Yesterday, Drake dropped his long-awaited sixth album, Certified Lover Boy. The twenty-one-track album is full of passionate lyrics, reminiscent of what made Views so successful. Certified Lover Boy brings you through an emotional roller coaster from the different feels, samples, and features in it. From his angst-driven melodies with sophisticated production to the intelligent lyricism carried by fat beats, Certified Lover Boy is a culmination of Drake’s entire wheelhouse put into one album.
Though some may say it sounds like a regurgitation of past hits, some would argue that it reinforces what makes the name “Drake.” Furthermore, it’s the type of star power and production level that he brings that has been one of the many reasons Drake creates hit after hit.
Certified Lover Boy’s star-studded features include Lil Baby, Jay-Z, and Travis Scott. However, there are tracks where Drake effortlessly puts us in our feels all on his own. He uses his ability to touch all spectrums of emotions to control the tone of the entire album.
Tracks On Certified Lover Boy
CLB starts off with “Champagne Poetry” and samples the original certified lover boys: Paul McCartney and John Lennon. The very first song samples The Beatles’ “Michelle,” a song about professing love to a woman. It’s a story that’s just like Drake’s music: very emotional and powerful.
“TSU” appears almost midway through the album and stays consistent with melodies driven by feelings of melancholy and reflection. The production goes from one sample and transitions into a second one. The first sample is of R. Kelly’s “Half on a Baby.” The latter sample is from N’Sync’s version of “Sailing.” It really defuses the buildup of the first sample.
“Knife Talk” is a track that features Project Pat and 21 Savage. With fat 808s and a creepy yet hooking melody, “Knife Talk” carries a feel similar to “Sneakin'” on Scorpion. It comes in hot with Project Pat rapping over piano and violin until the 808’s enter. However, the drumbeat doesn’t come on until 21 Savage does.
“You Only Live Twice” is one of the last few tracks on the album. It shouldn’t be hard to figure out which song this is named after. Besides a Lil Wayne feature, the CLB track differs entirely from “The Motto.” The song also includes Rick Ross. Backed by Maybach, “You Only Live Twice” does a classic Motown Sample backed by a hard studio set drum beat. Though this song has no hook/chorus, the production, and the quality of flow and lyricism really stick in your head. This makes The Brothers of Soul’s “Can’t Get You Off of My Mind” the perfect sample for this track.
Cotroversy Surrounding Certified Lover Boy
Though CLB has huge features like Kid Cudi and Jay-Z, it does have a bit of drama surrounding it. Drake faces a bit of controversy by sampling and crediting R. Kelly. This is a result of Kelly getting indicted on federal sex trafficking and racketeering charges in Brooklyn. There has certainly been some backlash on social media.
Additionally, it seems more beef between the Canadian and Kanye West is found in songs on the album. In “7am On Bridle Path,” there’s a lot of lyrics that can be interpreted as direct references to Drake’s rivalry with Kanye West. He seems to reference West’s brand Yeezy and that a lot of their feud is rooted in Pusha T‘s 2018 song that Kanye produced. The track revealed that Drake in fact had a son.
“I could give a f- about who designing your sneakers and tees/have somebody put you on a Gildan, you play with my seed.” -Drake
Drake also says “Give that address to your driver, make it your destination/Instead of just a post out of desperation,” referencing Kanye posting Drake’s home address on the internet.
There are other songs that we can speculate represent words towards Kanye, like “No Friends in the Industry” and “Pipe Down.” However, the Chicago rapper has not made a response yet, considering he’s currently got Soulja Boy barking in his ear for pulling his feature track off of DONDA.
Despite the delays, the backlash, and the feud, Certified Lover Boy is performing insanely well on its first day. CLB has already broken the record for the most-streamed album in a single day in 2021. Furthermore, the album holds the top 21 songs on U.S. Apple Music.