Donda or CLB?

Musical artists Kanye West and Drake are notorious for their iconic musical tracks and record-breaking releases. Now, it seems that the only thing that surpasses both artists’ music is a rivalry few others can match in the industry. 

The rivalry began in 2018 when fellow rapper Pusha T made jabs at Drake on a song released by Kanye. In light of this situation, Drake retaliated, releasing a diss track on both artists. After this, Pusha T fired back, leaking information about Drake’s secret son, Adonis. From there, the relationship only soured. Prior to 2018, Kanye and Drake had a fluid relationship and were good friends at the very least. Now, in the present-day music scheme, Drake and Kanye are going head-to-head with each other by simultaneously releasing their own historical albums, forcing fans to pick a side. 

Donda, written by Kanye in honor of his late mother, Donda West, features many unique tracks that have received praise for their emotional influences and abstract takes, and it also received high praise for the creativity and versatility in the songs as well. The album mainly sparked its criticism for Kanye delaying it multiple times for over a year, as he held multiple listening parties for the album, but never officially released it. But when Donda finally was released, it became the number one album on the U.S. Billboard 200. 

Drake’s album Certified Lover Boy (CLB) was noted to have more upbeat tracks than Donda, featuring many hits such as Way 2 Sexy, Knife Talk, Girls Want Girls, Fair Trade, and many more. After just a day of its release, CLB had become the most streamed album on both Spotify and Apple Music. Despite this seemingly overnight success, CLB was met with criticism. Among many fans, including Brookfield Central students, disappointment was expressed with the lack of originality CLB’s tracks presented. Many of the beats and melodies seemed recycled from older Drake songs, and it just seemed as if it was the fourth time that Drake put out the same album. It seems that although CLB was more upbeat, Donda takes the trophy for originality. 

Furthermore, both albums garnered criticism for their album covers, which many thought to be less artistically appealing than the potential they held. Donda, which features a simple black square as its album cover, and CLB, which is just a grid of pregnant lady emojis, both were found to be shallow. Yet, artistic appeal lies in the eyes of the observer – one man’s black square is another man’s treasure. 

All in all, despite the rivalry and influx of opinions, it cannot be denied that both Drake and Kanye are some of the most influential artists the modern Hip-Hop scheme has yet to introduce. All differences aside, the albums have been able to shed light and conversation during difficult times, as everyone has one question on their mind: CLB or Donda?