All people are talking about right now is Drake’s new album, “Certified Lover Boy,” released Sept. 3. It out-streamed Kanye West’s “Donda,” released Aug. 30, in just three days.
According to Rolling Stone, “Certified Lover Boy” was streamed over 430 million times in the United States. Meanwhile, “Donda” was a little under the bar with 423 million streams. Those figures are impressive for albums released five days apart.
West and Drake have been feuding since 2018. Whether it is real or just a marketing stunt, the two are living legends in the music industry with different artistic styles.
I wanted to be thrilled and shocked by “Donda” and “Certified Lover Boy,” but both are overhyped and did not meet my expectations. The albums are long enough that you could pick a handful of songs for a playlist, but neither shifted the culture of music. The artists did not give fulfilling projects as a whole, and I think people can agree these were not memorable.
While West took more risks artistically, he did not execute the rollout properly. On the other hand, Drake used his usual formula to satisfy fans but did not push the boundaries.
The go-to tracks from “Certified Lover Boy” are “All Love,” “Fair Trade” and “No Friends In The Industry.” These songs are the type to pump you up in front of a mirror or listen to in the car while jamming out with friends.
I also appreciate Drake being open and giving us a glimpse of his life in the song “Champagne Poetry.”
“The pressure is weighin’ on me / Career is going great, but now the rest of me is fading slowly / My soulmate is somewhere out in the world just waiting on me,” Drake says.
Drake’s diss toward West on “7am on Bridle Path” is interesting because he alleges that the “Donda” rapper uses ghostwriters but does not get called out for it.
“Lettin’ me take the rap for that Casper the Ghost s— / While you findin’ all of the loopholes,” Drake says.
He also suggests West might be going through stages of jealousy and even refers to a heated Twitter exchange between the two from 2018. This song seems to be closure and responds to all the drama between the artists.
West’s “Donda” is confusing because there is no real connectivity to bring all 27 songs together. If it was more refined and delivered in a more linear format, it could have been better, but it seems as though West did this project just to test the public and see how far he can maintain the audience’s attention.
However, since this is considered to be his second faith-based project, I respect West for only having a clean version of the album and staying true to what he believes as a Christian.
More notable tracks are “Off the Grid” and “Jesus Lord.” These songs give you an inside look into West’s mind and memories of his mom, anxiety and drug addiction.
“Man, it’s hard to be an angel when you surrounded by demons (Jesus) / I watched so many people leave (Lord) / I see ’em change by the season, that’s mama’s seasonin’,” West says in “Jesus Lord.”
Though you can’t limit art, albums should not be 27 tracks like “Donda” or even 21 tracks like “Certified Lover Boy.” Artists like Drake and West should know what they are trying to achieve and choose what is best to finalize it.
As far as my rating for the projects, I give “Donda” a seven out of 10 because I did not like the flow of the album and felt like it did not reach where it was trying to go. I give “Certified Lover Boy” an eight out of 10 because of the wordplay and various features with different artists.
Overall, both albums are listenable, just not memorable or complete. Both could have benefited from revisions and not rushing the rollouts. As for which is better, it’s really all about preference.