Although the project was initially scheduled for an earlier release last year. Drake’s sixth studio album, ‘Certified Lover Boy’ is here. This album is a mixed bag for many reasons of which we will get into.
Firstly when a lot of hype has been built up around an album, your expectation for it is understandably boosted. In reality, ‘Certified Lover Boy’ isn’t too different from most Drake projects.
However, that’s part of the problem. We didn’t get anything from Drake that we don’t have already. If anything, he gave us a watered-down version of projects that already exist in his discography.
Some may say that isn’t a fair statement. That the old saying, if it’s not broke, don’t fix it, applies here. Nevertheless, Drake has gone above and beyond to promote this project and has taken extra time before releasing it. After seeing this, one would assume some excellence was on the way from the man that just won the artist of the decade award from Billboard.
There are some good songs on the album, such as the intro ‘Champagne Poetry’ where Drake wonderfully samples Masego’s ‘Navajo’ song before switching to The Beatles ‘Michelle’ sample. Those two samples combined with some elements the producer 40 adds. Make for a very jazzy feeling. Drake gracefully raps on the song, giving you the impression that the project is going somewhere incredible.
There are also songs like ‘Fair Trade’ & ‘TSU’ which have the regular good Drake sound. Something that is alarmingly obvious on ‘Certified Lover Boy’ is that there are many features that don’t make a positive contribution to the tracks they’re on.
In ‘Girls Want Girls’ Drake himself delivers some extremely corny lines like “Say that you a lesbian, girl, me too”. Lil Baby then has one of his most forgettable verses in a year where he’s been going crazy on features.
Lil Durk even takes the opportunity to promote his girlfriend India’s cosmetics line on another song. This is a Drake album, but when big-name features aren’t taking things seriously, why should the listeners?
This unserious nature continues with ‘Way 2 Sexy’ featuring Future & Young Thug. Admittedly with the entertaining music video, this song is fun to listen to. We even get a Kawhi Leonard cameo. However, in the sequence of the album, it sounds cheap and mediocre.
The middle part of the album around ‘Pipe Down’ to ‘7 am On Birdie Path’ is easily the best part of the project. Drake puts more passion into his lyrics and energy into his delivery instead of just lethargically rapping about surface-level things. He even throws a few witty shots at Kanye West while rapping his ass off on ‘7 am On Birdie Path’.
Some of the features on the second half of the album show up for Drake. Yebba, Project Pat, Rick Ross, and Lil Wayne all give a project that felt a little lacklustre a bit more life.
Overall, ‘Certified Lover Boy’ is nowhere near Drake’s best work. It’s a decent project full of some typical Drake-type songs, but many of them don’t quite hit you the same as some of his previous work. Besides a few flashes, Drake sounds uninspired for a lot of the album, which is surprising because the promo and cover art for it suggested we were going to be in for an engaging ride. In the end, the hype of the project exceeds the quality of it.