The 14-track record arrived on streaming platforms at midnight.
Its Apple Music listing is accompanied by a lengthy message from Drake that reads: “I let my humbleness turn to numbness at times, letting time go by knowing I've got the endurance to catch it another time."
I work with every breath in my body because it’s the work, not the air that makes me feel alive.
“That’s some real detrimental shit, but that’s that shit my perfectionist mind doesn’t really mind because no one knows whats on my mind when I go to sleep at 9 & wake up at 5 — unless I say it in rhyme."
“I can’t remember the last time someone put their phone down, looked me in the eyes and asked my current insight on the times."
But I remember every single time someone shined a light in my eyes. I purposely try to forget what went on between some people and me because I know I’m not a forgiving guy even when I try.
“My urge for revenge wins the game against my good guy inside every single fckn time."
I've got plans I can’t talk about it with more than like 4 guys because the last time I shared it with someone on the outside... Well, that’s another story for another night.
I was trying to get through that statement to get to saying I’m not at a time in my life where pats on the shoulder help get me by.
I’ll take loyalty over an oh my & emoji fire
I know if it was a dark night where all the odds were against my side & my skill went to whoever took my life, they’d do me off with a big smile & maybe even post it for some likes."
I know everyone that tells me they love me doesn’t love me all the time, especially when I'm doing better than alright & they have to watch it from whatever point they are at in their life.
“I got here being realistic."
“I didn’t get here being blind."
I know what's what and especially what and who is by my side."
Drake signed off his message with “dedicated to our brother V”.
The record was executive produced by Drake himself, Noah “40” Shebib, Oliver El-Khatib, Noel Cadastre, and South African producer and DJ Black Coffee, whom Drake worked with on the 2017 project 'More Life’.
DJ Carnage, aka Gordo, also confirmed that he’d produced six of the songs on the album, writing on Twitter: “Thank you brother for trusting me and allowing me to be a part of the vision." I never factored this into the equation for the beginning of my next chapter, but thank you. ”
The record only features one collaborative track, "Jimmy Cook’s" with 21 Savage, which is a nod to the character Drake portrayed on the Canadian teen series Degrassi, Jimmy Brooks.
Drake made the surprise album announcement in an Instagram post earlier today, where he shared the album’s artwork. This was followed by a second post outlining the tracklist.
The new record comes after the rapper was pictured in the studio back in March of this year. This sparked rumours that he was working on new music, though nothing was confirmed at the time.
His latest album ‘Certified Lover Boy’ was released in September last year, featuring collaborations with Lil Baby (‘Girls Want Girls’), Travis Scott (‘Fair Trade’), Ty Dolla $ign (‘Get Along Better’), Kid Cudi (‘IMY2’), Future (‘N 2 Deep’), and Lil Wayne and Rick Ross (‘You Only Live Twice’), among others.
Speaking about the album in a two-star review, NME‘s Rhian Daly described it as “a boring, bloated disappointment”.
“If Drake feels like the weight of the world is upon him, as he suggests on ‘Champagne Poetry’, ‘Certified Lover Boy’ is not going to go any way towards blasting away that burden,” she wrote. “It offers nothing new to the rapper’s canon, merely going through the motions of his old formulas instead.”
If Drake really wants to enter a new golden age, he’s going to have to be a lot more creative – and tough with his editing – to make it happen. Right now, though, his spark is rapidly burning out.