Album review: ‘Certified Lover Boy’ cries drama in industry and interpersonal relationships

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By Isabel Whitsett

Drake came through again with a sonically emotional rollercoaster exhibiting his experience with love, or perhaps lust.

Drake finally dropped his new album, “Certified Lover Boy” Sept. 3 after fans all around the globe anticipated this album to release in January 2021.

Drake posted to his Instagram in April, showcasing his heart design haircut at the front of his hairline, that as we now know, is related to “Certified Lover Boy.” For over a year, he has maintained this haircut before the drop of his sixth studio album and kept his fan base guessing.

The cover art for this album, designed by British artist Damien Hirst, consists of multiple emoji’s of a pregnant woman of all ethnicities. Looking at the cover art before listening to the records potentially foreshadows an element of “F— Boy” vibes throughout.

The album starts off with “Champagne Poetry,” where it seems like he is having a battle within himself, rapping about his stardom life, but he longs for love: “Career is great/ but now the rest of me is fading slowly/ My soulmate is out in the world just waiting on me.”

These lyrics are a telltale sign that money alone isn’t enough. It sets the mood for the rest of the album’s themes of potential regret, anger, longing and acceptance. Drake’s days of “simping” are far from over. 

In “Papi’s Home” Drake raps about his notorious life and women of his past.

“I remember I told you I miss you/ that was kinda like a mass text/ I remember I told you that I get you/ truth is I get around,” confirming the toxic masculinity we hypothesized.

The song that is still climbing the charts, “Way 2 Sexy” featuring Future and Young Thug, displays the arrogant attitudes of these rappers, referencing just how sexy they perceive themselves to be. Right Said Fred’s 1991 record “I’m Too Sexy” is sampled for this song, of course, and a recognizable flow as such is bound to catch the attention of many.

Drake has had plenty of falling outs throughout his career, and it’s to no surprise he raps about it.

“I’ve been losing friends and finding peace/ honestly that sounds like a fair trade to me,” on his track “Fair Trade” featuring Travis Scott. This one is signifying acceptance of bridges burned, paying homage to “Pound Cake/ Paris Morton Music” featuring Jay-Z off his 2013 album, “Nothing Was the Same (Deluxe)” with the lyrics “Tables turn, bridges burn, you live and learn.”

As you may or may not know, Drake has had tension with rapper and producer Kanye West for some time now. West released a single in 2018 titled “Lift Yourself,” with an attachment message of the beat as cover art that Drake initially hoped to receive. This song was a troll on Drake for which West went above and beyond.

After West dropped his “Donda” album July 24, Drake dropped “Certified Lover Boy,” which proved his pull in the industry by including features from major artists such as Jay-Z, 21 Savage, Lil Baby, Future, Lil Wayne, Young Thug, Travis Scott, Kid Cudi, Rick Ross, Ty Dolla $ign and Giveon.

The song “Love All” featuring Jay-Z, who has been in the rap game for over 20 years, includes his verse where he may very well be taking jabs at West with verses like, “The best thing I can do is not build with you/ when I could destroy you,” and “you should just thank us/ humble yourselves a little bit.”

However, he could be talking about West, considering the fact that Jay-Z did collaborate with him on his “Donda” album.

Drake’s verse isn’t as direct as Jay’s, “People never care ‘til it’s R.I.P/ N—s turned they back on me for no good reason,” along with, “Lotta fallin’ outs helped me build foundation.”

He could be talking about the drama between him and West, or not, it’s still an amazing song and an even better feature.

Drama aside, the Toronto superstar topped his own all-time record of single day streams on Spotify, thanks to “Certified Lover Boy” knocking his 2018 fifth studio album “Scorpion” from that number one spot.

In his song “7am on Bridle Path,” he raps, “The greatest in the world, there’s no debatin’… Far as the Drake era, man/ we in the golden ages,” and he’s not wrong.

Although Drake’s sound can get repetitive, he is a true lyricist who continues to shine, proven once again with “Certified Lover Boy.”

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