Nine months after its original announcement, Drake finally revealed the new release date, Sept. 3, for his sixth studio album, Certified Lover Boy, on his Instagram account this week. The accompanying photo for the reveal was the official cover art for the album: An image of a dozen multi-racial pregnant women that resemble Apple’s pregnant women emojis. When Drake tagged British artist Damien Hurst in the post, fans had their doubts about if the work was actually created by the artist. But, Drizzy’s team confirmed that the speculation was true.
Hirst, born in Bristol, England in 1965; rose to artistic fame in the late 1980s and is known to be one of the wealthiest artists in the UK. He is known for brightly colored and provocative artwork like Fruitful (2020), a laminated Glicèe print on aluminum composite panel. The English artist has a history of collaborations, as well, including his recent work with Vans in 2019. Among his most popular works is The Cure (2014), a series of 30 silkscreen prints of multicolored pills.
Upon further investigation, the CLB cover art does favor a lot of the work Hirst has done in past including Spot Paintings (2012), which features several multi-colored dots organized in rows just like the women in the cover art. Other art aficionados also made the connection between the album cover and Hirst’s Virgin Mother (2005) sculpture.
The cover has certainly caused quite a stir on Twitter. Lil Nas X, who is known for trolling artists, put out his own version of the cover on the app, which featured 12 pregnant men to promote his own debut album, Montero, which is coming out on Sept. 17.
Others think that the explanation is more simple: The record is full of baby-making tracks — hence the 12 pregnant women. After all, the album is called Certified Lover Boy.
Some believe it has to do with the release date, Sept. 3 which, of course, is labor day in the United States.
Whatever the meaning is, the cover certainly did its job in creating even more hype around this long-awaited projected. It’s sure to not be a boy or a girl, but fans are definitely hoping that it will be a hit!