Scary Hours 3” EP — in an elaborate, two-minute trailer posted on Instagram — mere hours before it dropped at midnight on Friday, I could barely muster up a shrug. Nor was I impressed that he apparently came up with all six of these new songs just five days right before the trailer dropped. (Although OK, OK, the fact that he could get his hometown Toronto Symphony Orchestra onboard for a quickie shoot is a baller flex.) This EP — the third in his “Scary Hours” series that started in 2018 — comes only six weeks after the release of the hip-hop superstar’s “For All the Dogs” album, and its six tracks are also featured on an expanded “Scary Hours” edition of Drake’s eighth solo LP. But in case you aren’t keeping track — and really, how could all but the most devoted Drizzy fans be at this point? — “For All the Dogs” was already 22(!) new Drake songs. And that’s not even counting the “Screw the World” interlude that serves as a much-needed intermission midway through the 85 minutes. Sorry, but “The Godfather” it is not. If you still hadn’t made it through the whole album six weeks later, you would be forgiven. But before many loyal listeners have even had enough time to properly digest “For All the Dogs,” here comes “Scary Hours 3.” And what’s truly scary is how much music Drake has been bombarding us with — whether we’re ready for it or not. I say this as an O.G. Drake fan, all the way back to “Best I Ever Had” in 2009. Before “For All the Dogs” and “Scary Hours 3,” the last 17 months also saw Drake release “Honestly, Nevermind” — a house album that came and went without getting the love it deserved — in June 2022; and “Her Loss” — a collaborative LP with 21 Savage that just received four Grammy nominations — in November 2022. Clearly, the artist born Aubrey Drake Graham is in his prolific era. “I feel like I’m on drugs. I feel like I’m in that mental state without doing anything,” he says in the “Scary Hours 3” trailer. “I didn’t have one bar written down for those songs on the night that ‘For All the Dogs’ dropped. It’s not like I’m picking up from some unfinished s – – t, you know … it’s happening on its own. And, you know, who am I to fight it, right?” We’re not here for blocking any creativity, but at what point are you not doing your fans — and yourself — justice? At what point are you diluting your product — and your brand — with quantity over quality? There’s nothing on “Scary Hours 3” — which gives props to Taylor Swift (“Red Button”) while taking shots at Pusha T (“Wick Man”), Kanye West and Joe Budden (both on “Stories About My Brother”) — that feels like it just had to be released right now . It’s certainly not as if Drake had another “One Dance,” “God’s Plan” or “In My Feelings” on his hot hands. Drake, 37, has always been prolific as an artist: In addition to his eight solo albums and one collaborative LP, he’s put out four EPs and seven mixtapes. But even Prince — who was legendary for the amount of music that he could write, record and release — overwhelmed his subjects at one point. And as his quality quotient became more, well, underwhelming, people stopped caring when each new release no longer felt special. Drake himself seemed to realize that he needed a break after “For All the Dogs,” which, although it has produced two No.1 singles — the SZA-assisted “Slime You Out” and the J. Cole joint “First Person Shooter” — won’t go down as another “Take Care.” Just hours after dropping his latest LP in October, he announced on his SiriusXM show “Table for One” that he would be going on hiatus from music for “maybe a year” while addressing his longtime stomach problems. “I probably won’t make music for a little bit,” he said. “I’ma lock the door on the studio for a little bit.” But judging by “Scary Hours 3” — and the 2024 “It Was All a Blur Tour — Big as the What?” dates with J. Cole that he just announced — Drake has already gone back on that. Before we even had a chance to miss him a little bit. Read more