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Drake’s new ‘Certified Lover Boy’ album has fans in their feelings on social media

A man with a beard and mustache poses in a burgundy suit jacket
Rapper Drake attends the 2019 Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas.
(Richard Shotwell / Invision / Associated Press)

Drake’s new album, “Certified Lover Boy,” is a certified trending topic on social media, where fans can’t stop buzzing about the Canadian rapper’s 21-track meditation on love, fame and the music industry.

The long-anticipated record — finally released late Thursday evening (or the wee hours of Friday morning, for listeners on the East Coast) — finds the Grammy-winning artist deep in his feelings, as usual, and features a slew of power collaborations with hip-hop heavyweights from Travis Scott to Jay-Z.

Before the emcee’s sixth studio effort even dropped, Drake had fans scratching their heads over the perplexing album cover — designed by British artist Damien Hirst and consisting of 12 pregnant-woman emojis.

It was a family affair at the Billboard Music Awards: Pink twirled in the air in a powerful performance with her daughter, and Drake was named artist of the decade, accepting the honor alongside his 3-year-old son.

The musician has offered no explanation for the puzzling image, which could allude to anything from the sprawling LP’s Labor Day weekend release to the nearly nine months that have passed since its original due date.

In any case, after a long delay, “Certified Lover Boy” has officially arrived, as have a bevy of Twitter reactions analyzing and making light of the former teen actor’s signature sad-boi lyrics.

Inspired by the vocalist‘s heartsick bars, several listeners composed lengthy imaginary text messages to their ex-lovers, infused with not-so-subtle references to the album’s romantic title.

Drake might be in the running for five Grammys, but it’s his entry in one race that has elicited the most buzz.

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“all this talk about drakes album got me thinking of you,” one person wrote. “how u left me for another dude. he not even CERTIFIED to be yo LOVER. you left a man and got with a BOY. anyways tell your mom I said hi xx.”

“Certified lover boy by Drake just dropped and I’m thinking back to when I was your lover girl,” tweeted another. “We were certi. I’ve been losing friends and finding peace but I don’t wanna lose you. That ain’t a fair trade to me. I just wish we could get along better. I miss you.”

Many also expressed outrage that Drake gave R&B singer R. Kelly — who is currently on trial in New York for serially sexually abusing young women and girls — a writing credit on the song “TSU,” which samples Kelly’s “Half on a Baby.”

“R. Kelly, while currently on trial for sexual abuse of countless Black women and girls, is going to be making money off the most anticipated album of the year thanks to Drake giving him a songwriting credit on #CertifiedLoverBoy,” journalist Ernest Owens wrote, calling the album “trash.”

“A lot y’all love to boast how your favor artists are creative ‘geniuses’ and then the moment you see them do dumb s— like this, they you try to act like it’s outta of their control. Drake didn’t have to sample R. Kelly on a track that fetishizes young Black girls at HBCUs.”

Others fanned the flames of Drake’s ongoing beef with fellow rapper Kanye West, intensified by the fact that the former dropped his latest record within a week of the latter’s extremely drawn-out “Donda” release.

Coincidence? Some think not.

Despite some thrilling moments and dazzling guest spots, Kanye West seems less interested in quality record-making than ever before: Trolling is now his muse.

“Kanye & Drake releasing new music in the same week is a marketing strategy discussed by both parties,” one person tweeted. “You Running to listen with excitement of who’s is better is the goal.”

Several were amused by the rival rappers’ overlapping collaborators, including Jay-Z, Kid Cudi, Lil Baby and Young Thug. Rounding out the artists featured on “Lover Boy” are Lil Durk, Giveon, Future, Yebba, Project Pat, Tems, Ty Dolla Sign, Rick Ross, Lil Wayne and 21 Savage.

“Jay-Z being on both Kanye and Drake’s knowing their beefing but knowing it’s none of his business,” one person tweeted, along with a photo of Jay-Z casually sipping a glass of wine.

Check out what others are saying about “Certified Lover Boy.”

Times audience engagement editor Gabriela Fernandez contributed to this report.


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