In recent weeks, the simultaneous (duel?) Launch of Kanye West’s album Donda and that of Drake Boy in love certified took on a new sense of urgency. I actually like to think of it as the final road racing scene in Fat, these two antagonists hurtling down Thunder Road in their respective inflated death trap vehicles, as razor-sharp clandestine spikes – perhaps lifted from a certain Balenciaga jacket – pop out of their tires to cut each other’s cars off. (Obviously, Kim Kardashian in the Balenciaga bridal couture is Sandy.) In the end, West lasted 90 minutes. Donda arrived last Sunday morning, and Drake’s Boy in love certified should fall on Friday. But in real 2021 fashion – the chicken or the egg, the album or the merchandise? – we can already compare the merch for the two versions.
Both Kanye and Drake are very sensitive to the power of putting commemorative clothing up for sale. Ye has more or less revolutionized the business model of merch during its Yeezus and Pablo’s life tours, and each of its three Donda listening events came with their own swarm-inducing merchandise. (Not to mention the crew-issued “Donda” tactical vest which recently hit the resale market for $ 20,000.)
The last round, created in collaboration with designer Balenciaga and Donda the faithful Demna Gvasalia, is now available on the site of West. For $ 160, you can pick up a 100% cotton face cover with zippered eye holes resembling gimp masks, much like the ones Kanye wore lately. There are two long-sleeved t-shirts: one features a childhood photo of West’s late mother, Donda West, as well as a photo of West’s childhood home in Chicago; the other seems to portend another Kanye presidential run in 2024, which will cost $ 200 each. All of the above are ready to ship in a worrying 12-16 week time frame.
The Boy in love certified merch also had an extended deployment; The first set of Nike-branded album clothing dropped in October 2020. Given that Drake is known for his Instagram caption-ready lyrics, it’s no surprise that his product is more memes-ready. (Thank you [?] to artist Damien Hirst, the album cover, which features twelve pregnant woman emojis, seems to have been created in the same vein.) This last batch of all black CLB The t-shirts reveal a range of new but signature Drake-isms: “Something else I have to give”, “I should have said you loved me today because tomorrow is a new day”, “I don’t miss … let alone miss you. The same lyrics appear on a set of billboards now in Toronto, Drake’s hometown, where Drake’s friend and OVO affiliate Mark Robinson has distributed CLB tees to passersby this week. There is no official release date for the general public yet, but you strength want to keep tabs on Friday.