Drake drops “Certified Lover Boy,” a confusing mass of trap beats

Although the album was highly anticipated, fans may be disappointed by the simplicity of the deceivingly star-studded piece.

Emily Coffey, Arts and Entertainment Editor

Certified Lover Boy” dropped on the heels of Kanye’sDonda,” a seemingly unfortunate setup for Drake. The album’s mediocrity stands in stark contrast to his previous pieces, with high profile features and samples feeling like expensive icing on an overbaked box cake. While certain songs offer a glimmer of his old-time musical genius—other tracks are one-dimensional and lazy. The lyrical content is at times honest and heartbreaking, but the majority of the tracks ooze machismo in an off-putting way. 

“CERTIFIED LOVER BOY”

“Certified Lover Boy” centers on Drake’s obsession with getting women, primarily by means of his money and sex appeal. On “Way 2 Sexy (feat. Future & Young Thug),” Drake, Future and Young Thug are clear on the fact that they are “too sexy” for anything, including commitment.   

In his last song, “The Remorse,” this facade breaks into a hazy, rhythmic conclusion. Drake recapitulates his gratitude for the loyal people in his life, referencing songs “No Friends in the Industry” and “Fair Trade (with Travis Scott).” 

All the nights Chubbs was pulling up where I need him at/ All the times Mark was making sure that my luggage packed/ Or times he had to double back,” Drake sings in verse one. 

This song also pays homage to his son, showing Drake’s increasing awareness of the importance of fatherhood, a result of his “lover boy” habits. 

“Anxiety’s a drug that I use to get the job done/ Delusional’s a space I like to think that I’m far from/ My son is the one thing I hate to be apart from,” Drake sings in the first verse. 

Though the song wraps up the lyrical themes of the album nicely, the musical simplicity is not enough to keep interest through the song. There is a piano riff here and there, but Drake’s tendency to over-loop tracks creates an underwhelming sort of background noise. 

BACKGROUND MUSIC 

Highly layered, satisfying songs lay next to tracks that lack complexity and are startlingly off-beat. Features take away from the song, instead of adding to it. A good example of this is “Way 2 Sexy (feat. Future and Young Thug).” The song starts off with a basic trap and looped synth and does not change for the entire four minutes and seventeen seconds. Young Thug’s feature lacks any rhythmic complexity in an auto-tuned verse that attempts to rhyme spaghetti with “baguetty.” 

That being said, “Champagne Poetry,” “Pipe Down” and “Fair Trade (with Travis Scott)” are sonic wonderlands. “Pipe Down” features Drake’s crooning voice over a sensual drumline and some tastefully looped samples. This sequence is kicked off by “Champagne Poetry,” which features a sample from Masego’sNavajo.” Although the song’s elements remain consistent throughout, Drake’s verses intensify this colorful background. 

This the part where I don’t ever say “Pardon me” anymore,” Drake raps in the final verse. “This the part where I’ma find a new part of me to explore/ This the part where all my partners know what we in it for.”

“GIRLS WANT GIRLS” 

 As soon as the album dropped, “Girls want Girls” (with Lil Baby) stirred controversy around Drake’s apparent fetisization of the lesbian community, confusing listeners with his lyrics. 

“Say that you a lesbian, girl me too,” he sings in the chorus.

Though it seems offensive at first listen, the song plays to the greater dialogue of the album. By comparing himself with a lesbian, he focuses on his attraction to girls, using his money as a means to lure women in. This shameless grab for attention is never countered with an apology in the album. Instead, he claims that he never wants a ring on his fourth finger, which he mentions in his final track “The Remorse.” 

“Can’t picture bein’ a hubby, finger too stubby to fit a ring on,” he sings in the final verse.   

21 TRACKS 

These 21 tracks could be marketed as a victory lap, but instead come off as an over-confident album that fails to have a cohesive sonic presence. While the themes seem honest and upfront, they are clouded by statements made in “Girls want Girls” and “Way 2 Sexy.” 

To his credit, the album highlights the importance of his son, struggles with fame and fortune and his high value on loyalty. Audiences may not be able to relate to Drake’s struggles but they may be able to empathize, unless they have never been a “Certified Lover Boy.”

 

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