With the chaos of DONDA behind us (relatively speaking), all eyes are on Drake and his Certified Lover Boy as it finally (maybe) drops on September 3. Before the official release, though, Drizzy die-hards are swapping bootlegs and "leaked" tracks as if they're Frankensteining their own version of the unreleased album.
In late August, Drake began teasing CLB merch on the heels of his Damien Hirst-designed album cover reveal and Kanye beef. He also announced the album's star-studded guest features with a series of international billboards. The low-key, ARG-style promotion has driven fans wild.
Almost immediately after the billboards went up, purported leaks of Certified Lover Boy began making the rounds online, comprising unreleased cuts culled from all eras of Drake, from "Lovesick" to "Not Around." Obviously, none of the songs are confirmed to actually be on the record and most of them appear to be demos, at best — there's even, reportedly, a Kanye sample — but it speaks to how contemporary fans consume Drake's music.
There are plenty of fake-outs and soundalikes out there, but they only make the heads treasure those scant gems that much more.
It all calls back to the bygone era of tape trading, where fans would pass around their homemade recordings of concerts and live shows by hand. The culture is probably best recognized today as an indelible part of the Grateful Dead's legacy, but it extended to all genres.
These "leaked" Certified Lover Boy albums are coming from a similar place. The confusing mish-mash of old and new tracks on the bootlegged CLB that's making the rounds is no less disorganized than the old-school tape trades, it's just that these songs are being distributed via Dropbox instead of hand-off.