Drake – Certified Lover Boy (Album Review)

Drake - Certified Lover Boy | Reviews | Clash Magazine

The 6God drops off his most anticipated project to date with Certified Lover Boy. Not only is Certified Lover Boy his most anticipated project, it’s probably one of his important releases to date. Maybe it’s just the hold Drake has on us music listeners that every drop ends up highly anticipated! Drake also rounded up arguably one of his most loaded supporting cast ever. Certified Lover Boy holds appearances from 21 Savage, Future, Giveon, JAY-Z, Kid Cudi, Lil Baby, Lil Durk, Lil Wayne, Project Pat, Rick Ross, Tems, Travis Scott, Ty Dolla $ign, and Young Thug.

Before we kick off this review, can we talk about this album rollout briefly?? It has been nothing short of spectacular, or cheesy depending on who you ask I suppose. The cryptic-Anonymous themed ESPN album release date announcement?? Who would have thought? I guess Kanye was right. Drake is a “jock ass” you know what… HA! The idea of announcing the albums features via billboard? Brilliant.


Drake has been TOP DAWG for so long, like it or not. We can agree to disagree and you can give the title to your Kendrick’s and Cole’s but look how far Drake has come since September 1st, 2007, the release of Comeback Season. Crazy enough CLB was released 2 days after Comeback Season’s 14 year anniversary. Alright shall we dive in?

#CLB Tracklist

Favorite Tracks: Champagne Poetry, Papi’s Home, Love All, Fair Trade, No Friends In The Industry, 7AM On Bridle Path, Race My Mind, Get Along Better, You Only Live Twice & The Remorse

The Certified Blogger Boy has entered the chat…

There was a lot to digest on this 21 track installment from the boy! I’ll do my best to keep this brief after a lengthy intro (probably not). The album kicks off with yet another sensational Drake intro. On my first spin of this album I was wrapping with the homie Zach at like 6:20 AM Eastern. “Champagne Poetry” literally had me like:

The Masego sample job and the rapping? This poetic intro was for me. Speaking on intro tracks, we kind of got a 2 for 1 deal between “Champagne Poetry” & “Papi’s Home.” This was a great 1-2 punch to kick off this album. I was pretty pleased initially but then cuts like “Girls Want Girls” and “In The Bible” didn’t do so much for me as I hoped. Lil Baby washed Drake on “Girls Want Girls” for the record. On “In The Bible” Giveon shined as an individual vocalist but as a collective this song was so-so. S/O Lil Durk though for supporting his queen how he did.

“Love All” was a nice reminder that Aubrey can get a HOV verse whenever he sees fit. This cut wasn’t like Nothing Was The Same’s “Pound Cake” but it was still good. This led into one of CLBs standouts “Fair Trade”. I loved the Charlotte Day Wilson sample here as well as what Drake and Travis brought to the table. I can’t say I was impressed with Drake’s individual performance at this point but, as for the production on these records, absolutely! The album was a bit all over the place at this point but it was early. Then the fun arrives.

The instant fan favorite “Way 2 Sexy” featuring Future and Young Thug was a fun energetic track. How could you go wrong with these three juggernauts on one record? I just knew this would be a major hit off the album. If not “Way 2 Sexy,” perhaps it could be the catchy “TSU.” Not my favorite record but I can see it growing on me over time.

The following two tracks “N2 Deep” and “Pipe Down” were solid follow ups to “TSU.” The best part about “N 2 Deep” was the production. The “Get Throwed” sample and timely beat flip were the highlights for me. “Pipe Down” didn’t blow me away but it’s a track that I can see myself coming back to a lot because… yeah I’ll keep that to myself.

After Yebba’s beautiful vocals on her self-titled interlude, we get into the better half of the album in my humble, honest and most likely to be agreed with opinion. I was really excited to hear the features on  this side of the album as well as hoping to hear my favorite version of Drake.

Drizzy raps with some conviction and about his never ending friendship issues on “No Friends In The Industry,” which felt like a part two to his billboard hit “Energy.” “Knife Talk” was a dope moment. It is so crazy the impact that Project Pat and 3 6 Mafia has had on hip hop. They’ve had so many of their songs sampled in the last few years especially. “7AM On Bridle Path.” Any Drake record with a time and location tends to be a special moment and best believe this track was. The 6God had plenty to get off his chest here. I just want to know if folks have checked on Ye since.

The rapping fades for a bit to make way from some singing on some better overall sounding cuts like “Race My Mind” and “Get Along Better” featuring Ty Dolla Sign.  “You Only Live Twice” with Lil Wayne and Rick Ross was a bright moment and extremely refreshing to hear Lil Wayne rapping like the Best Rapper Alive again. I’m still in shock at the fact Drake and Kid Cudi ended their beef with “IMY2” and it sounded pretty damn good. The outro track “The Remorse” served well as a CLB closer. It followed a familiar pattern of Drake loving to vent to finish off his albums.

CLB Final Verdict…

This album wasn’t the most concise or focused but you can enjoy the variety provided by Drake & friends. It gave me More Life vibes as this felt more of a music compilation/playlist than a focused project. The production was amazing on here and all those involved deserve their MF flowers.

CLB carried an unbelievable hype and it just didn’t meet MY EXPECTATIONS. Am I alone here? I can’t be. All in all it’s still a solid body of work. Some of these songs felt a bit meaningless and lazy or just didn’t make much sense but they weren’t bad records. They weren’t skippable either.

Time. That’s Certified Lover Boy’s best friend in my eyes. This was not an instant classic so let’s tone that take down a bit. But like many Drake projects and tracks, they get better with every play and the album as whole may even may gain some high regards with time. This is partially why I couldn’t deliver a review right away. I wanted to at least sit with this album for a few days and not speak so soon. Like, 6 hours after the album released soon, like many folks did!

With that being said Certified Lover Boy is a good album. Drake is the only artist that can arguably deliver and cater to all his different fans at once. CLB may not have lived up to the hype but it’s a good album that stands the test of time and receives its flowers later or become a project with some great songs but didn’t take the  artist to new heights as many critics and fans would have maybe liked to see.

Grade: B

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