It has been awhile since we've heard from Drake. Despite releasing the billboard hit single Laugh Now, Cry Later in August 2020, it has been a long time since we've seen a great full body of work from the Canadian native. Dark Lane Demo Tapes was released in 2020, but the majority of his fans were disappointed by the compilation of singles. His last official studio album Scorpion was released in 2018 and even that project was critically condemned. His highly anticipated sixth studio album Certified Lover Boy is set to be released later in 2021 and allegedly is going to be one of Drake's best projects in years. Drake has been strategic in constructing this album postponing its initial January release date due to knee surgery. Now while Drake is arguably the GOAT of the rap game producing hit after hit, I have a good feeling that Certified Lover Boy will be an all-time classic. Here's why...
Drake's Certified Lover Boy Nike merchandise sold out immediately after releasing on drakerelated.com in October 2020. The most polarizing piece from the collection was the quilted heart embroidered bomber jacket that was featured in the “Laugh Now Cry Later” video. Several athletes have been seen sporting the CLB merch including longtime friend LeBron James.
Drake has even gone on to create his own official apparel line with Nike, NOCTA. The clothing line features a more laid back style typical of Drake's wardrobe including bubble coats, sweatsuits, and socks in black and yellow color schemes.
This isn't the first time we've seen Drake have success collaborating with Nike or Jordan Brand. Some of his most notable sneaker collaborations include his OVO Jordan collection with the Retro Jordan 10, Retro Jordan 12, and Retro Jordan 8 in addition to the unreleased Jordan 8 Retro “Calipari" and Jordan 3 “Drake vs. Lil’ Wayne.”
But this isn't the last we've seen of Drake x Nike collaborations. Several colorways of an OVO x Nike Air Force 1 were posted by longtime friend OVO Mark but were deemed to not be the actual sneakers for a collaboration. Could we see another successful Nike x OVO collab? The 6 God himself never ceases to disappoint as I anticipate popular interest for any merchandise with Drake's name attached to it. Drake has built unprecedented hype through his recent merchandise and I can't imagine what he has in store for his music.
Forgot about "Dre"ke
I personally believe Drake has something to prove with Certified Lover Boy. Aside from not releasing a studio album in several years, he has been disrespected quite frequently in the media as of late. Take 2019 Camp Flog Gnaw for example, Drake was boo'd off stage in November 2019 when he was revealed as the secret headliner instead of the highly anticipated Frank Ocean. However, Drake handled the situation with class ending his set early and thanking the crowd despite the boos. He later went on a Rap Radar interview stating, "I just took it with grace, it was a nice moment of humility, it was all good." He later trolled Tyler the Creator fans by signing a 10 year deal to perform at the festival for the next decade. In addition, we can't forget about the Pusha T beef that took the internet by storm in 2018. In the same interview, Drake addresses the drama by stating, "I have no desire to ever mend anything with that person. That situation just went where it went, and there is no turning back." If we learned anything from the Meek Mill beef, it's that Drake can definitely fire back if need be. I wouldn't be surprised to hear some shots taken at Pusha T on his upcoming album. This is the first time Drake has something to prove musically in years. I know I'm not the only one who seems to have taken Drake for granted as the "nice guy" on-camera persona just like his most recent Drake from State Farm Super Bowl LV ad.
Call Drake what you want, but you can't deny that he is one of the greatest artists of this generation. While people may doubt his lyrical rap capabilities, I know Drizzy is more than capable of delivering on Certified Lover Boy considering his long-awaited return. I believe he has something special brewing and is sick and tired of the disrespect he's been given in the public eye. This is the first project in years that I can confidently say Drake is taking his time on and I could see a classic album in the works. While artists like Travis Scott and Lil Baby have had the rap game on lock, it is time for the king to reconquer his throne. Drake will deliver on this album, I have no doubts about it.