9 Rising Artists Who Inspired Drake's 'Scorpion'

As Scorpion was rolling out across platforms last night, Drake took a moment to give thanks. He's come under fire in the past for not giving credit where it's due, but this time a whole host of new artists got the Drake co-sign without having to put him on a remix. His Instagram story was a series of screenshots, songs and EPs that "inspired [Drake] on the studio drives."

Everyone from Biggie to Nai Palm made the cut, and Drake once again proved he has his ear to the ground with his picks. Rising stars like Gunna and 03 Greedo made the cut, but he also included some picks that are just starting on their road to success. From Toronto locals to U.K. drill, here are nine rising artists who helped inspire Drake's Scorpion.

  • Ama Lou

    We first met Ama Lou back in 2016—she had just dropped her debut single "TBC," and a Drake co-sign was probably far from her mind. Lou is a classically trained musician from North London, and has been writing songs since she was 11. Her own influences include Ella Fitzgerald, Dolly Parton, Lead Belly, Gil Scott-Heron, Justin Bieber, and the High School Musical cast.

    Her DDD EP dropped at the end of March, and she's been touring with another Drake favorite, Jorja Smith. "All you can do really is lend your ideas to reality," she told us two years ago, "and then let people find their own comfort or rebellion in it...right now I’m just seeing where the music takes me."

  • Smiley_61st

    Just a few weeks after appearing in Smiley_61st's IG comments post-"Story of Adidon," Drake shouted out the young Toronto artist as an inspiration for Scorpion. Smiley's Buy or Bye tape dropped in March, a seven-track release of downtempo trap raps punctuated by Smiley's accented lyrics. "Body" is a personal favorite.

  • Loski

    Loski has emerged from the UK Drill scene as one of its most viable stars, proving his versatility by releasing catchy melodic tracks like "Forrest Gump" alongside the harder rap sound which he built his name on. Loski is part of the Harlem Spartans crew which emerged from Kennington area of south London, but this year he released his solo debut mixtape, Call Me Loose. As long as he isn't slowed down by legal issues or stopped from creating music by the police, Loski should have a big year ahead of him.

    Read all about UK Drill in our in-depth feature from January here.

  • Flipp Dinero

    Flipp Dinero's "Leave Me Alone" has been bubbling since its release earlier this year. The Golden State Warriors' Jordan Bell shared an incredible post-championship clip, and Joey Bada$$ took notice of the fellow Brooklynite back in 2016 (Dinero is signed to Cinematic Music Group, the same label as Joey). Still, the Drake co-sign is his biggest look yet, and Dinero seems appropriately hype.

  • Brent Faiyaz

    Maryland-born, Los Angeles-based singer and producer Brent Faiyaz has been putting out music since 2014. After a couple of years releasing left-leaning R&B, he joined forces with producers Atu and Dpat to form the trio Sonder. Their slow-building, five-minute debut "Too Fast" became an unlikely hit, and soon after, Faiyaz was featured on GoldLink's charting single "Crew." By October of 2017, the timing was perfect for a proper introduction, and Faiyaz delivered with his introspective solo debut album, Sonder Son. Right before the album dropped, Faiyaz told us, "There was a time where I was looking at everything and I was just [overwhelmed]. Now I’m relaxed and I feel like I’m ready for what’s about to come."

    So far in 2018, Brent Faiyaz has only released one song—"Make Luv." It was technically a bonus track to Sonder Son, initially delayed because of sample clearance issues, but it's the perfect exclamation point to end a successful chapter in Faiyaz's career. "Make Luv" is the song that Drake chose to highlight on his Instagram, and if you're still not up on Brent Faiyaz, it's a good place to start.

    Read our 2017 interview with Brent Faiyaz here.

  • City Girls

    Quality Control's not-so-secret weapon are City Girls, a rap duo from Miami, Florida. JT and Young Miami's debut album Period came out in May and it's raw, raunchy, and a lot of fun. Following in the footsteps of Miami legends like Trina, the girls are both sharp, witty rappers with a lot of personality and a lot to say, especially to any men who get in their way.

  • Octavian

    We already knew Drake was team Octavian from multiple social media captions and this video of him enjoying "Party Here," but the more people that know about the French/British rapper, the better. Octavian is one of the most exciting new artists of 2018, a rapper who can craft real songs and weave melody throughout his music. His beat choices have been impeccable, his videos memorable, and his taste in music is great too—Octavian recently covered Jai Paul's "Jasmine" for BBC Radio 1.

  • Sheck Wes

    New York up-and-comer Sheck Wes is signed to a joint deal with Kanye West (G.O.O.D Music) and Travis Scott (Cactus Jack Records). That alone is enough to spark interest, but Sheck Wes' buzz doesn't rely on his connections or collabs—he's already released some of the most contagious ("Mo Bamba"), and rawest (Live SheckWes Die SheckWes") songs from any new artist in the past year. The Drake cosign only serves to confirm what we already knew—Sheck Wes is on the path to stardom.

    Read our interview with Sheck Wes here.

  • Booggz

    Booggz is another buzzing artist out of Toronto—Drake cited 2017's Tha Suite Life 101 EP as inspiration for Scorpio, but Booggz has been busy since then, releasing a slew of singles, two EPs, and a collab album with Buck$. He was also featured multiple times on Drake/40's OVO Sound playlists, and Drake has been known to play "Steph Curry" at his parties as far back as July 2017.

  • Octavian

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