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Drake's "Certified Lover Boy" Hangs Back

Summed up by the rapper as, “A combination of toxic masculinity and acceptance of truth, which is inevitably heartbreaking.”

Drake still has us using the GIF from "God's Plan" every time something good happens. One baby, two EP's, and three years later Drake has finally released Certified Lover Boy. A 21 track album with emojis of pregnant women on the cover. The Scorpion follow-up features JAY-Z, Nicki Minaj (in the form of a cameo), Travis Scott, Lil Wayne, Young Thug, 21 Savage, Ty Dolla $ign, Kid Cudi, Rick Ross, Lil Baby, and more. The first song, “Champagne Poetry,” samples the Beatles’ “Michelle” and credits John Lennon and Paul McCartney as co-writers. The intro lyrics, “I love you, I love you, I love you” bring on bars that are filled with remorse as well as acknowledgment from a rapper that is tired of seeing the hate brought on the world in the last couple of years. He tips his hat to the culture and how it has been shaped since BLM. The birth of his son fills his life with happiness while the other pressures of life (that tend to fall onto famous rappers) lurk in the background.

Drake is still teetering between the idea of settling down and ripping through the clubs. He jokes on social media that his life and the parties look a lot different now with Adonis around. The two faces of Drake continue to flip flop between soft and hard. The into song filled with bars was necessary to lay the groundwork for the rest of the album that is a reminder of what we have come to know and love about the rapper.

“You don’t know me, you don’t love me like my child” is a nice realization to hear Drake make on “In The Bible (feat. Lil Durk & Giveon).” He is understanding the difference between artificial love and blood love that you only come by a couple of times in your life. The Giveon feature was also very sweet. This may be one of the deeper moments of the album that listeners will experience.

It is oddly satisfying to know that Drake was in full control of the music game with this album. Kanye West was rumoredly pressured into releasing his album early so that he wouldn’t be eaten alive by Drake within a week. We would not be quick to make this album of the year though. Although Drake is revealing a more personal and loving side of himself, the album as a whole lacks that memorable bang we are used to hearing from the rapper. The bigger moments come from the features he supplies and even then the JAY-Z feature falls a little flat. The entirety of the album remains mellow and satisfying.

Stream Certified Lover Boy here.

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