After cryptically teasing it last week on ESPN’s SportsCenter, Drake confirmed this morning that his long-awaited new album, Certified Lover Boy, is just over the horizon. The rapper posted an image of twelve expectant moms on Instagram along with the all-caps message “CERTIFIED LOVER BOY SEPTEMBER 3.”
And though that street date seemed to release the air from the hype balloon that was building over a possible first-week chart battle between the rapper and Kanye West – who surprise released his long-delayed DONDA album over the weekend – it was still welcome news for the Drake nation. Last week, Drake seemed to hint that CLB was imminent on ESPN’s flagship program SportsCenter, sneaking in an image of a fan holding up a sign reading “CLB September 3” in-between baseball highlights.
In July, Drake announced during his appearance on Fri Yiy Friday (a Sirius XM radio show spearheaded by his OVO Team) that he’d finished work on his follow-up to 2018’s Scorpion. “Album’s ready … Album’s cooked, looking forward to delivering it to you. Certified Lover Boy on the way, and that’s for anyone in the way,” he said at the time.
While Drake and West won’t really go head-to-head, the two superstars appeared to be setting up an epic chart clash with some salty verses, with Drake firing first on Trippie Redd’s new song, “Betrayal.” “All these fools I’m beefin’ that I barely know/ Forty-five, forty-four (Burned out), let it go/ Ye ain’t changin’ s— for me, it’s set in stone,” he rapped. Kanye followed up by posting Drake’s home address on Instagram before quickly deleting it.
Drake first began hyping CLB in August 2020 in the midst of the first pandemic summer, with “Laugh Now Cry Later,” then teasing a potential Jan. 2021 drop. That date came and went and then Drizzy filled the gap with the three-song ‘Scary Hours 2’ EP featuring “What’s Next,” Wants and Needs” and “Lemon Pepper Freestyle.”