From LeBron James to Sha’Carri Richardson to Kawhi Leonard (and Ayesha Curry), Drake’s new album once again leans into his fandoms.
Drake just put the summer on his back to carry it on just a couple weeks more. The culture has been waiting for club hits and late-night emotional bangers that are reminiscent of how the year 2016 felt. This time, you have permission to rekindle the hype. Certified Lover Boy is here.
“Damn, I swear sports and music are so synonymous,” Drizzy said on 2010’s “Thank Me Now.” And based on some of the lyrical highlights on this album, he wasn’t lying. Let CLB be the soundtrack to what’s left of your summer as we start to welcome back football and can suddenly see the NBA and college basketball coming up on the horizon.
As you’re preparing to press play, don’t be scared away by the cover art — the 12 pregnant woman emojis are meant to symbolize the album being nine months late. Focus on what’s important: There are tons of sports references that are too timely not to mention.
Let’s shuffle through the 10 best.
“Finger too chubby to fit a ring on, unless Kawhi want to run it back.”(3:54)
Kawhi Leonard’s appearance feature in Drake’s new music video for “Way 2 Sexy” was unexpected, especially since he’s rarely in the public eye when he’s not balling out on the court. Drizzy has a way of getting fan favorites to pop up on videos.
(This isn’t exactly out of left field, however. Devotees will remember that the “Laugh Now, Cry Later” music video featured Kevin Durant, Odell Beckham Jr., and Marshawn Lynch).
In the final track of the album, Drake explains why he is the Certified Lover Boy; he’s always going to choose the game over committed relationships. He’s not cut out for marriage, but he would be all the way down for his hometown team, the Toronto Raptors, to find some way to reunite with Kawhi to win the NBA title all over again.
7am On Bridle Path
“Up in Bron’s crib, fishbowl wine glasses.”(1:38)
Both LeBron James and Drake are wine connoisseurs. If you’re pouring up a fishbowl-sized glass for Drake, his favorite is Santa Margherita. For Bron, wine is an event; his list of favorites is known to include Sassicaia, Quintarelli Giuseppe, Corison, and Pontet-Canet.
No Friends in The Industry
“And I’m like Sha’Carri, I smoke ’em on and off the track.”(1:11)
The game is ruthless, and if there’s anyone who learned for certain this summer, it’s Sha’Carri Richardson. After testing positive for marijuana following the 2020 US Olympic Trials, Richardson lost her chance to participate in the Tokyo Summer Games. The International Olympic Committee and the didn’t care that she was dealing with a personal tragedy at the time.
Drake can certainly relate to running circles around the competition. Numbers talk, and CLB is already being tossed around as the potential most popular rap album of the year.
And like Sha’carri Richardson said after her most recent race: “You know what I’m capable of. Count me out if you want to, talk all the [stuff] you want, because I’m here to stay. I’m not done.”
“All that back and forth on the internet, n**** we don’t tennis that.”Jay-Z (2:32)
If there’s anything that’s obvious that’s about the Carters, it’s that they endeavor to keep their private lives just that: Private. Don’t refresh browsers waiting around for Twitter wars with Hov, you’ll be wasting your time.
In The Bible
“Think I’m Tiger Woods the way I’m teed off the 17.”(0:57)
Golf legend Tiger Woods is chronologically the first athlete to be name-dropped on CLB .
That begs the question: Would Tiger consider himself a lover boy? We’ll almost certainly never know.
N 2 Deep
“Text you but I know you probably courtside.”(1:17)
The women that Drake’s musical persona is after typically don’t need his assist when it comes to scoring invites for high-profile events or tickets to playoff games. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t think about them when he’s looking for a plus-one.
You Only Live Twice
“All my chains look like snakes, that’s some real Diamondbacks”Lil Wayne (2:51)
Wayne must have taken a lighter from the back of the closet to pull out this feature. He calls his chain the “real Diamondbacks.” Blingy.
In other words, the team could never (whether he’s actually talking about them or not).
Race My Mind
“How am I supposed to wife her? She’s not Ayesha enough”(3:06)
Often seated courtside dripped out in Golden State’s colors, you’ll find Ayesha Curry cheering on two-time MVP hubby Stephen. While she’s a wife and mother of three, she’s also a talented cook and two-time New York Times bestselling author. Drake makes it clear that this is the kind of woman he’d want to lock down for life. He just hasn’t found her yet.
In the meantime, for what it’s worth, Steph himself seems to be all good with it.
“I’m on everything. Jacob charged me 450 for a tennis chain. You went soap and had it on us at the tennis game. Tell the coach don’t take me out I like to finish games.”(2:42)
Make sure you check his neck because Drake doesn’t have a budget when it comes to his jewelry. He makes sure you see it too. Check for him courtside not just at basketball games but tennis matches as well. His request from coaches? Let him play the whole game.
The crossover between sports and music, rap specifically is undeniable. Especially when artist like Drake are major fans of the men and women that play sports. These lyrics remind us that the game is the game and the Drake era is far from over. In fact, he may just be entering his prime. Only time will tell.
…And finally, an Honorable Cultural Mention…
Texas Southern University is an HBCU in Houston, Texas. Its football program has produced two Pro Football Hall of Famers, Winston Hill and Michael Strahan.
On this particular track, however, Drake isn’t talking tailgates and touchdowns. Rather, he speaks on an old fling that is in the throes of trying to figure her life out. Our man is supporting her the only way he knows how: Showering her in money.