For more than a decade, Drake and Kanye West have been locked in a battle at the top of hip-hop’s list — occasional collaborators turned to friendly competitors who turned to bitter rivals, and sometimes all three at the same time.
However, rarely have the two generation-defining stars intertwined their musical fates as closely as this week, when they released much-anticipated and delayed albums five days apart, with very different release strategies.
Certified Lover Boy, Drake’s sixth studio album, was released this Friday, 3rd, after a series of teases and promotional singles. The album, which was slated to come out in January, features 21 tracks and a large complement of guest stars, including Jay-Z, Travis Scott, Lil Baby, Future, Young Thug, Rick Ross and Lil Wayne.
Listen to tracks from the new album:
West’s tenth album, Donda, arrived on Sunday with considerably more friction, which may have only fueled his hype. Originally slated for July 2020, the 27-track disc followed three audition events during which West performed the work; staged a mock wedding ceremony with former Kim Kardashian West; hosted polarizing guests like DaBaby and Marilyn Manson; and refused to speak.
Donda has its own superstar guest bank, including Weeknd, Pop Smoke and Roddy Rich. A few, like Scott, Lil Baby, Jay-Z and Young Thug, appear on both LPs. (Few women appear in both releases.)
Its stuffed track lists have become an industry standard strategy for maximizing streams and could be a key weapon in the stoppage contest between Donda and Certified Lover Boy.