“Certified Lover Boy” is Drake’s sixth studio album. courtesy Republic Records

Drake releases new album: Certifiably Safe Boy

On his much-anticipated album, “Certified Lover Boy,” Drake delivers his usual bound-to-be popular, but safe music

“IT’S DRAKE SEASON BRO, THE KING IS BACK!” was the text I woke up to on Friday, September 3. One of my best
friends from high school, who is Drake’s self proclaimed biggest fan, had listened to the album through twice before 6 a.m.. Safe to say he was ready. I know many Drake stans felt the same, as this project has been
anticipated for months. The hype around it was only magnified by the addition of Drake and Kanye’s feud leading up to their respective releases. The fans were ready and had high expectations.

Before I dive into this review, I feel the need to preface similarly to how I did with Kanye’s “Donda;” I have tremendous respect for Drake. I listen to every project he drops. He’s a cultural icon and a master at work. Seemingly everything he touches turns to gold. But I’m not a Drake fanboy. Similar to Kanye, his lyrical impact on music for our generation is undeniable. He is a certified hit-maker.

That said, this album was safe. He catered to his base of the female gender and continued his impact of the F-boy culture. Songs like “TSU” and “Girls Love Girls” stayed true to the Drake sound we know and love. Emotional songs talking about a woman’s journey from the pole to the business world really resonate for a lot of people. It’s what
we’ve come to expect and love from Toronto’s 6 god.

Then we have the party songs. Similar to his commercial successes of “Hotline Bling,” “God’s Plan,” “Controlla,” “Take Care” and countless others, there will be songs from this album trending for months to come. Songs like “Way 2 Sexy” may not be the lyrical masterpiece you want to listen to on a daily basis, but when they come on
at the club it’ll be game over. This song’s features are only amplified by the music video’s viral moments from fat Drake on a beach to Kawhi Leonard’s awkward boy band dancing alongside Drake, Future and Young Thug.

Drake has his foot on the neck of culture. He understands it and is a master of it. Drake has mastered the art of the meme. He’s mastered the art of dominating the headlines. He knows what will sell and what will flop. His
rollout campaign with billboards across the country advertising the featured artists on his “Certified Lover Boy” project was masterful. It gets the hip hop purist and loyal followers to check out their favorite artist’s verse.

Earlier this year, Drake was crowned artist of the decade. That award was well-deserved and well-earned. No artist dominated the charts in the 2010’s like Drizzy. This only heightened the anticipation of his upcoming project and frankly, I think it hurt him. This album was safe. There were a lot of skips. The songs that hit home absolutely
knocked it out of the park. But there were a number which sounded the same. Unlike his classic project, “Views,” this album didn’t take any major chances. There were no hip hop/ reggae fused vibes. There were no innovative genre slashing beats. Drake knew what he had to deliver and came through, but it wasn’t memorable.

Don’t get me wrong, he had some bars. You will still see Drake lines under all of your friend’s thirst traps on the timeline. But this project wasn’t his best. That being said, there will likely be a few songs we will love
for months to come. That’s just how Drake is. He’s the artist of the decade for a reason.

Ultimately, Drake delivered an appetizer. This wasn’t a main course which will leave us satisfied for a long time, but there was quality sprinkled throughout. He’s a man of the people. He knows the culture. Get ready, because you’ll be hearing these songs in the clubs and online for a while. But he didn’t take any risks. He’s comfortable with his place and that’s okay! Drake could put out three more albums, all sounding the same, and the masses would flock. He knows that. And honestly, more power to him. Artistically, I hope for more in the future, but if not, I understand. When you’re on top of the world, you have to ask yourself what will keep you striving. If life is good and you are happy, why change it. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Post Author: Joseph Boehm