Published Oct. 8, 2021
BY SOPHIA BONE
With recurring themes of love, confidence and independence displayed through many featured artists and a strong production, Canadian-born rapper Drake has officially released his sixth studio album, “Certified Lover Boy,” yet again proving to the public that he has not reached his maximum potential quite yet.
The album starts off strong with “Champagne Poetry,” featuring an addicting sample from Masego’s 2017 song “Navajo,” constantly playing in the background while Drake raps about the insecurity that has come from his success. The sample eventually turns into a gospel-like chant that emotionally charges Drake’s “sermon” to his audience near the end of the song.
“Papi’s Home” follows and brings up the vibe with heavy bass and confident lyrics, “I’m standing at the top / that’s how I know you never seen the top.” The third song, “Girls Want Girls,” is Drake’s first feature with Lil Baby and keeps up the strong production elements of the album.
Over half of all 21 songs on the almost hour-and-a-half-long album have a top rap or R&B artist featured, including Lil Baby, Gieveon, JAY-Z, Travis Scott, Future, 21 Savage, Ty Dolla $ign, Lil Wayne, Kid Cudi and more. In “Fair Trade” featuring Travis Scott, a top song on the album with over 100 million streams on Spotify in less than a month, Drake raps about how his independence and sacrifice led to success: “I’ve been losing friends and finding peace/honestly that sounds like a fair trade to me.” The blend of effortless production and great rhythm in the lyrics makes this song a favorite. “No Friends In The Industry” has similar themes of independence as well.
In addition to “Fair Trade,” “IMY2” featuring Kid Cudi, “Knife Talk” featuring 21 Savage and “You Only Live Twice” featuring Lil Wayne and Rick Ross are hits on the album. With so many varied hits on the album, it’s hard to pick just a few.
Not all songs have a fast pace either. In “Get Along Better” Drake gets vulnerable and sings solo about losing relationships he thought would at least end up in a friendship. Now that is a message we can all relate to.
Releasing an album so soon after Kanye West’s newest album, “Donda,” was a bold move for Drake, but also a smart one as he garnered the attention that West had only momentarily and in a way that made fans compare the two. No hate to “Donda,” but with a more selective song choice and more exciting beats, “CLB” comes out on top.
If you haven’t heard it already, “Certified Lover Boy” can be listened to through most popular streaming platforms including Spotify and Apple Music.