After months of silence and anticipation, Drake’s sixth studio album Certified Lover Boy is finally here. 

The original release date was delayed after the Toronto rapper underwent surgery on his knee. Since then, he has reignited past beef with rapper Kanye West and teased his album with a cryptic ESPN promotion video. Drake also revealed the album’s features through billboards in each artist’s hometown, only adding onto the mysteriousness of its release. 

Besides the short promotion video, Drake only spoke on the album on an Instagram story,  describing it as “a combination of toxic masculinity and acceptance of truth which is inevitably heartbreaking.”

Even before its release, Drake predicted that the album would get hate from critics like some of his past works. “They hated on Views just like they will CLB (‘Certified Lover Boy’) but it’s music to evolve to,” he wrote in an Instagram comment. 

Out of 21 tracks on the album, here are the five most notable tracks that truly show the maturity (or sometimes lack) that the rapper demonstrates:

5. “Champagne Poetry”

Standout lyrics: “Career is going great, but now the rest of me is fading slowly / My soulmate is somewhere out in the world just waiting on me.”

This lo-fi-like intro touches briefly on big issues like police brutality and Black Lives Matter protests but mostly discusses how his past has affected his outlook on relationships today. 

Up until and even after the birth of his son, Drake has sung about the women he has relationships with and the parties he goes to. These lyrics may be describing how his values have changed, and how that lifestyle may not be for him anymore. This song is his way of telling us that he wants more in life than random women and parties. 

4. “Way 2 Sexy (with Future and Young Thug)”

Standout lyrics: “I’m feeling too sexy to accept requests / And I’m way too sexy to go unprotected.”

In contrast to the album’s intro, the upbeat anthem transitions from the seriousness of Drake and shows the player persona of Drizzy. The song samples Right Said Fred’s “I’m Too Sexy” as Drake, Future and Young Thug team up to show they’re just “too sexy” for everyone around them. 

Despite somewhat portraying the prior mentioned “toxic masculinity,” this banger was a much needed break from the rest of the heartbroken and self-realization Drake gives on the rest of the album. It shows that Drake may not be so scared to break a heart or two. 

3. “Girls Want Girls (with Lil Baby)”

Standout lyrics: “Staring at your dress cause it’s see-through// Yeah, talking all the sh*t that you done been through// Yeah, say that you a lesbian, girl, me too”

Continuing forward with toxicity, this song’s title directly describes what it’s about: the sexualization of lesbians. The rapper and Lil Baby team up to compare themselves to lesbians because they like girls too. The song is catchy, don't get me wrong, but it definitely shows a weird lack of maturity that Drake tries so hard to portray. 

2. “Fair Trade (with Travis Scott)”

Standout lyrics: “I’ve been losing friends and finding peace / But honestly that sounds like a fair trade to me.” 

Going along with the theme of realization and maturity, the rapper uses “Fair Trade” to reflect on losing toxic people around him, yet is grateful for the life he has. In true Drake fashion, he conveys the gratefulness that he has for fame and fortune while still denouncing the people in his life who have used him.  

It’s an easy listen, especially for strong Drake fans who may need to do a little reflecting themselves. 

1. “IMY2 (with Kid Cudi)”

Standout lyrics: “Finding myself as the days / Fly by like us on the move / You told me I was a phase / Okay, fine, I miss you too”

This next collaboration may be a little underrated on the charts, but it is definitely a favorite off of the album. Once again, Drake uses Kid Cudi to confess their focus on their careers and personal lives. 

Opening the song is an excerpt from a Juice WRLD interview, reflecting on how the true meaning of life is “truly finding yourself, and then closing your eyes and dying in your sleep.” Like many songs off of the album, Drake demonstrates what he’s learned over his past experiences and tries to do better than before. While I love this artist pairing, the message stays consistent and repetitive. 

There are definitely some standout songs on this album. Nevertheless the constant reflection motto shows maturity yet becomes repetitive and indifferent to previous albums. 

Some people may describe Drake’s message on this album as not clear; maybe Drake doesn’t know what he wants to do with life yet. However, this is something that everyone can relate to. 

We all feel like the grass is greener on the other side: if we’re in a relationship, we want to be single and have the freedom to go out with other people. If we’re single, we get lonely and wish we had someone to go home to. Just like sometimes in college, Drake has the party lifestyle where he can go out and get any girl. Even though he enjoys it, he may be hopeful that romance is around the corner. We can only hope he takes all of this reflection and puts it toward good use. 

Rating: 3.5/5

@hannahcmpbell

hc895819@ohio.edu