Drake gives eager fans a new mixtape titled “Dark Lane Demo Tapes”

Dark Lane Demo Tapes came out on streaming services on May 1.

Drake - Dark Lane Demo; Wikimedia, Fair Use

“Dark Lane Demo Tapes” came out on streaming services on May 1.

Sam Best, Staff Writer

Drake’s newest project was recently released at midnight on May 1. Titled Dark Lane Demo Tapes,  the mixtape is a collection of “demos” that he has hinted at in the recent past.  The mixtape showcases catchy hooks, solid deliveries, smooth beats, and incredible flow. The fourteen song tracklist features a variety of styles that Drake has shown us he is capable of hitting in the last decade and proved why he is still at the top of the music game entering 2020.

Drake deserves more credit than he receives for continuing to produce album after album for years on years for a decade now, and yet this album shows that is still improving and continues to become more and more creative. His ability to mix genres and styles of music in the same tracklist and sometimes even in the same song is one of a kind. The Toronto based artist varies between R&B, rap, hip hop, and soul music across the entire mixtape. Drake is not afraid to test new boundaries and break ground to find a new sound, which is unlike many of his peers. 

Songs on the list such as “War,” “Toosie Slide,” “Chicago Freestyle,” and “When to say When” were all previewed before the initial release of the mixtape, and I had relatively good thoughts about most of them. “When to Say When” shows the Drake everyone is familiar with because of his top-dog mentality bar after bar knowing he is the most talented in the rap game right now.  “Chicago Freestyle” was another early released hit that is more of a Drake love song featuring artist Giveon. On this track, he slows it down and speaks about women who are always trying to take advantage of him. “War” was a UK drill-style rap song with a fast tempo and track rapping really quickly. “Toosie Slide” is currently the most listened to song according to the Billboard Hot 100 and many other music streaming platforms’ charts. This is not Drake’s best song on the tracklist by any means, but it is popular because he created a simple, easy-to-do dance to go along with the song. 

[Drake’s] ability to mix genres and styles of music in the same tracklist and sometimes even in the same song is one of a kind.

— Sam Best

Along with those early songs, Drake spoiled us with ten more tracks. In these tracks, there was a variety of songs that featured some of the most popular rappers and artists in the world right now. Artists such as Chris Brown, Future, Playboi Carti, Young Thug, Fivio Foregein, and Sosa Greek contributed to the project. Drake also used many different producers, which helped him achieve putting out a variety of different songs. One of the most talked-about Drake songs that fans were most excited about was “Pain 1993.” This song was rumored to be produced by Pierre Bourne and have popular rapper Playboi Carti on it. Drake started off the song on a chill, fluent beat and he killed it. His soothing voice paired well with the beat and the catchy hook served for a good song. Later in the song, Playboi Carti comes in and is completely underwhelming. He diverts from his usual upbeat style into a gross sounding baby voice that is unlike him. Drake completely carried this song and it would have been ten times better if he would have left the usually reliable Carti off the track.

Drake continues to swing for the fences and usually hit on the rest of the songs on this list. Highlighted by “Time Flies”, the song with the best beat on the album and has a catchy flow, Drake continued to put out astonishing hits. The best part of this Drake list and what is completely amazing is the fact that this is only a small snip-bit of what is to come. Drake is going to release a full-on album with a different variety of musical styles this summer. If that project is anything like Dark Lane Demo Tapes or any other album he has released in the past, we are likely going to be gifted with the album of the summer 2020 and a number billboard song like he has repeatedly done in the past.