8Radio’s Simon Maher and Hot Press Magazine’s Róisín Dwyer dropped by the Arena studio to deliver their verdict on the much-discussed and debated new studio album from Canadian rapper Drake, entitled Scorpion. 

It’s Drake’s 5th album and has a whopping 25 tracks, with an A-side and B-side - but is it any good?

Róisín reckons Drake is continuing a winner’s streak.

"The guy can do nothing wrong since his first album in 2010, Thank Me Later, debuted at number 1 at the Billboard Top 100. Since then, it’s been a series of number ones, Grammy awards…he can do no wrong."

While the A-side takes in some classic Drake raps, Róisín calls the B-side "an R&B confection". The album follows the story of a well-publicised spat between Drake and fellow rapper Pusha T, in which the latter accused Drake of hiding the existence of his child from the public. Simon explained that this tension between the two performers is typical of the genre.

"Part of what rap is, and I think part of what particularly more recent rap has been is…it’s people who come across at the start as having huge amounts of bravado, but are very, very thin-skinned underneath it all."

There’s a lot going on in Scorpion, with a number of big names taking to the mic alongside Drake. Including an unexpected guest-vocalist: the late Michael Jackson. Scorpion incorporates a previously-unheard Jackson vocal, a decision that reportedly bumped up the budget by six figures. Róisín thinks it’s a sign of Drake’s confidence with what he is doing.

"When you look at the amount of producers on this album, the amount of samples used, the amount of guest vocalists, I think he’s just thinking, ‘I’m Drake. I’m going to do it big and I’m going to do it loud. And if I want to throw on bells, whistles, dead people sample, I’ll throw them on."

Listen back to the full discussion on Arena here.