Drake: Certified Lover Boy review – drizzness as usual

Tout sur les Beatles

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Has hip-hop’s most self-pitying superstar finally grown up? The answer delivered by another album of toasts, boasts and dubious love songs is clear: you bet he hasn’t

On his last proper album, 2018’s Scorpion, Drake showed signs of maturing. While musically it was a mixed bag, the record found the Canadian superstar grappling with fatherhood – a fact unwittingly revealed to the public in a diss track by rival Pusha T. Ending with March 14, a song that drew comparisons between his oft-discussed experience as a child of divorce and his disappointment at now being a single parent himself, it hinted that a man known as one of music’s most egregious navel-gazers may have emerged enlightened and self-aware.

This emotional growth also seems apparent on the opener of Drake’s much-delayed sixth album. While there’s some typical overblown self-aggrandisement to begin with, Champagne Poetry – a curious two-parter that interpolates Michelle by the Beatles as sampled in Masego’s Navajo – is honest without Drake’s usual prerequisite for pity. Lamenting the pitfalls of fame (“I can’t even RIP and show my remorse to the homie … I even got the cleanin’ staff plotting extortion on me”) and media attention (“I always censor myself ’cause no matter what, they reporting on me”), he seems to come to the realisation that, actually, life for Drake, the bestselling solo artist of modern times, isn’t actually that bad. “I’m makin’ the most of this shit,” he says, “and more.”

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