Drake’s album covers haven’t always been well received, but they’re often conceptually ambitious and see the superstar musician working with artists like Kadir Nelson (Nothing Was the Same), Caitlin Cronenberg (Views), and Damien Hirst (Certified Lover Boy). In an August 21 Instagram post, he shared the artwork for his upcoming LP For all the Dogs and added a new collaborator to his rolodex: his five-year-old son Adonis.
Responses to the art have been mixed, but frankly, it’s a standout compared to his last few solo projects, which included the Dark Lane Demo Tapes art (featuring a shadowy portrait of a masked Drake); Honestly, Nevermind, which fails to capture the vibrancy of Drake’s dalliance with dance music; and Care Package, which looks like a DatPiff bootleg compilation.
A classic rap cover trope involves using a picture of the artist as a child: see The Notorious B.I.G.’s Ready to Die, Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter III and Nas’ Illmatic. But having your child actually draw the artwork is a funny and lowkey genius swerve. The menacing, otherworldly pup that Adonis created seems to hint at a moodier sonic palette, though maybe this is just the young artist’s aesthetic. Drake involving his kid in his artistic output is not unheard of: Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s daughter Blue Ivy has appeared on songs by both of her parents, making her one of the youngest people to win a Grammy. And who could forget that North West is something of an accomplished painter herself?
Early in his life, Drake largely kept Adonis out of the spotlight, but as the boy has gotten older, he’s slowly become more visible, appearing on the rapper’s Instagram and even embracing one of the recent Drake-centric memes from Her Loss’ “Rich Flex.” Adonis’ mother, Sophie Brussaux, is a well-regarded painter, whose vibrant portraits use bright bursts of color to capture the spirit of figures like Barack Obama, Brigitte Bardot, and Malala Yousafzai, among others. (She even gifted one to Pope Francis back in 2019.) Clearly, the artistic genes run in the family.
Drake announced For All the Dogs as part of the release of his poetry book Titles Ruin Everything, with a somewhat ominous tagline teasing “they say they miss the old Drake, girl don’t tempt me,” but the LP’s exact release date is unclear. As Pitchfork noted, Drake told an audience in New York on July 23 that the album would be out “in like two weeks or some shit,” but then later said to a crowd in L.A. on August 13, “I figured out which day I’m dropping my album.” He’s shared that Bad Bunny will appear on For All the Dogs, and it’s likely Nicki Minaj appears, too. On August 22, the internet was buzzing with rumors that Frank Ocean would appear on the album based on a purported quote from Apple Music’s Zane Lowe, though the influential DJ has since clarified that he “[hasn’t] said a word about the new Drake album.” Perhaps Frank was due to be featured, but he was nervous he couldn’t match Adonis’ star power.