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Certified Lover Boy Vs. Donda: The 808’s Battle

Pranay Chopra, Grade 10

This year has been quite the year for the rap music industry. We got fantastic albums from rappers like J.Cole’s The Off-Season and Young Thug’s Slime Language 2. There was no exception with the latest release from Drake’s “Certified Lover Boy” and Kanye West’s Donda. These albums sparked drama, entertainment, and comparisons for which one is truly the best!

Over the years, these legends (Drake and Kanye) have continued to produce some of the best albums and songs the world has ever heard, breaking numerous records and expanding the rap industry. However, with their popularity, there has been no shortage of drama between these two artists, more than ever-nearing their releases. Both these artists have been highly competitive throughout the rollout process. Instead of declaring one album “bad” or “trash” and the other “ALBUM OF THE YEAR,” I have decided to break down these albums so you can decide for yourself!

Starting with Kanye’s album, Donda reflects the gospel-like approach Kanye has implemented in his life and feels more like “classic Kanye” than any project he’s released in the last decade. With inspired production and dynamic instrumentation, Donda is considered one of the greatest albums Kanye has released. As the name suggests, Donda is a homage to Kanye West’s mother, Donda West. The album is littered with references to the matriarch of the West family and the West’s spiritual connection to her, including the Donda chant, which represents her dying heartbeats. While Kanye West may never be considered an all-time great poet, the world will forever remember his emotion on this album.

On the other hand, in Drake’s Certified Lover Boy, listeners get a mix of rapping and R&B, which was expected from the Canadian rapper. The album’s production was far from bad, but the inconsistent features hurt the final product, creating an abstract theme as the public received it. This was new and unexpected of Drake’s usually structured albums. Despite this, Drake provided one of his best performances as a rapper since Views in 2016, gaining over 744 million streamers in the first week, breaking several records, including Spotify’s record for the most streams in a single day (Espinoza). This makes sense with songs like “Fair Trade,” “Champagne Poetry,” “Girls Want Girls,” and “Pipe Down” - all being personal favourites of mine - among the album’s highlights.

As a final takeaway, neither record was bad; they were produced for distinct goals and audiences. Donda is the project to check out if you enjoy outstanding production and instruments. CLB has an edge if you’re seeking superb beats and flawless rapping. Regardless, CLB and Donda will be on heavy rotation for most fans in the months and years to come.

What was your favorite album? What was your favorite song? Why? Comment down below!

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