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Dark Lane Demo Tapes

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Drake Gives Us Mixtape “Dark Lane Demo Tapes”

New Drake? Say less. This Friday (May 1st), Drake released a new mixtape Dark Lane Demo Tapes as a sort of tease before his upcoming album summer 2020. The mixtape was announced Thursday via Drake’s IG (@ChampagnePapi), where he shares that the mixtape is a combination of leaks, soundcloud releases and more than likely tracks that did not make the album. Throw aways or not, we’re just happy to get a new Drake project since he left us with the release of Care Package back in August 2019. 

Drake releases have been momentous for the culture for the last decade. To have watched and grown with an artist over the course of their career creates an undeniable bond with each release. He has successfully established his relevance and footprint on the music industry as one of biggest rap artists today. Dark Lane Demo Tapes serves as Drake’s sixth mixtape in a league of remarkable angsty projects. 

With albums/mixtapes dropping left and right lately and quarantine keeping us immobilized, of course the masses are more than ready for new Drake. From the looks of things 24 hours in, people are eating this tape up.


Here’s some tracks you should hear:

When to Say When offers us Jay-Z’s “Song Cry” sample, automatically setting the expectation bar high. Released earlier this year (February 2019), Drake raps about life in general for him. His honest bars give us a peek into what’s going on in his head, which we can always count on from him. He’s reflective on success, women and trials of climbing to the top. 

Chicago Freestyle ft. Giveon begins with the calm, lull vocals of Long Beach’s Giveon setting the tone for the song. Released along with “When to Say When” earlier in the year, we get classic Drake on this track. Giveon harmonizing in the background and Drake offering moody “come through” type of lines make this a perfect add to the late night drive playlist. Especially with the repetition of familiar lyrics from Eminem’s “Superman” giving it a seductive ambiance Drake loves to deliver.

Not You Too has such a tranquillizing beat, you immediately fall into its seductive feel. Heartbreak Drake wouldn’t dare give us a project without something for the ladies and after the huge success of “No Guidance,” we have been begging for another Drake and Chris Brown collab. Drake sings about trust and betrayal (which is typically his go to) with bashful lyrics such as “Why you do that little shit to me, shawty?” and the repetitive “hurtin’ deeply.” However, if you are not listening closely, you may miss Chris Brown’s vocals. The subtleness or lack thereof of Chris’ presence, makes me feel as if this one just may be incomplete.

Desires gives us more heartbreak Drake this time along with Future. A few months back a snippet of this track leaked amongst the potential What a Time to be Alive 2 rumors. A personal favorite, “Desires” definitely feels like the perfect start to the summer bop. Can’t help but nod your head and sing along with the regretful chorus “I should’ve put you somewhere where no one can find you.” A very upbeat, regretful and boastful track meant for the ladies.

Losses may serve as one of the best tracks on this tape. Rapper Drake, as compared to singer Drake has a way of simply riding a beat and being real with us. He delivers vulnerability so well on this song by really taking us into his experience in a past relationship. The relationship gone awry songs from him tend to be the most relatable and align perfectly with the catalogue he’s built. 

Demons ft. Fivio Foreign, Sosa Geek immediately has you ready to milly rock, stand on a couch screaming “AY AY AY” or whatever your poison. The beat brings so much energy to this track along with the very New York presence of Sosa and Fivio. For those that are rather critical of Drake’s drill influenced flows, this track may not be up your alley however it blends well. 

At first glance, we receive some compelling features on this project. Seeing names such as Chris Brown, Playboi Carti and Young Thug had us all hype to dive in and embrace the link ups. Dark Lane Demo Tapes aligns with the overall sound Drake has given us over the years. With more of the vulnerable raps than singing this time, we receive a project that gives us a little insight into just what Drake has been up to. After listening, it becomes evident why some tracks were left as leaks, non album cuts and so forth as the mixtape makes for good listening but yearns for that more polished sound we are used to from Drake. However, the Drake cosign for artists such as Giveon, Fivio Foreign and Sosa Geek means big things, creating excitement surrounding them as well.  All things considered, the (overly) subtle Chris Brown ad libs and the promising Fivio match up just aid in making us thirsty for the actual album this summer. 


Written By

Educator & writer located in Richmond, Virginia.

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