This is the 6th full-length album from Toronto rapper, singer, songwriter, actor, producer & entrepreneur Drake. Skyrocketing in 2009 off his 3rd mixtape So Far Gone, the success of this groundbreaking project resulted in a contract with both Young Money Entertainment/Cash Money Records & helped put out the man’s full-length debut Thank Me Later the next summer. His sophomore effort Take Care the year after would be even better & I enjoyed Nothing Was the Same too but after If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late & then What a Time to Be Alive with Future (both of which came out in 2015), that’s when the quality in Drake’s music really began to take a nosedive. VIEWS was a terrible foray into dancehall, More Life was mediocre despite being stylistically eclectic, his YM/CM swan song Scorpion was a disappointingly failed attempt at making a double disc album showcasing his hip hop/R&B sides of his music respectively, Care Package is decent collection of 17 loosies from 2010-2016 that we’ve all heard before & Dark Lane Demo Tapes was a failed attempt at experimenting with new songs. However, I was curious going into Certified Lover Boy given the 4 singles that he dropped leading up to it.
“Champagne Poetry” is a top tier Drake opener, rapping his ass off over a chipmunk soul sample & a gospel flip from 40. The next song “Papi’s Home” is basically his version of Montell Jordan’s “Daddy’s Home” proclaiming himself as a top dog whereas “Girls Want Girls” with Lil Baby will go down as one of the worst Drake songs ever, them asking “You a lesbian? Me too”. Then we got Lil Durk tagging along for “In the Bible” as they try to hit on religious women just before Drake & JAY-Z spaciously calling out those who turned their backs on them on “Love All”.
Meanwhile with “Fair Trade”, both Drizzy & Travis Scott jump on top of a Charlotte Day Wilson sample from WondaGurl talking about losin’ friends & findin’ peace leading into him making his own version of “I’m Too Sexy” with Future & Young Thug on “Way 2 Sexy” for whatever reason produced by TM88 shockingly. “TSU” is a simp anthem telling a stripper to get her life together sampling *NSYNC] & R. Kelly, but then “N 2 Deep” with Future is more of a great sequel to “Life is Good”.
The vocal sample on “Pipe Down” is hypnotic with Drake telling a bitch to chill out & after the “Yebba’s Heartbreak” interlude, “No Friends in the Industry” bitterly disses G.O.O.D. Music & for some reason Kendrick. I dig how he & 21 Savage flipped Project Pat for the gangsta rap-themed “Knife Talk” produced by Metro Boomin’, but then “7AM on Bridle Path” takes a moodier route with the help of Cardo dissing Kanye once again.
“Race My Mind” is an R&B/hip hop fusion detailing his lover being drunk as fuck, but the Tems-duet “Fountains” has a catchy instrumental despite the songwriting being below average. “Get Along Better” has a luxurious trap beat from 1985 addressing an ex, but then “You Only Live Twice” with Lil Wayne & Rick Ross is an amazing sequel to “The Motto” laced by B!nk of all people.
The song “I.M.Y.2. (I Missed You 2)” with KiD CuDi has a pillowy sound asking how they’re supposed to move while the penultimate track “Fucking Fans” takes a cloudier turn with the help of PARTYNEXTDOOR looking back on his failures. “The Remorse” ends the album by showing love to the people over at his OVO Sound label.
As much as I enjoyed “Laugh Now Cry Later” & Scary Hours 2, this album as a whole was NOT worth the hype & I was very disappointed by the outcome of it. Not just because it didn’t need to be an hour & a half long, but he’s really not saying anything new here at all. By that I’m not saying he needs to get political or conscious, that’s NEVER been him. Just feels like we’ve all heard this from him before.