Drake’s highly anticipated sixth studio album, “Certified Lover Boy,” is an 86-minute showcase of a toxic, self-aware, unapologetic journey through Drake’s life.
Drake described his album as “a combination of toxic masculinity and acceptance of truth which is inevitably heartbreaking.”
CLB is a 21-track album composed of Drake unapologetically following the cultural norms for men. Drake blatantly displays his toxic masculinity in most songs but especially in “Girls Want Girls” and “F*****g Fans.”
The album features many prominent artists such as Lil Baby, Lil Durk, Giveon, Jay-Z, Travis Scott, Future, Young Thug, Yebba, 21 Savage, Tems, Ty Dolla $ign, Lil Wayne, Rick Ross and Kid Cudi.
Adrian Dickey, owner of Goldie Sound Productions recording studio, believes Drake stays true to himself.
“I see this a lot in my studio with rap artists that think you have to be a gangster, thug, or put women down to be a rapper,” Dickey said. “One of the things that have been consistent with Drake is he does it his way. He doesn’t claim to be a thug, dope dealer, pimp, or any of that, but he still knows how to deliver his stuff in a way that makes the masters enjoy it and like it. He stays true to himself,” Dickey said.
Drake’s last album, “Scorpion,” primarily focused on fatherhood. “CLB” shows Drake owning his truth and knowing his value in the music industry.
In “Champagne Poetry,” Drake stands on his worth unapologetically.
“And if the last negotiation made you pay me 25, well this is the perfect time to give me 25 more. I’m bigger now than before,” Drake said.
Arthur Henderson, a senior business administration student at Florida A&M University, says “CLB” is a voice for men’s inner struggles.
“‘Certified Lover Boy’ tackles a lot of insecurities men struggle with day to day,” Henderson said. “I respect Drake’s commitment to being himself and vulnerable. This album shows that I’m not the only one struggling with toxic masculinity.”
“In my favorite song on the album ‘Fair Trade’ featuring Travis Scott, Drake talked about losing friends and finding peace — which is relatable. When you’re so laser-focused with what you’re doing and trying to be successful, a lot of the people around you start to fall off as you advance. That’s his acceptance of truth and a reality for many growing people,” Henderson added.
In all, the album shows why the Canadian superstar rapper is one of the greatest artists of this generation.