This is especially true for songs about women: silly “Girls Want Girls” with Lil Baby, “Get Together Better” with Ty Dolla Sign, slightly brutal “___ Fans”. On the contrary, what really ignites Drake on this album are the opposing views and enemies, especially evident in the 11th hour rhymes about Kanye West with whom Drake has been together recently—and historically and forever. locked in a tangle. (More on these Oedipal antics later.) “Certified Lover Boy” will debut at #1 with the biggest opening-week numbers for any album this year, replacing West’s album “Donda.” which just did the same.
Throughout his career, Drake’s agility has made him one of pop’s most consistent creative stars, and he is willing to absorb and reinterpret any number of regional and global styles. To Houston (OG Ron C intro in “TSU” and sample of Bun B’s “Get Throwed” in “N 2 Deep”) and Memphis (“Knife Talk, elastically chewable flow model masterfully emulated by 21 Savage”) , both are long-standing inspirational fonts, and sometimes Drake reverts to earlier versions of himself – the piano motifs at the beginning and end of the movie. “Regret” album closer, nod straight “Marvin’s room,” What a plus ultra of Drake’s magnetic toxicity.
However, “Certified Lover Boy” is the album that is the least creative musically, the album that forces itself the least in terms of method and pattern. With the exception of the slightly Afrobeats number “Fountains” used by furry Nigerian singer Tems, most songs here are based on familiar narcotic synths and claustrophobic examples that underlie much of their music. This album may mark something like the beginning of the end of the Drake era, except that the Drake era is now all just pop music and its innovations have become everyone’s work.
Drake is aware of this, of course – no one performs and watches at the same intensity. Some of the sharpest lines from this album have to do with how the entity Drake works in the rest of the world. “Some of the best quotes from me live under a picture,” she raps “Champagne Poem” About your Instagram captions. “I’m sorry for my absence, I know I left you without a name to leave/I don’t know how I expected you to gain influence and money,” she mocks. “Papi’s House.”