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Breaking down the Lyrics on ‘Certified Lover Boy’ by ‘Drake’

Released: 2021

Label: OVO

Featuring: Lil Baby, Lil Durk, Giveon, JAY-Z, Travis Scott, Future, Young Thug, Yebba, 21 Savage, Project Pat, Tems, Ty Dolla $ign, Lil Wayne, Rick Ross, Kid Cudi

In the city of Toronto, a place where the CN Tower scrapes the sky and street slang like “The 6ix” echoes through the block, Aubrey Drake Graham has cemented his throne as hip-hop royalty. The former Jimmy Brooks on Degrassi morphed into the global icon we now salute as Drake. He’s had us all in our feelings as we questioned if Kiki loved us. He’s anointed himself the Champagne Papi and made us pop bottles in celebration. But in this latest offering, “Certified Lover Boy”, he’s gone from the self-proclaimed “most hated” to the “Champagne Papi” calling everyone in hip-hop his sons.

As a cultural chameleon, the Boy has evolved through different styles and eras. “Certified Lover Boy,” his sixth studio album, is a showcase of this evolution. It’s a body of work where ‘Champagne Poetry’ flows into ‘Papi’s Home’. Where Jay-Z, king from another borough, shares insights about ‘Love All’ and collaborations with the likes of Future, Young Thug, and Travis Scott paint eclectic portraits of a ‘Fair Trade’ and the cheeky ‘Way 2 Sexy’. And where we find ourselves ‘N 2 Deep’ with the ‘No Friends In the Industry’ narrative.

This album isn’t just about the hits, it’s a lyrical thesis on Drake’s views of the world. Every song, from ‘Girls Want Girls’ to ‘F*****g Fans’, unfolds like a chapter in Drake’s diary, offering a glimpse into the man behind the moniker. So let’s get into it. From ‘Champagne Poetry’ to ‘The Remorse’, buckle up as we break down the Lyrics on ‘Certified Lover Boy’ by Drake.

Champagne Poetry

The lyrics paint a picture of a man who has seen the top and felt the pressure, offering a candid look at his experiences and internal battles. He talks about his unfazed demeanor, personal victories, challenges with friendships, and the constant struggle of life in the limelight—all with a flow as smooth as champagne. Overarching themes of the album—fame, relationships, the city’s politics—are teased in this track, setting up an introspective journey into the psyche of one of hip-hop’s biggest icons.

Papi’s Home

He acknowledges his mistakes, owning up to past wrongs with a raw vulnerability that peels back the layers of his persona. The track is a deeply personal homily to his failures as a father, his struggles in love, and his battle to maintain authenticity amidst his stellar ascension. The notorious 6 God serves up a cocktail of remorse, bitterness, and self-awareness, with the lyrics hinting at the tension between stardom and stability. From the broken relationships delineated through lines about fleeting love and fatherhood to the swirl of fame symbolized by the ‘Magic City parking lot,’ the song establishes Drake as both conqueror atop the summit and the lonely figure grappling with the sacrifices made.

Girls Want Girls (with Lil Baby)

The subtle dissonance between the comedically bold declaration, “say that you a lesbian, girl, me too” and the clear heterosexual relationship he describes, serves to highlight the complexities of contemporary relationships. On a clever note, Drake ties the hook’s thematic framework around his hometown Toronto, using it as a motif in the punchline. Baby’s verse adds another layer, focusing on the luxurious lifestyle he provides for these women, while subtly exposing how materialism can manipulate emotional connections. It’s a bouncy, intricate exploration of the societal understanding of sexuality and love in the hip-hop sphere, affording listeners a front-row seat to Drizzy’s interpersonal dynamics.

In The Bible (with Lil Durk & Giveon)

The track offers introspective dialogue that explores the complicated relationship between love, fame, and faith. Drake’s verses express the struggle of finding genuine love in a world of superficiality while Durk contributes a verse about the intersection of his Islamic faith and his lifestyle. On his part, Giveon provides a soulful display of grappling with identity and personal perception. This joint is proof that Drake ain’t new to this game, laying down truth bombs and self-reflection all wrapped up in his signature flow.

Love All (with JAY-Z)

Drake laments on the fickleness of relationships, individuals turning their backs without reason, and the oft-neglected price of loyalty in the perilous heights of stardom. Jay-Z unleashes his veteran perspective, juxtaposing his current billionaire status with his past street persona, discussing the harsh reality of envy within close circles. The track is a potent testament of introspection and realism, cloaked under the bravado of success, highlighting the often overlooked emotional baggage behind the glitz and glamour of the rap game.

Fair Trade (with Travis Scott)

The 6 God reflects on the burdens of celebrity life, lamenting the loss of genuine companionship. His lyrics personify the constant struggle between wanting peace and maintaining industry relationships, hinting at the somewhat ruthless realities of the rap game. Travis Scott complements Drake’s introspective bars, providing his own story of sacrifice and personal growth. Through their alternating verses, both rappers communicate a shared sentiment: The game’s cost is steep, but the peace that comes from self-assurance, even at the expense of relationships, is a fair trade-off.

Way 2 Sexy (with Future & Young Thug)

The rotating mantra of being “too sexy” for various things is a tongue-in-cheek nod to Right Said Fred’s ’90s hit, but in typical Drake fashion, it’s soaked in allusions to his opulent lifestyle and unapologetic personality. From Milan to Japan, from his ice to his chain, he’s claiming he’s untouchably sexy. There’s an underlying commentary on the industry’s superficiality, while also highlighting the magnetic pull of wealth and fame in Drake’s world. Yet, beneath the braggadocio, there’s a hint of vulnerability, seen in the line about being ‘too sexy to go unprotected,’ a reminder that beneath the veil of fame, artists are human navigating their own insecurities and challenges.


With the gut-wrenching line, “Her daddy is not around, her mama is not around,” Drake paints a vivid picture of a woman with a troubled past, striving for better. The track mirrors Drake’s own narrative of rising from the ashes and flourishing in his craft despite odds. His characteristic empathetic approach is highlighted as he supports her, “Me, I’m supportin’ this shit.” The track is a socio-economic commentary that subtly highlights resilience, ambition, and the struggle for legitimacy.

N 2 Deep

He’s weaving tales about late-night shenanigans in Houston, referencing his penchant for lavish spending in the city’s Galleria mall and the wild rides that often follow. Drake’s wordplay and delivery perfectly encapsulate the thrilling yet tumultuous nature of such relationships that thrive in the limelight. The track speaks volumes about characters that exist on the fringes of stardom, their relationships twisted by the highs and lows that come with a life clad in fame. The pendulum of feelings swings back and forth, from craving to regret, representing Drake’s struggle as he is caught “too deep” in a world of glamour and superficial satisfaction.

Pipe Down

Drake’s lyrical prowess shines as he utilizes metaphor and vivid imagery to voice his anguish over a lost love. He toys with notions of emotional commerce, asking how much he needs to “spend” or “dig” for the other person to “pipe down”. This song illustrates Drake’s ability to masquerade his vulnerability behind a facade of monetary transactions, ultimately serving as a coping mechanism for his heartbreak. The intimacy of his lyrics sphericalizes the emotionality of the song, making it a standout in the “Certified Lover Boy” album.

Yebba’s Heartbreak

Through a serene soundscape, Drake echoes the confessions of a man in love. He employs a simple but compelling narrative, promising an unwavering commitment to his love interest, capturing the heartfelt sentiment of “I do.” This emotional depth is given further gravitas by Yebba’s haunting vocals, demonstrating Drake’s finesse in curating a multi-textured sonic experience. The standout lyric “And all the times you wasn’t chosen, well, I’ll make it up to you” strikes a deeply empathetic note, framing Drake as the quintessential romantic, a lover who acknowledges past hurts and vows to render healing through love.

No Friends In The Industry

It’s a testament to his journey, navigating through the treacherous terrain of the music industry with tenacity and resolve while maintaining his supremacy. This track sees him putting forth the stark reality of his experiences – the facade of friendship, the ulterior motives, and the strife masked by success. The 6 God defines his circle, drawing a sharp distinction between his “brothers” and those merely posing as kin. He’s essentially schooling us on the “industry rule number 4080” (word to A Tribe Called Quest), which states, “Record company people are shady”. It’s a game of survival and Drake ain’t here for the play-play.

Knife Talk (with 21 Savage ft. Project Pat)

The trio drops intense bars on survival, money, and power, underlined by the gritty realities of their lives. The magnetic hook and verses are built on metaphors and raw imagery, serving a reminder of their past while claiming their position at the top of the game. In this track, Drake masterfully embodies the spirit of the streets, without losing sight of his sophisticated persona. It’s a lyrical exploration of tension between success and hardship, a narrative that’s central to hip-hop culture.

7am On Bridle Path

His words are a tapestry woven with insider references and biting commentary. Using bravado-laced punchlines – like the cheeky, wordplay-rich line about keeping it a ‘buck like Antetokounmpo’ – he unearths the shady dealings behind the curtains. Drake also pays homage to fallen rapper Nipsey Hussle, underlining a broader narrative of acknowledging the ephemeral nature of success in hip-hop. Thematically rich, this cut shines light on Drake’s ongoing battle between fame’s glitz and his private vulnerabilities, in true 6 God style.

Race My Mind

The hook and chorus allude to the anxieties of a vulnerable lover waiting up for their significant other, grappling with the fear of abandonment. Revealing his desperation, Drake begs for his lover to engage emotionally, to “race his mind”. There’s a yearning for reciprocity – to know what’s brewing in her thoughts, echoing his own inner turmoil. His lyrical strokes paint vivid visuals of late-night contemplation, relationship struggles, and the trials of balancing public image with personal vulnerability. With subtle nods to his past tracks, Drake crafts an introspective soundscape that’s a testament to his lyrical prowess and understanding of complex emotional landscapes.

Fountains (with Tems)

The track becomes a canvas for Drizzy’s emotional exploration, as he plumbs the depths of his feelings, highlighted by his signature introspective lyricism. The lines “Try to suppress my emotions/They’re bursting like fountains, baby” reflect a Drake struggling with vulnerability and emotional control, a theme that runs like a golden thread through ‘Certified Lover Boy.’ This collaboration sees Tems, a beacon of the new African wave, bring authenticity with her soulful vocals and the Afrobeats vibe, blending cultures and styles seamlessly. “Fountains” is a testament to Drake’s evolving soundscape, demonstrating how he’s mastered the art of genre-blending while maintaining his essence.

Get Along Better

The 6ix God navigates through emotions of regret and bitterness, dismissing any call for reconciliation. His pen dances around memories of a seemingly toxic relationship, in stark contrast with the serene R&B production. As he brushes off past love, he throws a curveball, highlighting a newfound connection with a ‘friend’ of his ex. It’s a classic Drake move, using his sharp storytelling to pull you into his narrative. This track showcases Drake’s matured emotional intelligence, a testament to his growth not just as an artist, but a man trying to navigate the complexities of love and connections.

You Only Live Twice (with Lil Wayne & Rick Ross)

The track serves as a triumphant statement of rap dominance peppered with powerful verses. Painted vividly through intricate wordplay and biting metaphors, Drake dissects the duality of fame emphasizing the cutthroat nature of the rap game and underlining the relentless pursuit of success. He addresses the contentious nature of industry politics, the cost of personal sacrifices, and the constant quest for authenticity amidst a sea of doubters. With a tone unapologetic and replete with bravado, the track is a bracing testament to Drake’s longevity in a genre that’s often fickle and unforgiving.

IMY2 (with Kid Cudi)

The core theme of the track revolves around the complexities of maintaining meaningful connections in a world that often seems superficial. Drake metaphorically addresses the phase of life where one has to find their true self, with both artists exploring the struggle to move on while deeply entrenched in feelings of nostalgia and longing. It’s a reflective audio journey, showcasing Drake’s balance between vulnerability and gritty determination, once again underlining his adeptness at turning personal experiences into universal anthems.

F*****g Fans

The 6 God uses this track as an unflinching acknowledgment of his own mistakes, weaving a narrative of regret, guilt and remorse, all underlined by a haunting backdrop of wistful beats. It’s classic Drizzy, raw and emotional, laying bare the consequences of his actions on his relationships. Not only does it expose the pain inflicted upon the women he’s been with, it’s also a deep dive into his self-reflection, and an acceptance of how his decisions have shaped his life. At the same time, it’s a glimpse of the grittier side of stardom, showing fans the often glossed-over realities of a life in the public eye.

The Remorse

We see Drake grappling with the repercussions of fame and success, the pressure to keep his circle tight amidst jealousy and deceit. The undertones of anxiety, the loneliness and the hefty price of success echo throughout the track. The almost confessional tone of the lyrics gives us a glimpse into Drake’s introspection and acknowledgment of his life, career, and relationships. It’s a haunting finale to ‘Certified Lover Boy’ where Drake reflects on his ascent to stardom, his struggles, and eventual triumph, cementing his place in the pantheon of hip-hop royalty.

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