by Manuel Muniz
The Kanye vs Drake saga has intensified as both rappers recently released their highly anticipated albums.
Drake and Kanye West’s friendship goes back to 2010. But it has been a bumpy decade of highs and lows for the two rappers.
Both albums have had a very confusing rollout this year. Kanye’s “Donda” was originally scheduled to come out on July 23, while Drake’s “Certified Lover Boy” had a January 2021 release date. But as the weekend of the release came and went, something else was warming.
The two rappers have had a crazy and complicated history. In his early years, Drake often name-dropped West as an influence. When Drake released his debut album, “Thank Me Later,” West was credited as a producer and co-writer on one of the singles, “Find Your Love.” Those days are long gone, and now the two are up against each other in a bitter rivalry.
Dropping just a week apart, “Donda” and “Certified Lover Boy” are bound to be associated with each other. Let’s make it clear that the tones and subjects of each project are very different. But because of the rising beef between the rap stars, fans right away made comparisons.
When it comes to sales, the question was more than answered. The sales for Drake’s album nearly doubled that of Kanye’s, as far as the first week goes. “Donda” sold a respectable 309,000 units but was no match for the 613,000 units sold of “Certified Lover Boy.” But the units sold, or streams, aren’t everything. The quality of the music will determine how well an album does over time and how it will be remembered in five or 10 years from now.
Some of my personal favorites off “Donda” would have to be “Hurricane,” “Believe What I Say,” “Jesus Lord,” “Praise God” and “Jail.” Kanye offers up a lot of gospel sound, with bits and pieces of the old Ye. It wasn’t my favorite album by him, not even close. But lyrically it is still an amazing album. What I appreciated the most is the risks he took, and they paid off. Some negatives I will point out is the unnecessary number of songs it had, 27, which weighs down the track listing. There is also a ridiculous number of featured artists.
My personal favorites on CLB are “Way 2 Sexy,” “7am on Bridle Path,” “Champagne Poetry,” and “Papi’s Home.” Drake has a formula to making hits. This album is mostly for the crowd that goes to the club on the weekends. Rapping wise, he is unmatched, but lyrically, the album was a bit on the weak side. Like “Donda,” “CLB” also had too many songs, coming in at 21, and also includes featured artists who are not needed.
Because these albums are very different, the comparison can’t be fair, though. For most Drake and Kanye fans, both albums will be rotation heavy in the days, weeks, months and even years to come. As the rappers themselves have been in competition, it’s only fair that fans continue to compare them.
For me, it would just be weird to pick one over the other. If you ask me on a Saturday night while I’m hanging out with friends, or at a bar, I would say CLB all day. If you ask me on a mellow Tuesday afternoon, my answer would be “Donda.”