Drake is one of the greatest rappers of this generation, he’s also thought to be the precursor to some modern rappers. Despite his golden history, this album just seems lazy compared to his earlier works.
Drake’s newest album “Certified Lover Boy” was released to commercial success, but the way he conveys his message is a downright overwhelming. This album has some high points, but the lows are just too much to bear.
The album features 21 songs, which is somewhat of a reach for Drake. This is too many songs for an album, the entire time of the album is over 85 minutes. The album and the way Drake marketed himself before the release heavily contrast the theme of the album. During the promotional period, Drake was very cartoonish on social media before the album was released.
The theme of the album is love, or the feeling of wanting to be loved. Drake’s cynical style really shows here, and it doesn’t help him out. This album is full of toxic masculinity, but it seems that it works with his style. Lyrics like:
“So, why you gotta be so hard-headed?/
Why you wanna ask? Girl, you know what I did/
Actin’ like you don’t already know what that is.”
“Pop that s***, pop that s***/
Baby, that p**** was so worth the wait/
I wasn’t in love with none of them anyway.”
These lyrics have a high toxicity level, making him seem like a bad person. They don’t help him in any way, but they fit his cynical character, if that’s what he wants to go for.
The highlights of this album are “TSU,” “N 2 Deep,” and “Yebba’s Heartbreak.” These songs are the best on the album, showing that Drake isn’t washed up fully. “TSU” and “N 2 Deep” have great verses by Drake, while “Yebba’s Heartbreak” is a break from the rapping with a nice melodic sound.
“TSU” is what seems to be a true story from Drake’s life. The premise is that he helps a stripper who wants to get out of her situation and open a business. He decides to help her by giving her the money to pay for the business while telling her to make the most of it. She may not have needed his help, but Drake went ahead and made that decision for her. It’s a little toxic, especially in the second verse where he says he could trap her in the stripper life, but doesn’t because it’s the right thing to do.
In the song “N 2 Deep,” Drake spills a story about going to a club in Texas. Drake in this song is trying to convince a Houston girl that he is a decent guy, but he goes too far and immediately regrets it. After telling her she’s the one, it seems he goes off the deep end and succumbs to the club life.
“Yebba’s Heartbreak” is a fantastic melodic interlude, sung by Grammy award winning singer, Yebba. This is a running theme throughout his albums, having an interlude where he doesn’t include any lyrics. It seems to be wedding vows, especially with the repeated “I do.” Throughout the single verse.
The rest of the album is hit or miss, with multiple songs like “Champagne Poetry,” “Papi’s Home,” and “Pipe Down” weighing the album down. The song “Love All” is only floating because Jay-Z’s verse was amazing. “Way 2 Sexy” is not a good song at all, the sample used from “I’m Too Sexy” is not a good sample for a rap song.
Overall, this album feels rushed. It seems he might have expedited it after the release of “Donda” by Kanye. This album just doesn’t hold water. The highlights aren’t enough to patch the holes of this sinking ship. The album seems incomplete, despite the number of songs; although the album was delayed since early 2020, it seems Drake may have slacked off on production in favor of looking for features.