Rivalry continues between Drake and Kanye West as both release long-awaited albums
109 million monthly listeners, 25 Grammys, and over 50 billion streams. This is what it takes to reach “G.O.A.T.” status.
This past month, two of music’s most influential artists released their long-awaited albums. Kanye West– controversial, trailblazer, and distinctive– released his 10th studio album, Donda. And Drake– calculated, accomplished, and versatile– also released his 10th studio album, Certified Lover Boy, five days after Kanye.
Even though these two projects are vastly different, music enthusiasts, such as myself, have already started to ask questions. Which album is better? Which album will age better? Which album has more Instagram-worthy captions? And the list of questions goes on and on.
Personally, I believe Donda is the better album between the two. The project has greater longevity, is more impactful and personnel for listeners, and has more influence on the music industry. Although I view Donda as the better album, CLB takes the cake with the better Instagram captions.
Both albums are unique in their own way. They each have their own sound, style, and purpose that sets them apart. In an Instagram story, Drake described CLB as “a combination of toxic masculinity and acceptance of the truth which is inevitably heartbreaking.” In contrast, Kanye’s album incorporates gospel and rap through experimenting with abstract tones.
Donda is innovative as it does not sound like any other Kanye project. The album has better production, more memorable lyrics, and takes more creative risks. My favorite songs from the album include Remote Control, Praise God, and New Again. On the other hand, CLB suffers from originality due to the context and flow being similar to most of Drake’s previous works. Drake has a formula for making hits, and because of this, he will rarely step out of his musical comfort zone.
Both artists dealt with challenges while creating their albums. During production, Kanye lived inside the Mercedes Benz Stadium for several weeks, paying $1 million per day for a congested storage room that resembled a jail cell.
Drake, on the other hand, delayed the release of Certified Lover Boy due to an injury he faced while playing basketball. The artist was later memed by fans and the media for the poor excuse.
Overall, I have concluded that both albums are simply too long. Each project has repetitive and unnecessary songs that weigh down its tracklist. The last four songs on Donda are repeats of previous songs with different features. I view this as unoriginal and lazy. On CLB, songs like 7AM on Bridle Path, Race My Mind, and The Remorse all sound the same to me. These songs, if taken off the album, would allow more room for other songs to shine.
CLB is a shapeless album that could be resequenced entirely and would still sound nearly the same. Donda was hindered by Kanye’s messy rollout, which included three separate listening events in two different states, constant editing, and delayed-release dates.
When it comes down to it, these albums were made for two different purposes. Donda is a personal album with intimate anecdotes dedicated to Kanye’s mother, and Certified Lover Boy is an album that deals with heartbreak and the reality of moving on.
Love them or hate them, both of these albums are unique and varied in their own way. After all, they are created by G.O.A.T.s.
This article originally appeared in The Hoofbeat.