After a six-month delay, Drake has confirmed that his long-awaited album, Certified Lover Boy, is due to drop by summer’s end. In an interview with Ultimate Rap League as part of their NOME XI event Drake revealed that the album would arrive prior to URL’s next event, Summer Madness 11, which is slated to take place in the coming months. “When is it,” Drake inquires when asked if he’ll be attending URL’s next showcase. “You know I’m trying to drop an album, you gotta tell me when it is. I don’t know the dates.” When told that the event will occur in the coming months, Drizzy notes that Certified Lover Boy will be released in the interim, thus freeing up his schedule and enabling him to be present at the event. “Yeah, I’ll be there,” he tells URL host Nunu Nellz (who interviewed URL founder Smack White for VIBE), battle rap icon Tsu Surf and battle analyst J Black. “My album will be out by then.”
Certified Lover Boy will be Drake’s sixth solo studio album and the official follow-up to his 2018 release, Scorpion, which Billboard named the 15th best album out of 50 of 2018. Initially slated to drop in January of this year, the rapper opted to push the project back to focus on recovering from a knee surgery he underwent late last year. Fully healed and back on his feet, Drake, who has built a track record for releasing hit records that dominate the summer, has already begun the roll-out with a preview of an unreleased song that could potentially appear on the Certified Lover Boy tracklist. The snippet, which was captioned “Fair Trade” and posted to Drake’s Instagram account on May 21, finds the rapper dropping heady lyrics targeted his detractors, rapping “And I’m too about it/And the dirt that they threw on my name turned to soil and I grew up out it/Time for y’all to figure out what y’all gonna do about it.” A few lines later, he croons, “I been losing friends and finding peace/But honestly, that sounds like a fair trade to me,” a refrain that is sure to inspire more than a few social media posts in the foreseeable future.
In addition to attending NOME XI, Drake also put up $50,000 of his own cash to up the ante on the grand prize, which was initially $100,000, bringing the pot up to $150,000. Popular battle rappers Rum Nitty and Geechi Gotti, who faced off against each other in the event’s marquee matchup, reportedly split the cash prize between themselves. Drake, an avid battle rap fan, has immersed himself in the sub-culture over the past few years, even inking an exclusive multiyear partnership with streaming platform Caffeine in February 2020.