What Does Drake's 'Certified Lover Boy' Album Cover Mean, Exactly?

Drake's highly-anticipated new album, Certified Lover Boy, is finally here.

While the Canadian rapper, whose real name is Aubrey Graham, teased new music back in May 2020, it was delayed from its original release in January this year.

Now, Drake has finally dropped the album, but the cover art has left some fans scratching their heads.

The cover shows emojis of 12 pregnant women with different skin tones in a squared, geometric format.

Not only has the cover art confused some fans, it has inspired many a meme on social media.

Nevertheless, it was designed specifically by British artist Damien Hirst, whose work is internationally renowned.

There are various theories about what the Certified Lover Boy cover could represent, but neither Hirst nor Drake has confirmed the ultimate meaning behind it.

So, what are the possible meanings behind Drake's Certified Lover Boy album cover?

One theory relates to the album's title, suggesting perhaps the image is emblematic of Drake's virility.

My mom just asked how many children does Drake have, then she showed me the album cover. I laughed 🤣🤣

— Favorite_Uncle (@da_real_skido) September 3, 2021

However, the album itself has many allusions to children, talking about his life as a father (Aubrey has a three-year-old son named Adonis) and how his child has changed him.

There is a song called "Papi's Home", talking about connecting with his child.

In a recent interview, he even suggested the album itself was his child, in the way parents refer to having a "bun in the oven".

He told Sound 42's Fri Yiy Friday radio show: "Album's ready... album's cooked, looking forward to delivering it to you... Certified Lover Boy on the way and that's for anyone in the way."

The album also dropped nine months after it was originally supposed to be released, back in January 2021, and has come out near Labor Day, adding further fuel to the idea of his parenting his new album.

While children may be central to the album, others have noticed allusions to Hirst's previous work in the cover, despite it being made up of emojis.

Previously, Hirst has used pregnant women as inspiration for his art, as well as different colors in grid patterns.

In 2005, Hirst unveiled a sculpture outside the Lever House in New York City, New York, entitled "The Virgin Mother."

In the sculpture, a pregnant woman stood tall while her baby in the womb could be viewed on one side of her.

As well as this, Hirst recently revealed a work called "The Currency", which was made up of colored dots all over different sheets of paper.

This in itself alludes to his 2012 work "Spot Paintings", which showed spots of different colors in a grid formation.

What Do Fans Think of The Certified Lover Boy Album Cover?

Sadly for Drake, the album cover has mainly been met with derision, with fans taking to Twitter to share memes of the image.

Drake picking out the album cover for CLB pic.twitter.com/x0FbIpqj8y

— Latino On Both Sides 🇨🇷 ➐ (@AndreMz_) August 30, 2021

when donda dropped, i saw the cover and i thought "something would be better than nothing", i've changed my mind.

— danny 🚀 (@notgosewow) August 30, 2021

I didn't think anyone could make album covers worse than Gucci Mane, Drake has proved me wrong

— Carlos (@carjoel3000) August 30, 2021

Even fellow celebrities have teased the album cover, including Lil Nas X.

OUT SEPTEMBER 17, 2021 pic.twitter.com/M7qVwV1uOu

— MONTERO 🦋 (@LilNasX) August 30, 2021

Fans are also comparing it to Kanye West's Donda, which came out just a week ago.

As the album has only just come out, it is not clear whether fans have enjoyed its content, though for Drake's sake, let's hope they like it more than the album cover!

Drake at the Billboard Music Awards
Drake attends the 2021 Billboard Music Awards Rich Fury/Getty Images