On his long-awaited new album, Certified Lover Boy, Drake credits John Lennon and Paul McCartney as co-writers.
Champagne Poetry, the album’s first tune, features an interpolation of the former Beatles’ song Michelle.
Jay-Z, Nicki Minaj, Travis Scott, 21 Savage, Lil Baby, and Yebba all make appearances on Drake’s sixth album.
The 34-year-old is one of hip-hop’s most influential and popular artists of the previous decade, with emotionally raw lyrics and a distinctive vocal approach that radically transformed the genre.
“His hip-hop was free-flowing rather than dogmatic. And in doing so, he established the paradigm for what would later become the global pop standard. “
Certified Lover Boy follows the same template that was established on 2009’s So Far Gone mixtape. Drake veers between tenderness and bravado, sticking to his trademark themes: He’s been misrepresented and misunderstood; he’s better than the rappers that attack him, but he’s also been hurt by their disses; and he’s always been terribly unlucky in love.
Anyone who has been following Drake’s ongoing feud with Kanye West has plenty of material to work with. He mocks the rapper for not owning the masters of his own songs and for his failed presidential attempt, among other things, at various points.
Right said Fred’s novelty hit I’m Too Sexy gets a rap update called Way 2 Sexy, which is completely unneeded. Even worse is Drake’s Girls Want Girls, a harrowing description of attempting to sleep with a gay woman in which he actually says: “You call yourself a lesbian, right? I’m with you, girl. “
It’s old and cringe-worthy… much like Damien Hirst’s artwork, which portrays 12 pregnant woman emojis embracing their tummies for whatever reason.
Mistakes and course corrections, on the other hand, have always been a part of Drake’s persona. On Certified Lover Boy, there’s even a song called The Remorse, a sparse, piano-driven piece in which Drake outlines both his accomplishments and errors while musing on his uniquely open brand of hip-hop.
He also mentions that his source of inspiration is running low. Over the low-slung beat of Fair Bargain, he raps, “I’ve been losing pals and finding peace,” but “honestly, that sounds like a fair trade to me.”
It would be fascinating to see what a more satisfied, less troubled Drake could bring to the table. But, for the time being, Certified Lover Boy is a captivating, if not groundbreaking, addition to his already impressive discography.