“Certified Lover Boy” has finally arrived.
Drake’s long-awaited sixth studio album hit streaming platforms Friday and officially became available for sale.
It’s been nearly a year-and-a-half wait for fans of the Toronto-born hitmaker, who kicked off the marketing rollout with the album artwork — featuring a colorful grid of 12 pregnant woman emojis designed by the British artist Damien Hirst — and sharing the official release date after cryptically teasing it during ESPN’s “SportsCenter.”
Some of the artists featured on the 21-track opus — Jay-Z, Future, Kid Cudi, 21 Savage, Giveon, Lil Durk, Ty Dolla $ign, Tems, Yebba, Project Pat — were revealed through a massive billboard campaign that hit their respective hometowns throughout the week.
Frequent collaborators Lil Wayne, Rick Ross and Nicki Minaj also appear on “Certified Lover Boy.”
The album’s opening track “Champagne Poetry” features a sample of the Beatles’ “Michelle,” while “TSU” samples the intro to R. Kelly’s 1998 single “Half on a Baby.”
A sample of The Notorious B.I.G. (from “Hope You [N-words] Sleep” track) can be heard on “Race My Mind.”
The record-breaking, Grammy Award-winner (also known as Champagne Papi and Drizzy) first teased the new project last summer with the single “Laugh Now Cry Later,” featuring Lil Durk, and then teased a potential January 2021 release of the full-length album.
“Certified Lover Boy is his first studio effort since 2018′s “Scorpion.”
In between, he released his 2019 compilation, “Care Package,” the 2020 mixtape “Dark Lane Demo Tapes,” and the three-track “Scary Hours 2 EP” in March.
Early Friday afternoon, the music video for “Way 2 Sexy” (featuring Future and Young Thug) was released.
Directed by Dave Meyers, the over-the-top clip is a jaw-dropping, eye-popping visual explosion of whimsical animation and stunning recreations of pop culture touchstones that many consider sexy.
“Way 2 Sexy,” which opens with Drake reciting the refrain from Right Said Fred’s 1992 earworm “I’m Too Sexy,” has the former “Degrassi: The Next Generation“ star going back to his roots as an actor, playing the roles of a 1980s workout video instructor, a bare-bellied beachcomber way past his prime, and even a swashbuckling romance novel protagonist.
Drake also goes all out emulating as Sylvester Stallone’s famous mononymous action hero — but his is named “Drambo” in a film called “Thirst Blood.”
In another scene, he also pays homage to the late King of Pop Michael Jackson during his 1987 “The Way You Make Me Feel” heyday.
The 34-year-old “God’s Plan” lyricist also takes on a Halston-styled persona for Wet, by Drake cologne spokesman.
Another highlight is when Drake embodies a member of a 1990s boy band (alongside former Toronto Raptor Kawhi Leonard, Future and Young Thug) all dressed in white in a dessert.
Meyers previously directed the music video for “Laugh Now Cry Later.”