Drake just released his latest album on September 3rd, Boy in love certified.
Many aspects of the album have sparked discussion – it’s a chart-topping release, it steals Kanye West’s thunder for Donda and namely, his meme-worthy, party-ripe album cover art.
The album cover for Lover Boy certified, Duck‘s sixth album, represents 12 emojis of pregnant women, lined up wearing different colored shirts, holding their babies in their wombs. It has sparked debate as one of the most controversial hip hop album covers of all time.
Hirst is a master of the coveted controversy, however. He’s no stranger to it. Ever since he saw his rise in the London art scene in the 1990s, through a relationship with art collector Charles Saatchi, he has shocked the pre-Internet era with sharks in formaldehyde tanks, skulls encrusted with diamonds and its famous Doctor’s office room with shelves of colorful pharmaceuticals.
The 12 women holding their babies could be linked to the fact that Drake’s album was delayed for nine months. Some criticized the cover for not having a red-haired woman portrayed in the play.
But for Drake, who has an art collection that includes artists like Andy Warhol, KAWS, and Takashi Murakami, it’s just a piece of pop art for the meme-baited audience, nothing less. Clear and simple.
Drake owns a work of art by Hirst, an imprint of his sculpture For God’s sake, a 2007 play, which is seen in Drake’s condo in Toronto. The rapper is a fan of light artist James Turrell and owns other works of pop art by British artists like Gary Hume and Gerald Laing. It also has a hilarious neon sculpture by artist Patrick Martinez, which reads: “Less Drake, More Tupac.” ”
Drake’s taste for pop art, drawn from his own art collection, shows why he chose Hirst to be the cover of his latest album. As Hirst once said of his art, “People are afraid of change, so you create a kind of belief for them through repetition. It’s like breathing. I’ve always been drawn to playoffs and pairs. A unique thing is a pretty scary object.
Repetition is a common theme in Hirst’s works, as the repetition of dots helped elevate the British artist to the rank of the art world’s premier brand in the pre-Internet era. Hirst created more than 1000 point paintings, from 1986 to 2011.
“To create this structure, to make these colors, and to do nothing,” writes the artist on her website. “I suddenly got what I wanted. It was just a way to capture the joy of color.
For Drake, the opposite could be true. In many ways, his music avoids repetition.
When he did an interview in 2010 on the music video The best i have ever had, Drake said something that rings true today: “When I read the comments I was like, man, I guess nobody wants to laugh anymore,” he said. “Everyone wants the fairy tale, you know? “