Less than two days after Drake released his Certified Lover Boy album, the 6 God was in Houston – partying. Numerous celebrities and rappers attended the private affair and at one point, the Boy managed to stop by the Post Oak Hotel and shoot hoops in the penthouse, a single floor sprawl which UFC president Dana White called “the most badass hotel” he’s ever stayed in.
If there’s no city Drake loves more than his hometown of Toronto, it’s Houston. Every album since Thank Me Later (and to an extent 2009’s So Far Gone) has had at least one Houston reference attached to it and Certified Lover Boy is no different. Him posted up at the Post Oak only gives added weight to the line, “You a little Post Oak baby” from “N 2 Deep,” a song about falling for a woman from the city who is probably watching Rockets games courtside at Toyota Center.
In fact, there’s a two-song suite specific to Houston life on Certified Lover Boy which are yet another reminder Drake’s lifestyle occasionally has him thinking about moving girls to Katy to avoid the life. Both “TSU and “N 2 Deep” are littered with references to the city, with OG Ron C leading off.
The feel of Certified Lover Boy hasn’t changed much from previous Drake efforts over the last few years. There’s still templates for no new friends yet still remaining friendly (“No Friends In The Industry”), lavish nights in select locations, the Drake-Travis Scott beat flip to rage and more. What makes Drake pull this off is pure strategy. Every region from Atlanta to Memphis to Houston and even Los Angeles and the Bay Area get their own moments on Drake projects. “Knife Talk” in particular weds Project Pat and 21 Savage‘s generational differences in regards to handling beef and flexing. Lil Wayne and Rick Ross once more join forces for “You Only Live Twice,” bringing together the trio for the first time since “I’m On One” where Wayne once more takes the baton and goes off.
Drake’s world, the one where plane hopping to different cities to engage, adpot and repeat adds new characters every time. When it comes to Houston – the city remains the same, a place which has such a hold on the Boy we’re wondering who hurt him in the first place.
See some of the full breakdowns from all the Houston references from Certified Lover Boy below.
1. OG Ron C – “TSU”Source:Getty
The first actual Houston reference on Certified Lover Boy doesn’t even belong to Drake. Instead, it belongs to Chopstars DJ and Swishahouse co-founder OG Ron C. “TSU” pulls in Ron’s opening refrain from “Half” from Swishahouse’s F*ck Action 13 project, shouting out all the small cities and the two HBCUs.
The flip had plenty of controversy attached to it when fans discovered R. Kelly earned a writing credit for the song as Ron’s vocals were laid on top of the disgraced singer’s 1998 single, “Half On A Baby.”
2. The Get Throwed SampleSource:Getty
Before you get into “N 2 Deep,” you get the familiar guitar work from Bun B’s 2005 single “Get Throwed” featuring Pimp C, JAY-Z, Z-Ro and Jeezy. Does it contain the only moment in history where Hov attempted to say “throwed” like a Southerner and he still couldn’t get it 100 percent right? Yes.
Does it also contain one of the hardest Z-Ro choruses ever and one of Pimp C’s greatest opening verses? Yes.
3. “Kept the Galleria open ’til ten for you and your friends.”Source:Getty
The Galleria at one point in time was the location for upscale shopping in Houston. It may not be at the moment due to a number of reasons but there’s still prestige to it. Blowing a bag in the ‘Gallo is still a thing and Drake knows the mall usually closes at 9. What’s an extra hour for a guy who has his own plane?
4. “You A Little Post Oak Baby”Source:Getty
Post Oak is one of the longest roads on the Southside of Houston – placing you either close to Hiram Clarke or run through Uptown and the Galleria. They are two different worlds in some ways and Drake crooning about being a child of Post Oak – all gems rise from each side.
5. “And we got it adopted by some fifth ward strangers”Source:Getty
J. Prince needs no introduction in regards to who he is to Drake. He’s practically his godfather but also the reason he calls himself a “J Prince investment.” Being from the Fifth Ward, aka the Nickel, Prince emerged from meager beginnings to become the city’s biggest impresario in regards to running a successful rap label in Rap-A-Lot Records.