After cryptically teasing it last week on ESPN’s SportsCenter, Drake confirmed on Monday morning (August 30) that his long-awaited new album, Certified Lover Boy, is just over the horizon. The rapper posted an image of 12 expectant mom emojis on Instagram along with the all-caps message “CERTIFIED LOVER BOY SEPTEMBER 3.”
According to hip-hop journalist Elliott Wilson, who has previously interviewed Drake, the emojis art will be the album’s cover. Billboard has reached out to Drake’s reps.
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 Drizzy 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, 34, and Kanye, 44, won’t really go head-to-head, the two superstars appeared to be setting up an epic chart clash withs 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. Ye followed up by posting Drake’s home address on Instagram before quickly deleting it.
Kanye seemingly responded to Drake’s latest on-record diss in a group text with other rappers, including Drizzy’s other hip-hop rival Pusha T. Last week, Ye reportedly posted and quickly deleted a screenshot of his group chat on Instagram, which featured a photo of actor Joaquin Phoenix in his full Joker movie makeup.“I live for this. I’ve been f—ed with by nerd a– jock n—-s like you my whole life. You will never recover. I promise you,” Kanye wrote in the group text, which was screengrabbed by NME.
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.”
While recuperating from a surgery for a knee injury, Drake dropped features with Nicki Minaj (“Seeing Green”), Brent Brent Faiyaz (“Wasting Time”) and Smiley (“Over the Top”).
Check out Drake’s post below.