Arts, Music, Review

Drake Fails to Redeem Himself on ‘Certified Lover Boy’

★☆

Drake’s new album, Certified Lover Boy, was sure to be his finest album yet. But among dreary beats and lyrics full of overdone bragging, it quickly became clear that there would be no “wow” factor on the album. Despite 21 songs and 15 featured artists, the album fell short of being a masterpiece.

The album, released on Sept. 3, starts off with “Champagne Poetry,” a meaningful song layered with references to the birth of his son, Adonis Graham, and protests against police brutality. The album slowly transitioned to “Papi’s Home,” a diss track to rappers who are “doing weak features for a pop artist ’cause they popped down,” implying that rappers will rap in teeny verses in pop artists’ songs just to gain a small amount of short-lived recognition. “Fair Trade,” which features Travis Scott, showed some promise with its heavy beat, but it was no “SICKO MODE,” another song by Travis Scott and Drake released in 2018.



Not all songs missed the mark on the album, though. While some songs rely on the standard rap formula, they were still head-bob worthy. “You Only Live Twice,” featuring Lil Wayne and Rick Ross, is essentially the sequel to Drake’s “The Motto,” which also featured Lil Wayne on Drake’s 2011 album Take Care. “The Motto,” however, will be marked in the books as a smash hit that peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 Year-End Chart. But at this point, the majority of Drake and Rick Ross’ collabs all sound the same.

Drake’s been climbing the charts over the course of the past decade, but on Certified Love Boy, Drake fell from his pedestal—while other rappers have risen to the challenge of expanding the rap music scene. Without a doubt, the album was not Drake’s greatest show of talent.. 

While Drake’s latest album runs tired with unoriginal songs, Donda, Kanye West’s latest work, is an experimental album that mixes rap with gospel. While it may be too radical for some, it’s new and West deserves praise for challenging the rap genre. Meanwhile, Certified Lover Boy is rife with songs that all scream “been there, done that.”

Photo Courtesy of OVO Sound and Republic Records

September 19, 2021
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