It’s a good thing there’s a long weekend coming up in Canada, because fans across the nation (and really, the world) are a little bleary-eyed this morning after staying up late on Thursday to wait for the release of Certified Lover Boy, Drake’s sixth studio album.
After numerous delays and an extra display of publicity (which, to be fair, kind of made up for the wait), the highly-anticipated album finally dropped at 2 a.m. on Sept. 3. The 21-track offering is packed with collaborations, including songs with Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, Rick Ross, Travis Scott, Future, Lil Baby, 21 Savage and more.
The opening track, “Champagne Poetry,” also samples the Beatles song “Michelle” and credits John Legend and Paul McCartney as co-writers.
Speaking of writers, Nicki Minaj is credited as a scribe on the second track, “Papi’s Home,” on which she does a little spoken-word cameo. In other words, this isn’t just an album—it’s basically a full-out event.
There was another little cameo (if you can call a diss verse a cameo), with Drake taking several lines of "7am on Bridle Path" (shout out to Drake's Toronto neighbourhood) to pretty clearly call out the rapper without dropping his name.
"You n***** hot to them little kids, you ain't famous to me / Told you I'm aimin' straight for the head, not aiming to please / I could give a f**k about who designing your sneakers and tees," Drake raps. Then he references the recent incident when Kanye shared Drake's home address in Toronto... yes, the one on Bridle Path.
"Give that address to your driver, make it your destination / 'Stead of just a post out of desperation / This me reachin' the deepest state of my meditation / While you over there tryna impress the nation," he goes.
If that wasn't enough, the same song makes several Canada references for us to revel in. “I made north of the border like Vito Rizzuto” he raps in reference to the Italian-Canadian crime boss who was believed to be the leader of the Sicilian Mafia.
He also references Prime Minister Justin Trudeau with, “You tell ‘em I run the country, they’ll say, ‘True, though.'" And then in “Papi’s Home” Drake spins about a “city coming off a lockdown,” which is in line with Toronto’s reopening plans over the summer.
Given the wait, the hype, and the famous collaborations, it’s no surprise that listeners stayed up until the crack of dawn to take in those CLB songs. It’s also no surprise that the fan response has been pretty positive, as people dug into the lyrics about Drake still looking for his soulmate, or losing friends in the industry and finding peace.
In the hours leading up to and following the release, Drake also kept fans along for the emotional journey over Instagram, where he shared snaps in his Story of celebrations and notes from those nearest and dearest to his heart including Minaj, Lebron James, and of course his mamma.
“It’s finally come, the countdown has reached one, with each new album my heart skips a beat, being your mother has been my life’s greatest treat,” wrote his mom, Sandi Graham, in a shared note. “It’s been a long hard road together, now there’s one more day to go. I wanna celebrate you son, more than you’ll ever know. Love you more now and forever.”
Almost 12 hours after dropping the album, Drake gifted fans with the music video for "Way 2 Sexy" ft. Future and Young Thug. The video comes with the very serious warning that "repeat viewing may lead to pregnancy." So watch at your own risk.
Drake originally teased Certified Lover Boy in a June 2019 Instagram post. In October 2020, he revealed the album would drop in January, but a knee surgery knocked things back and he was forced to delay the release. In June, he promised the album would be here by end of summer while making an appearance at a battle rap event, and in July, he confirmed CLB was done.
For the rest of the summer, fans wondered when they’d hear another update, but Drake finally came through on August 27 when he unleashed a genius release date announcement on ESPN’s Sports Center.
Now, the album is here and ready to stream all weekend long and beyond, as we officially close out the summer.
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