Review: Drake shows he’s far from done with his new album, “Certified Lover Boy”

Alexander rated Certified Lover Boy 8.5 out of 10 stars.

Photo by Lily Werner

Alexander rated “Certified Lover Boy” 8.5 out of 10 stars.

It’s not often that two extremely high profile artists drop an album within a week of each other. Many were anticipating Drake and Kanye West to drop their albums on the same day as part of their ongoing rivalry. While West’s album, “Donda,” ended up releasing the Sunday before Drake’s, it only helped the anticipation for their albums.

Now here we are with the finished product. “Certified Lover Boy” was already hit with a lot of criticism when the cover art was revealed. The cover features 12 Apple iPhone emojis of pregnant women of different skin tones on a white background. At first I thought it was weird, but then I realized it made sense for him.

Drake has been known to be pretty corny at times with some of his lyrics and actions, but it ends up working well with his music. So if you think the cover art is weird, it’s just Drake being Drake.

You can tell immediately that Drake is trying to let people know he is still that guy who dominated the 2010s. On the intro track, “Champagne Poetry,” he lets it be known that he still thinks he’s the best at what he does, despite being 34 years old.

“Under me I see all the people that claim they over me, / and above me I see nobody,” he raps.

Despite his age and the new era of rap, Drake still has some unfinished business.

This project was feature heavy, with appearances from Lil Durk, Future, Lil Baby, Lil Wayne and more. All the features on CLB took care of their business on Drake’s album. My favorite features on the project were Jay Z’s verse on “Love All” and 21 Savage’s appearance on “Knife Talk.” Jay Z showed off on his verse, showing the new generation of rappers that he can still lay out a good verse when he wants to. “This ain’t the same Shawn that you knew once
I don’t shine shoes,
this ain’t what you want” raps the 51 year old.

 One criticism social media had for the album was that the album sounded “boring.” I saw a lot of critics say that Drake hasn’t changed his sound since the prime of his career until now. And while I do agree that this album doesn’t sound different from things he’s done in the past, this album is not boring. Songs like “Way 2 Sexy” and “TSU” have potential to be radio hits, while “You Only Live Twice” showed flashes of of the old Drake. Point is, there are a lot of songs to like on CLB. In fact, Drake recently made history by taking up 9 of the top ten Billboard Hot 100 songs chart, becoming the only artist to have that many songs in the top ten at the same time.

You can tell Drake put a lot of detail into this album in order to make it memorable. “IMY2” begins with a sample of an interview quote from late rapper Juice WRLD. “I think that’s what life is about. Truly finding yourself, and then closing your eyes and dying in your sleep,” the late Chicago rapper said. It’s details like this that showed Drake really wanted this album to be remembered by fans.

Overall, CLB was definitely worth the wait and you can tell a lot was put into this project. While I wouldn’t rank this album among his best pieces of work, this is far from bad. Despite the wait, Drake provided a memorable and overall fun album for his fans.

My favorite songs on the projects were “Pipe Down,” “Get Along Better” and “Girls Want Girls.” I rate the project an 8.5 out of 10.

This story was written by Rashad Alexander. He can be reached at rashad.alexander@marquette.edu.