Drake’s new album Scorpion is out today and we probably don’t have to tell you that it’s a big deal everywhere. Especially in Canada.

But how much does the rapper actually represent the heart of this country like the great Canadian artists before him? Does it matter that he’s never taken a political stance? Mocha Frap, from KISS 92.5 in Toronto—and arguably Drake’s biggest fan—breaks it down on today’s episode of The Big Story podcast.

Behind the scenes, a new Drake album is like striking gold for Canadian radio stations required to follow strict content laws. For the uninitiated, per the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, there are a whole bunch of rules surrounding what type of music can be played and at what times. Depending on the station, it’s likely that your fave is required to have roughly 35 percent of its overall music be Canadian in origin.

“The rules are little bit different from market to market, province to province, but for Toronto, there are a certain amount of Canadian artists that you have to play in a day,” Mocha says. “But we don’t have to play Drake because he’s a Canadian artist—we have to play Drake because he’s the hottest rapper in the world.”

When Drake announced his new album, everyone at KiSS 92.5 started working on a plan immediately.

“You know the entire world is going to talk about it, but you know especially the city that he’s from—Toronto—is going to be all over this album,” Mocha says. “We know that we’re going to be talking a lot about the album, we’re going to try and play as many tracks as possible.”

But Drake isn’t known for his tidy language, and there are still more rules about swearing on the radio. Don’t worry—the station has already thought of that, too. “If there’s not a clean edit of the album that drops at midnight, we’re going to have producers making our own version of a clean copy of the album,” Mocha explains.


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On whether or not Drake can step up as Canada’s next Leonard Cohen or Gord Downie, Mocha isn’t so sure he’s the man for the job. “All we know about Drake is that he’s from Toronto and he loves Toronto, and he’s a rapper,” Mocha says. “You don’t know anything else beyond that… and I think that’s what bothers people.”

Cohen and Downie were certainly political and they weren’t shy about it, and Drake’s lack of political engagement could be what holds him back from reaching that level of national star power. “People want to know more about your beliefs… your political stances… how you feel outside of music, and we don’t have that kind of connection to Drake,” Mocha says.

That said, Mocha does believe Drake knows how to ensure that his cultural moment will transcend generations—”He’s got that formula!”

Listen to the full episode of The Big Story podcast at the link below.

The Big Story is a daily podcast that takes an in-depth look at the issues, culture and personalities shaping Canada and the world with the help of the nation’s best journalists. Hosted by Jordan Heath-Rawlings and produced by Claire Brassard, each episode—roughly 15 minutes in length—discusses everything from the legalization of pot to the hottest new music. Learn more about The Big Story at www.thebigstorypodcast.ca, and be sure to subscribe on Apple Podcasts and Google Play.

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