Views from the zodiac.
Photos by Jake Kivanc
The Death card in tarot features a gruesome looking skeletal man triumphantly riding a horse that looks like it is trampling people. While seemingly terrifying, this card from the original Rider-Waite tarot deck is actually a more profoundly positive one to receive during a reading. If you believe in this mysticism in any sense, death means rebirth or renewal; starting over because something has come to an end. It's an intuitive card that means to say that to know more you have to let go and give into the mystery. This sense of ending and moving forward is particularly important to the eighth sign of the zodiac: the Scorpio. Scorpios deal in rebirth and renewal; constantly adapting because they must. They are tremendously secretive, resourceful, passionate and intuitive people who happen to also be intense, manipulative at times, yet loyal. They are the most sexually charged and forward sign of the zodiac, too. Scorpios are, in a word, crazy.
Last week, on Oct. 24, our beloved pop star rapper Aubrey "Drake" Graham turned 30. Drake's sun sign is Scorpio, which means he belongs to a sign that people often approach with caution. So much has been said about Drake having emotions, as though he is the first rapper to ever be emotional on a track. Scorpios are emotional: they have the market on emotional experiences—usually feeling them privately and in extremes. Those feeling aren't necessarily relegated to sadness or softness but can often show up as jealousy, anger, and distrust. In 2006, on his first mixtape, Room for Improvement, Drake laid out who is on the track "A Scorpio's Mind" and somehow we all forgot about that. To understand both Drake's emotional and mysterious tendencies as a rapper and human and see why and where his career has ended up, we must look to "A Scorpio's Mind" and Drake as a Scorpio as the foundation.
"A Scorpio's Mind" is not one of Drake's best songs nor is it something that would ever garner a record number of streams. Featuring Virginian rapper Nickelus F, the song absolutely sounds like an unfinished demo that somehow got released anyway. What the rudimentary, plain beat lacks in impact is made up for by the illuminating lyrical characteristics about Drake himself. The divisive nature of the Scorpio (you either love us or hate us) is captured at the top of Drake's verse with: "I've been hated by many, wanted by plenty/ Disliked by some, but confronted by none/ Since they don't show me sincerity, I load up, lock up/ Take shots at em I guess you could call it a parody." The song's narrator, presumably and authentically Drake, takes shots at someone and it serves as a warning of what it's like to try anything against a Scorpio. Scorpios do not forgive and they do not forget; they are world record champion holders of grudges and anyone who attempts to outdo a Scorpio in that match will ultimately fail. As we can see how Drake's career has unfolded, he is calculated with who and when he takes shots at someone. Sometimes it's immediate ("Back to Back" ) or it can take five years but he'll do it. But he has no qualms at taking shots at literally anyone and he plans to always come out on top. Please see his recent Summer Sixteen tour merch with REVENGE emblazoned on it as an immediate and important example.
Scorpios are the most intuitive sign of the zodiac; they understand and, to a point, feel everything on the emotional spectrum that, largely, other signs are oblivious to. Scorpios dig deeper because investigation is fundamentally important to them. In a cover story interview with The Fader last year, Drake on more than one occasion alluded to his intuitive nature and how he knows what his fans may want or need but also flat out said that he "[gets] everything" and that he "knows everything." He continued with, "I know everything that's being said about you. I know everything that's being said about me. I'm very in tune with this life. Much like, I assume, most of my listeners are." On "A Scorpio's Mind," Drake raps, "You got blind heaters, in my sweats is a mind reader/And when the psychic get to touchin my palm/ Seein' your physical, the things that you never say to me visible." More or less, Drake is saying the same thing: that he is defiant and sure of what he knows to be true. He simply feels it and it is fact.
While "A Scorpio's Mind" doesn't touch on some of the aspects that are truly foundational to Scorpios, it is a good point of departure for what's to come during the rest of Drake's career. On So Far Gone and his debut Thank Me Now we have the delightfully cringeworthy but great "Best I Ever Had" that takes an immature track about courting a woman but also being really in love with her. When Scorpios fall in love, they fall hard. They can't see out of that love haze because it is one of the things they want most. This trait also appears on other tracks like "Marvin's Room," "Hate Sleeping Alone," "Own It," and "From Time," to name a few. These songs also exude a sense of jealousy, worry, or distrust, which is exactly how Scorpios can act in relationships. Whatever may or may not have happened with his relationship with Rihanna (or Serena Williams, or god helps us, maybe even Taylor Swift), it was absolutely tempestuous but passionate and awesomely powerful because that's the Scorpio way. Having said that though, sometimes Scorpios are mysterious fuckers who just like… to fuck and that's it, making it extremely hard to tie them down in any sort of relationship scenario, which is evidenced on Drake's "Practice," "Child's Play," and "Come Thru." T hen there are the aggressive, grudge-holding tracks that became more refined and pointed after "A Scorpio's Mind." Y ou can feel the sharpness on "Tuscan Leather," "Worst Behavior," "Legend," "Energy," "Hype," "Back to Back," and "Views," as a few examples.
Drake is a highly adaptable performer and person. A criticism levied against him is the sameness of his lyrics and general approach to music but guaranteed he is likely working through and evolving at a speed that is visibly unknown to most of us. When he rapped, "I'm not that Drake from four years ago" on "No Tellin'" he means it: he has gone through his own renewal and rebirth. Nickelus F surmised a Scorpio, and therefore Drake, aptly on his intro verse on "A Scorpio's Mind" with, "I said it and meant it the Scorpio's Mind has many dimensions."
Sarah is a Scorpio who shares a birthday with Kris Jenner and Bryan Adams. Follow her on Twitter.