Music

Brands, Politicians, and People Not Named Drake: Your Certified Lover Boy Memes Are Not Good

Aubrey is no dummy, and you’re falling for his trap.

Drake's cover art for Certified Lover Boy depicting twelve pregnant woman emojis about to be manipulated in Photoshop.
Photo illustration by Slate. Image via OVO/Republic Records/UMG.

Drake’s career has mirrored the trajectory of social media itself and has been cultivated therewithin. Twitter and Instagram are two of his most powerful toys, and his self-awareness of his highly memeability on any given day is evident.

So it’s only right that the social marketing gets kicked into high gear when Drake has a new album to sell. After a masterful stroke of promotional savvy on the morning of August 27, which saw Drake “hack” into the opening intro of SportsCenter to announce the September 3 release date of his newest album, Certified Lover Boy, he took to his record label’s Twitter account three days later to reveal the album’s cover art.

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For Certified Lover Boy, biggest hip-hop/pop artist in the world—and 4-time Grammy-winner—went with a simple 4-column, 4-row grid of pregnant women emojis. Uhhh, okay? Since the art dropped, however, its deeper meanings have begun to emerge: It turns out that the work is not only heavily inspired by artist Damien Hirst, but it’s also a combination of two of Hirst’s most popular works, with a digital spin on it. Is that context kinda interesting? Sure. Is the art stunning and thought-provoking? Absolutely not. They’re friggin’ emojis. And that’s the point. Dropping nothing but pregnant ladies on a white background is Drake’s invitation for anyone with even the slightest Photoshop knowledge to grab it and put their own spin on it, so that this nonsensical album art can make even less sense.

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Check out some of these especially thirsty attempts to go viral with their paintings on Drake’s latest canvas. And blessings to these social media managers who convinced their companies that they needed to make one—even if they’re mostly cringe:

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