Drake announced his sixth studio album, Certified Lover Boy, is slated to be released in January 2021. In an Instagram post from October 24th, his birthday, Drake shared a teaser for his upcoming album with visuals of the hip hop superstar recreating some of his iconic album covers, specifically, Take Care, Nothing Was The Same, and Dark Lane Demo Tapes. These visuals may be a nod to Jay-Z’s famous Rhapsody advertisement from 2009 in which several of his own album covers were recreated.
Before Drake releases his newest album, it’s important to look at his success over the past year. The Toronto native kicked off 2020 with “Life Is Good”, a hit single with frequent collaborator and close friend, Future. The song peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 and has since been certified 7x Platinum. This was only the beginning of Drake’s 2020 accomplishments as he followed this up in April with the release of his mixtape Dark Lane Demo Tapes. Led by “Toosie Slide”, the mixtape and the song itself both peaked at number one on the Billboard charts. The project included a star-studded feature list of Playboi Carti, Chris Brown, Future, Young Thug, and Fivio Foreign. Drake still had time to give out features of his own this past year, with verses on Lil Yachty and DaBaby’s “Oprah’s Bank Account”, DJ Khaled‘s “Greece” and “Popstar”, 21 Savage and Metro Boomin’s “Mr. Right Now”, Bryson Tiller’s “Outta Time”, and Lil Wayne’s “B.B. King Freestyle”. Drake also gave fans a preview of Certified Lover Boy, with the Lil Durk assisted “Laugh Now Cry Later” being the album’s lead single. 2020 was a wildly successful year for Drizzy, but that can be said for almost every year since 2009 when he burst onto the hip hop scene as Lil Wayne’s prodigy.
Drake collaborated with Nike to release the official Certified Lover Boy merchandise in celebration of his upcoming album. As expected, all items from the collection sold out almost instantly as fans and resellers worldwide wanted a piece of the action. The collection includes a pink or black puffer jacket, three different t-shirts in either white or black, a grey or black hoodie, socks, and a lipstick printed hat. All items from this exclusive collaboration showcase Certified Lover Boy imagery as well as the iconic Nike swoosh. While these items were listed on the DrakeRelated website with prices ranging between $18 and $75, it now costs infinitely more to get your hands on this clothing as most resellers have drastically inflated their prices due to the collection selling out so rapidly.
What’s Next For Drake?
With fans eager to hear the newest installment in Drake’s impressive catalog, it’s easy to forget the Canadian superstar’s albums were not always critically acclaimed, at least at first. In 2015 Drake and Future dropped their now-classic collaboration album What A Time To Be Alive, led by thumping bangers like “Big Rings” and “Jumpman”. Less than a year later, in 2016, Drake returned with his solo album Views. Led by pop-influenced tracks such as “Controlla”, “One Dance” and “Hotline Bling”, many fans and critics were quick to write off the album as a failed pop crossover attempt. Despite the harsh initial criticism, Views has aged gracefully as one of Drake’s better projects. This was shown in an interaction on Drake’s Instagram live when a fan commented that Views “be hitting different” in 2020. Drizzy, who has been living in the public eye since his youth acting days, is no stranger to criticism. He responded to the fan by stating, “They hated on Views just like they will CLB [Certified Lover Boy], but it’s music to evolve to”. Wise words from an always maturing artist.
With Drake expected to release Certified Lover Boy in January of the new year, we as fans should keep in mind that while some music is released as immediate hits, some music needs time to reach its full potential. Drake is not going anywhere anytime soon. He has proved time and time again that no matter how his music is received initially, anything touched by the 6 God’s hands will have serious staying power in the hip-hop community.