TORONTO — Drake is promising his new album "Certified Lover Boy" will be delivered to fans on Friday.
After lengthy delays and months of internet hype, the Toronto rapper finally locked in the release date for his first full-length album in three years.
And he did it all through a simple Instagram post.
Early Monday, Drake uploaded an image composed of 12 pregnant women emojis alongside the album title and date.
Elliott Wilson, the chief content officer of the Tidal streaming music service, tweeted saying the emoji creation was Drake's official "Certified Lover Boy" album art.
It's a cryptic design that almost instantly had people talking on social media.
Some wondered if Drake, born Aubrey Graham, was sending a coded message to his fans, while others criticized the simplicity of the design.
But the cover might be a subtle nod to the lengthy gestation period "Certified Lover Boy" faced before its due date was set.
Originally, the album was expected last January, but Drake postponed the release after suffering a knee injury. The new date is almost nine months later.
Drake is no stranger to getting deep in his emoji feelings.
Five years ago, he tattooed "6" and the emoji prayer-hands on his right arm, which his fans interpreted as a tribute to his track "6 God."
"Certified Lover Boy" has been veiled in secrecy since its anticipated release last January was postponed, giving way to months of rumours and teasers.
Last week, Drake began dropping more hints, posting a video on Instagram of a car driving down the highway past the CN Tower in Toronto, which fans interpreted as a sign the album was on its way out of the city.
Then Drake captured attention when a clips package on the ESPN SportsCenter broadcast appeared to be hijacked by grainy footage that briefly revealed a cardboard sign that read: “CLB September 3.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 30, 2021.
David Friend, The Canadian Press