“So, the question is should we be looking towards Drake for quality anymore? The answer: probably not.”
When the cover album art featuring a racially inclusive coalition of iPhone emojis of pregnant women began circulating, many wondered if this was meme fan art or if Toronto-born superstar Drake was really considering releasing this officially for Certified Lover Boy. He was very serious. Just as serious as he was when he cleared the lines, “Say that you’re a lesbian, girl me too,” as a 34-year-old man — but we’ll get into that later.
Drake had humble beginnings as the misunderstood beacon of emotions who had an affinity for women, but often fell into toxic patterns with the old loves of his life. As the fame and the beard grew, the true toxicity popped out, and we’ve seen Degrassi-Drake turn into Champagne Papi. Songs about leaving exes drunk voicemails turned into songs about refusing to split half his money with a woman he deems lesser than him.
Now at 34 years old, and on his sixth studio album with Certified Lover Boy, one would expect a sense of maturity, retrospection and growth from an artist who has garnered so much success. However, that’s just not the case with what we’ve heard on Certified Lover Boy. At 21 tracks and a whopping 86 minutes long, the album drags on more than just a little bit. Many of the songs have that typical Drake recipe — a melodic beat, a sprinkle of toxic masculinity, an exciting star-studded feature and a splash of monotony.
There are a few tracks that stand out from the pack, mostly due to the great features from the guests on the album. “Fair Trade” sounds more like a Travis Scott track towards the end, but the chemistry between Scott and Drake makes for an introspective and flowy moment on the album. “Knife Talk” is a definite highlight on the album, bringing back the old school Three Six Mafia flow with 21 Savage and Memphis legend Project Pat.
The most controversial track on the album is “7am on Bridle Path,” where Drake goes on to address the years-long Kanye West beef that came to a head recently with the drop of West’s new album Donda. After Kanye sent a picture of the Joker and called Drake a “nerd ass jock” in a group chat, he went on his Instagram to post Drake’s address to his millions of followers. It was the latter incident that Drake seemed to address on the CLB song.
“Give that address to your driver, make it your destination/ ‘Stead of just a post out of desperation/ This me reachin’ the deepest state of my meditation/ While you over there tryna impress the nation/ Mind’s runnin’ wild with the speculation/ Why the f-ck we peacemakin’, doin’ the explanations/ If we just gon’ be right back in that b—ch without hesitation?” Drake rhymes.
CLB features 🥀 pic.twitter.com/UFV71TxuKa
— Word On Road (@WordOnRd) September 2, 2021
The album promo included billboards being hung in the hometowns of the featured artists with subsequent clues of who would be on the album. New York’s very own GOAT Jay-Z, featured in the song “Love All”, was given a subtle shout out on a billboard that read “Hey New York, the GOAT is on CLB.” Another billboard in Texas said, “Hey Houston, the hometown hero is on CLB,” which ultimately ended up being Travis Scott.
The hit single to come out of the album features fellow rapper and kindred spirit, Future, as well as Young Thug. “Way 2 Sexy” samples the Right Said Fred song “I’m Too Sexy,” which was a meme before memes were a thing. With a ridiculous video to accompany it, this track doesn’t take itself too seriously, which is a fun morsel on CLB.
Probably the corniest moment and biggest face palm is the entirety of the song, “Girls Want Girls,” which was probably the biggest waste of a Lil Baby feature in 2021. The song goes on to fetishize women who like women and brings us to one of the most cringiest moments in lyric history when Drake says, “Say that you’re a lesbian, girl me too.” At the big age of 34 years old, Drake reminded us that maturity has not been his strong suit so far.
With a 9-month delay, the expectation for Certified Lover Boy was certainly a lot higher than what was delivered. However, typical of someone with Drake’s star caliber, and despite the lackluster performance, he broke major records with the release, with CLB quickly becoming the most streamed album on Spotify and Apple Music in a day.
So, the question remains — should we be looking towards Drake for quality anymore? The answer: probably not.
Header by Aylene Lopez