Drake’s ‘Certified Lover Boy’ Arrives, As Chart Battle With Kanye West Continues


The excavations, in song and on social networks, continued a model of small affronts, direct and indirect, between the two stretching back years, the relationship seemingly irrevocably coagulating around Drake’s musical beef with Pusha-T, a West affiliate, in 2018.

In the years that followed, artists’ paths diverged, even though they sometimes collided online and on record. West embraced former President Donald J. Trump, embarked on an ill-fated presidential race and turned to gospel music, releasing a Christian-themed album, “Jesus Is King,” in October 2019 He vowed to stop cursing in his music, a promise he kept on “Donda”, even censoring his guests.

Drake, meanwhile, released a constant stream of music even as it grew scarce. In the spring of 2020, the rapper followed up on the Billboard Hot 100 single “Toosie Slide” with a surprise mixtape, “Dark Lane Demo Tapes,” containing songs that had leaked online. He promised a studio album that summer, and the upcoming lead single, “Laugh Now Cry Later,” hit number 2 in August. But the album never came; another holdover, the three-song EP “Scary Hours 2”, followed in March and resulted in another # 1 single (“What’s Next”).

After months of cryptic album status updates, a collision with West began to seem inevitable as the summer ended and the two A-list rappers resurfaced. While West was filming a still-in-progress “Donda”, Drake appeared to claim a September 3 release date late last month with a lo-fi guerrilla-style ad which appeared on an ESPN “SportsCenter” broadcast.

And on a Trippie Redd track titled “Betrayal,” the rapper indicated that the hubbub surrounding West’s “Donda” will not affect its final release date. This time, Drake rapped, “It’s set in stone.”

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