Album Review | Drake – Certified Lover Boy

This album was released on September 3rd this year. I’ve had a pretty rough history with Drake. He doesn’t have a single project that I would say I like. Well, that’s not completely true. If you count the first Scary Hours EP, that’s the only project from him that I’d say is good. It’s only two songs though. When it comes to his actual albums, his most tolerable project is easily Take Care. I know a lot of people also like If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, which I hated. However, even though I’ve never liked Drake, for whatever reason I’m really curious to hear this new project. I wanna see if it’s better than Donda. I feel like it has the potential to be a decent project. With that said, I’m keeping my expectations incredibly low since I’ve never been a fan of Drake.

As always, I’ll write about the songs I actually like before covering the songs I won’t be returning to. Track 2 is entitled Papi’s Home, and it’s got a really great beat from Supah Mario, Jarrel Young & Mark Borino. I think the verse from Drake is pretty cool too. The lyrics aren’t amazing or anything, but he had a nice rhyme scheme going, and I liked his flow a lot.

On Benedict with the top down
Shorties out here gettin' knocked down
City coming off a lockdown
Rap niggas doing weak features for a pop artist 'cause they popped down
Used to wanna throw the Roc up, niggas know how I rock now

I think Drake’s singing on the outro sounds really good too. The song’s pretty good to me overall. I like the beat, and Drake sounded really good over it in my opinion. Track 15 is called Race My Mind, and it has a really good beat from 40, Monsune & Govi. I also think Drake’s singing sounds pretty good. I even liked the final verse in which he was rapping. The content of the song doesn’t really interest me, but I can definitely fuck with this track sonically. I think it’s pretty good. Track 18 is called You Only Live Twice, and it has a shockingly good feature from Rick Ross. I really like his flow on this track. The production from Bink! & B-Nasty is great too. The second verse from Drake is cool, and Lil Wayne actually snapped on that final verse. His flow was fantastic. His verse is easily the best moment on the whole album. I think the song is dope. Those are all the tracks I like from this album, so now I’ll discuss the songs I won’t be returning to. The album begins with Champagne Poetry, which I don’t think is a bad song at all. I think the first verse from Drake is actually pretty good. It was cool to hear him kinda address the beef with GOOD Music right away.

It's the pretty boys versus the petty boys
Sold that already, got a whole new set of toys
Shit is so surreal, Drizzy Drake, you better enjoy
Nothing else bigger than the OVO letterman boys
Cashmere knits for the nighttime boat rides
Oli got the first еdition parked up roadside
The only sign of strugglin' is coming from thosе guys
I'm trying to just relate what I can see through my own eyes

I think his multisyllabic rhyme scheme here is pretty nice. I unfortunately don’t care for the production from 40, Masego & Maneesh. I just find the chipmunk vocal sample to be really annoying. The beat switches up after about two and a half minutes, and I think the second instrumental is much better. The second and third verses are pretty solid. I think it’s a decent song overall. I really like the instrumental outro. The song doesn’t have much replay value for me, but I don’t think it’s bad at all. Track 3 is the first song on the album that I would say is bad. It’s called Girls Want Girls, and it displays kind of a weird fetishization of lesbianism from Drake.

Say that you a lesbian, girl, me too

I feel like if I was a lesbian woman this song would make me really uncomfortable. The hook on this song is trash. The actual verse from Drake is fine I suppose. He had some nice rhymes in there. I just really don’t care for the content of this track. The second verse from Lil Baby sucks to me.

Don't nobody know the shit that we do
She like eating pussy, I'm like, "Me too"
I can't wait to get off work to go and see you
Please bring your girlfriend along with you
Y'all been on my mind too much, like what the fuck is wrong with me?
She said it's somethin' about the way your girl just makes her feel
Whatever you've been dreamin' 'bout, I swear to make it real
Just ride around the town with me
Then come lay down with me

There’s really not a single aspect of this song that I like. Well, I guess that’s not completely true. Drake rhymed well. That’s not enough to save the song though. Nothing about this track stands out in a good way. I think it’s terrible. The following track is called In the Bible, and I think it’s also pretty bad. Drake’s performance here is just way too sleepy for me. His delivery is mad boring, and I don’t care for the melody of the hook. Pretty much everything he said during the first verse went in one ear and out the other. I actually think Lil Durk killed his verse though. The lyrics didn’t stand out to me, but his flow and delivery sounded way better than that of Drake in my opinion. The feature from GIVÉON didn’t really leave much of an impression on me. He sounded fine I guess. Overall, the song is just very mediocre to me. Lil Durk is the best aspect of the track in my opinion. The following song is entitled Love All. The beat kinda sounds like what I’d here if I went to YouTube and searched “Drake type beat.” It’s a fine instrumental though. I really don’t care for Drake’s sleepy delivery on this song. The melody isn’t very entertaining to me either. He has a really boring flow on the first verse, and none of the lyrics really stand out to me. I really wish he didn’t use the exact same flow for the verse that he used on the hook. The second verse is performed by Jay-Z, whose performance is easily the best aspect of the song. However, it still wasn’t nearly good enough to save the song. I just think the track is really boring overall. It’s wack to me. I actually really like the instrumental from OZ, WondaGurl, Patron & Jahaan Sweet on Fair Trade. I think Drake’s vocal performance here sounds pretty good too. I like the hook on this track, and the verses are decent. I mean, he doesn’t really have anything interesting to say, but none of the lines bothered me. I even enjoyed the final verse from Travis Scott. The song doesn’t really have much replay value for me personally, but I enjoyed it to some extent. I think it’s decent honestly. It’s followed by one of the dumbest songs I’ve heard all year, Way 2 Sexy.

This man really sampled Right Said Fred. Who the fuck’s idea was this? Okay, I’ll be honest… I don’t think this song is that bad. You just can’t take it too seriously. It’s obviously meant to be kind of humorous. The first verse from Drake is pretty uninteresting. I really dislike the hook from Future too, and his verse sucked as well. The beat from TM88 & Too Dope is trash. The final verse from Young Thug is also pretty bad to me.

I'm too sexy
My neck, baguetties
Molest me, caress me
I'll let you, todayski

I didn’t care for his flow at all. Honestly, the song just sounds really ugly to me. The beat is trash, and Future’s voice sounds horrible on the hook. This is easily one of the worst songs on the album. It’s wack af to me. The following track is entitled TSU. I really could’ve done without the minute long intro from OG Ron C. It just feels like a waste of time. It’s not like he’s saying anything interesting. The actual song itself is pretty bad too. I really don’t care for the airy production, and the melody of the hook is pretty tedious to me. Once again, Drake has nothing interesting to say.

Her daddy is not around, mama is definitely not around
She got a business plan, but she just ain't had time to write it down
Stay with her sister now, she got a man, but he out of town
Soon as he out of town, they hop in his whip and they ride around

Who the fuck cares? You know, I really didn’t think I was gonna hate this album, but a lot of these songs just really got under my skin. Maybe if the melody wasn’t so repetitive I would be able to tolerate this song more. I think it’s pretty bad though. There’s really not a single aspect of the song that I like. Thankfully Drake kinda switches things up for the last minute & 45 seconds of the track. It’s too little too late though. The song is wack. The following track is called N 2 Deep, and it features a very prominent sample of Get Throwed by Bun B. I think the first verse is fine. I guess if you’re really into Drake’s singing you might like it. It didn’t really leave much of an impression on me. It just makes me wanna listen to the original Bun B song to be honest. The beat thankfully switches up a little bit past the halfway point. I actually like the hook from Drake here. The verse from Future is fine I guess. It just sounds like every other verse I’ve ever heard from him. I didn’t really care for it, but it wasn’t horrible or anything. Overall, I wouldn’t really say I enjoyed the song, but I don’t mind it at all. I just think it’s midpack. Same goes for the following track, Pipe Down. I think the beat is pretty solid, and Drake’s vocals are good enough I suppose. I just really don’t care for the content of this track.

I don't get how you're yelling at me
How much I gotta spend for you to pipe down?
How deep I gotta dig for you to pipe down?
All the things I've done up until right now
I need a thousand pages just to write it down
Writing down these feelings, it's been overdue
Don't know how many pens it's gonna take to get over you

I wouldn’t call this a bad song personally because nothing about it really stood out in an especially bad way. Nothing about it stands out in a good way either though. I’m just really not a fan of this style of Hip Hop in which the artist is practically singing every bar. The following track is an interlude entitled Yebba’s Heartbreak. I think Yebba‘s vocals sound pretty good, and I like the piano-driven instrumental. I don’t really dislike anything about the song to be honest. I mean, it doesn’t really have any replay value for me personally, but I enjoyed it on my first listen. I even liked the lyrics, which came off pretty romantic to me.

All the times you wasn't chosen, well, I'll make it up to you
All of the feelings you're not showing when your river's overflowing
It's the truth, swear to you
I do, I do, I do, I do, I do

I think it’s a solid track. It’s followed by No Friends in the Industry, which is another solid track. I think the production from OZ, Vinylz, and Nik D is pretty flat, but I like the way Drake is rapping here. I prefer him as a rapper rather than as a singer. Most of the lyrics didn’t stand out to me, but I thought the Sha’Carri Richardson line was pretty cool. The song pretty much seems like a subliminal diss to Kanye West, with whom he’s had beef for a while now.

Bet not make the shit up 'bout the numbers all I know
Bet not make the shit up 'bout the summer all I know
Better find ya someone else to hit with all that smoke, nigga
And all them tweets and all them posts
Ain't got the type of time to be playin' with you folk
I had a Richard prior to these niggas, that's the joke
I'm really down to die behind these versus in my notes

Overall, the song just feels kinda dull to me. I think the main issue is the simplistic production. The beat is surprisingly mundane. I don’t think the song is bad overall, but it’s definitely midpack. The following track is entitled Knife Talk, and it’s easily one of the best songs on the album in my opinion.

I just feel like Drake sounds really out of place here. He doesn’t fit in with 21 Savage or Project Pat at all. I think this would be a pretty solid Gangsta Rap song without Drake, but he just ruins it for me. I really like the way 21 Savage sounds on this track though. I think he killed this shit.

I'm Mr. Body Catcher, Slaughter Gang soul snatcher
Ain't no regular F-150, this a fuckin' Raptor
No capper, street nigga, not a rapper
Chopper hit him and he turned into a booty clapper

The hook doesn’t really do much for me personally, and I kinda wish Project Pat had a more substantial feature, but overall I think the song is decent. Again, it’s easily one of the best songs on the album. I just wish Drake was absent. The following track is called 7 AM on Bridle Path, and I think it’s even better. It’s still not something that I’d return to, but I don’t think it’s bad at all. The production is pretty dope, and I think Drake’s performance here is relatively great. I like the way the song is structured; the whole thing is just one long verse. I appreciated him dissing Kanye again too.

I could give a fuck about who designing your sneakers and tees
Have somebody put you on a Gildan, you play with my seed
Trust me, there's some shit you really gotta come see to believe
That's why your people not believers, they all leavin' ya
That's why you buyin' into the hype that the press feedin' ya
You know the fourth level of jealousy is called media
Isn't that an ironic revelation?
Give that address to your driver, make it your destination
'Stead of just a post out of desperation

The verse is pretty good in my opinion. The song just doesn’t really have any replay value for me. Drake isn’t that interesting of a rapper, so the song doesn’t hold my attention. I don’t think anything about it is bad though. It’s a solid track. Track 16 is called Fountains, and it features someone named Tems, whom I’d never heard of before. I think the song is kinda boring honestly. I do kinda like the beat from TRESOR, Monsune & 40 though. Drake’s vocals sound good too. I think he sounds better than Tems honestly. I prefer his voice. I think I would’ve liked the song more if Drake had a bigger presence. It feels more like a Tems song featuring Drake than the other way around. I don’t think it’s a bad song, but it’s just very mediocre to me. The following track is called Get Along Better. I think the production here from Nineteen85, Noël Cadastre & 40 is solid. This is more of an R&B track than a Hip Hop song. I think Drake’s vocals sound fine. The song is just really boring to me honestly. Nothing about it stands out in a good way to me. The song technically features Ty$, but he’s barely present here, which is disappointing. He just has like 4 lines on the outro. His vocals are way more impressive than Drake’s too. Overall, I think the song is wack just because it’s so boring. I can’t fuck with it. I think the production on IMY2 is pretty nice. I found it kind of interesting that Kid Cudi made an appearance on this song just because him and Drake had beef at one point. I’m also wondering if Kanye is okay with Cudi working with Drake. Anyway, I don’t really care for Kid Cudi‘s verse on this song, nor do I care for his hook. Drake sounds a lot better on the second verse in my opinion just because he had a much more energetic delivery. I just find the song to be really boring overall. I don’t know that I would call it a bad song just because I think the production is really good, but it’s definitely not something I’d return to. I think it’s mediocre. The penultimate track is entitled Fucking Fans, and it has a pretty great beat in my opinion. I really like the way it switches up at the halfway point too. Unfortunately, Drake’s slow, monotonous vocal performance makes for a pretty boring track. Aside from the production, nothing about this song stands out to me. Well, that’s not completely true. This line kinda stood out…

I had a kid even though I never planned to

Aside from that, this was a pretty uninteresting song. It’s not the worst thing I’ve ever heard, but I’d be lying if I said it didn’t bore me to tears. I think it’s wack. The final track is called The Remorse, and it’s produced by 40. I think the beat is pretty solid, and the verses from Drake are okay. I just don’t really care about anything he has to say. It’s just kind of a boring song to be honest. I thought the beat was kinda cool at first, but by the time the song was over I was really tired of it. Nothing about the song stands out to me; it’s just really bland. I think it’s a mediocre track.

This album is surprisingly not that bad to me. I’ve seen it getting a ton of hate, which is cool because I think Drake is a huge douchebag, but personally I don’t hate this record. I hate some of the songs on it, but as a whole I just think it’s very mediocre. I liked about three songs. I find most of them to be really dull and uninteresting. I just don’t really see the appeal of some of these songs because Drake’s flows are so generic, and he has nothing interesting to say. I definitely think Kanye dropped the better album, but not by much to be honest. My biggest issue with Certified Lover Boy is the length. This shit did not need to be 86 minutes long. That’s just too much Drake. However, I’m kind of surprised by how tolerable some of these songs were. I didn’t think I would like anything as much as I like You Only Live Twice. I don’t like this album, but I’m glad I listened to it because I got a handful of entertaining songs. Overall, I just think it’s some midpack.

Favorite Song: You Only Live Twice
Least Favorite Song: Girls Want Girls


Watch the videos below for more thoughts on this album.

Grade: D+

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