Drake Certified Lover Boy: Nothing But The Same
It’s been over 3 years since Drake fans have impatiently waited for the Canadian superstar to release a proper follow-up to his lengthy and fretful 2018 album ‘Scorpion.’ With his latest release, ‘Certified Lover Boy,’ Drake manages to give his audience nothing but the same.
For the last decade, Drizzy has shared with the world his heartache and shame when it comes to his love life and fame. Truth be told, this is why many of us Drizzy fans have a crazy amount of adoration for him in the first place. Whether we want to admit it or not, we see a piece of ourselves in him. This is especially true when he dives into the weight of dealing with an assortment of relationships from lovers to friends to foes (in addition to mommy and daddy issues and fatherhood). What makes Drake stand out from many of his contemporaries is his ability to say the things we are too ashamed to say out loud for fear of seeming overly emotional. This is why his reach stretches the globe, we are hypnotized by The Boy’s vulnerable side.
However, the question remains: how much longer will we allow Heartbreak Drake to play with our emotions?
On this sixth album, we find Drake trapped somewhere between the past and present with no clear plan for the future all the while leaning more towards being a boy than a man. The 34-year-old pop star is unwilling to leave the comforts of his award-winning formula to take on new risks. He takes us on an all too familiar journey dragging us along for the ride as he shares his struggles with intimacy, ambitions, and insecurity. However, these are all stories we have heard rehashed relentlessly as far back as his 2009 mixtape, ‘So Far Gone.’
Quite frankly, the underdog/playboy tales are played out.
As a once hardcore Drizzy fan I’m wondering if Drake has anything else left in his arsenal. We know he possesses that ability to craft instant Tiktok dance hits like Toosie Slide, flex his bravado on tracks like Energy, and still finds a way to dive into his feelings on songs like Marvin’s room. There is no denying 6 God is gifted, but with Certified Lover Boy, Drake relies too heavily on his past success and delivers an album that is filled with unresolved issues that leave the listener underwhelmed and fatigued.
Simply put, the monotonous 21 track effort showcases more lows than highs for the lover boy and lacks the quality and variety of the criminally underrated ‘Views’ or the monumental ‘Nothing Was The Same.’ There seems to be no clear flow or vision. Throughout the album, the tone takes on the disposition of a man exhausted from living two lives. Drake is not only the person doing the playing and he is also the person being played, whether in his personal life, in the music industry, or both.
On the stand-out cut ‘Love All’ featuring a flawless verse from Jay-Z, Drizzy details his current frustrations in the hook “People never care ’til it’s R.I.P. / N****s turned they back on me for no good reason / Loyalty is priceless and it’s all I need.” Drake also touches on disrespect in “Pipe Down” and “7 am on Bridle Path,” which is a popular theme throughout all of his projects and remains the case once again on Certified Lover Boy.
Besides the aforementioned Love All, and an impressive verse by Lil Wayne on “You Only Live Twice” (A song reminiscent of his MIxtape Weezy’s days), Drake outshines his guests to no one’s surprise. Toronto’s finest is at his best on the highlight ‘Race My Mind’ in which Drake’s signature crooning and slick wordplay are on full display. Occasionally the lover boy gives us a glimpse into his evolution with the confessional “Fucking Fans” where he reveals, “Most times it was my selfishness and your helplessness that I took advantage of” and digs a bit deeper on “Get Along Better,” pleading for love as he sings, “Hold me closer in these / Trying times, supposed to be mine Baby / I need some help just like anyone else.”
Hopefully, the 6 God will bless us with more of these types of vibes in the future. Maybe an entire R&B project in the same vein as his friend/nemesis Kanye West’s ‘808s & Heartbreaks’ to add to his already outstanding catalog.
If there is one thing Drake has been good at during the past 10 years is being himself. However, with Certified Lover Boy it truly is just more of the same. Drake the rapper is stuck. The former actor is typecast in a character that he created ironically, lethargic and unsure of what role in the industry he should play next.
If we’re being honest, Certified Lover Boy is good but nothing special. The entirety of this album is him just going through the motions. It’s Drake playing Drake, half-ass at best, and relying on his jockish good looks, money, and popularity to keep us tuned in. He has repackaged the same player lines and braggadocious rhymes over uninspired beats for the umpteen time.
For Certified Lover Boy, Drake’s gift is his curse. He is so great at what he does (and he knows it) that the challenge becomes how to give his fans more of what he thinks they want.
Unfortunately, there is only so much of the same ol’ Drake we can take.
We put together a playlist with some of our favorite Drake songs. Listen below!
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Phenomenal review and spot on. This album was good but not great. Nothing special unfortunately.