Album review: Donda vs. Certified Lover Boy


Kabir Chaudhry

With the recent releases of Drake and Kanye West’s new albums, fans are at each other’s necks over which of the two are better. The feud between the two reignited earlier this year when Kanye West sent subtle shots at Drake on his album Donda, which prompted Drake to respond in a feature on the song Betrayal by Trippie Redd: 

“All these fools I’m beefin’ that I barely know 

Forty-five, forty-four (Burned out), 

let it go Ye ain’t changin’ **** for me, it’s set in stone.”

In response, Kanye posted Drake’s address to the public and released private messages with Drake. The beef between the artists, and subsequent attention they received, prompted both albums to perform exceptionally well. 

West’s album Donda received an abundance of praise. Kanye integrated a gospel-influenced sound to enhance the sound of his features on the album to help promote and grow their specific sound of music. Within the first week of dropping Donda, Kanye sold an impressive 425,000 albums, which earned Kanye his ninth straight number one studio album. 

Drake’s album, Certified Lover Boy, received a more mixed review from the public, as listeners criticized his use of the same style of music and lack of reinvention. Regardless, Drake broke almost every streaming record imaginable and his album dominated each streaming platform and radio: it sold over 625,000 albums in the first week. 

A poll on Oracle’s Instagram, which got 97 participants, revealed that 62% of MVHS students prefer Donda over Certified Lover Boy, which only 38% enjoyed more. 

“I enjoyed Donda a lot more because it was a lot more cohesive than [Certified Lover Boy] and I was hearing different styles of music,” a student said.

Certified Lover Boy was too dry and bland, and it felt like Drake was repeating the same song over and over again,” another student said.

Other students disagreed: “Certified lover boy is Album of the Year. Drake proves once again why he is the G.O.A.T,” a student said.

My Personal Breakdown of Each Album:

Donda: Donda was possibly Kanye’s longest-awaited album which surprisingly dropped on Sunday morning, August 29. Kanye hosted three different listening parties to build up hype for the album. The production on the album was outstanding as each song had countless layers behind it creating an overall masterpiece. The artists featured on this album were all memorable and seemed to gel beautifully with the extravagant production Kanye had orchestrated. The most notable features were Fivio Foreign on “Off the Grid,” Jay Z on “Jail,” and The Weeknd on “Hurricane.” However, I felt as though Kanye lacked an overall presence in the music, which left me wondering at times whose song it truly was. 

Album Rating: 8.7/10

Certified Lover Boy: Drake’s Certified Lover Boy was the most-awaited album of 2021, as Drake pushed his release date by nine months. Coming off of a quality mixtape in Dark Lane Demo Tapes and a series of excellent features, I expected Drake to drop his greatest album yet. Drake delivered and released a very consistent body of work with a similar theme throughout the entire album. While listeners online seemed to view this consistency negatively, often remarking that ‘the album all sounds the same,’ this is far from the case. Songs such as “Champagne Poetry” and “7 a.m. on Bridle Path” provide an introspective take on Drake’s situation in life, heartbreak, and social media drama. Personally, I felt that Drake delivered a very comfortable and consistent sound through his album that was assisted efficiently and well by features on the album quite well. 

Album Rating: 9/10