After what seemed like a never-ending parade of social media teasers, Drake’s latest album, Scorpion, has arrived, and the “God’s Plan” rapper succeeded in ascertaining some seriously unexpected samples and features to distribute throughout the project.
While fans may have been shocked to see a name such as Mariah Carey listed on a Drake project, and even a Jay Z feature despite the on and off rocky nature of their relationship with one another, the shocks really came in the posthumous features listed as well.
The late Static Major, famed rapper and producer, was listed amongst the features on Scorpion, despite having passed away in 2008. But of course, the feature that shocked the world of music most widely was a clearly listed feature from the King of Pop himself, Michael Jackson.
Upon its release, the album became a global phenomenon. However, not everyone is exactly thrilled with the inclusion of unreleased vocals from the legendary Jackson vault, especially the late pop star’s nephew, Austin Brown.
While in Hollywood, California, on Friday, Brown was approached by TMZ and questioned about how he felt seeing his late uncle’s name listed as a feature on Drake’s new song “Don’t Matter to Me” from the album’s R&B dedicated side B.
“I mean, I’m not OK with it,” Brown stated. “I feel like, if he didn’t finish it, you shouldn’t use it. Respect the artist, I just don’t feel like it’s OK to use someone’s vocals and… change them.”
Once the record was officially released, reports broke that it was singer-songwriter Paul Anka who held the key role in establishing Drake’s ability to use Jackson’s unreleased vocals in his latest project.
Anka, who is a legendary name in the music industry today, sourced the never before heard material from recorded sessions with Jackson in 1983 directly before the release of Thriller. The sounds you now hear as part of Drake’s new track were originally part of a session that Jackson began but apparently never completed beyond those recorded vocals.
This all now definitively explains Anka’s listed credit as a co-writer on the song, as well as a previously cryptic Instagram post of him and Drake together shared to the social media platform earlier this year.
The Jackson estate also reportedly signed off on the usage of the unreleased vocals prior to Drake’s release.
On top of securing features from beyond the grave, Scorpion has now surpassed previously established singe-day streaming records on both Apple Music and Spotify. It is on track to break even more records by next week, as well as currently having every single song from the album taking over the top 24 spots on Apple Music’s charts.