If you are a major Drake fan(which it seems like most of the world is based on his streaming numbers and overall popularity), this new mixtape that he just dropped has been a long time coming. Dark Lane Demo Tapes is the first project Drake has released in two years. Most rappers these days can not get away with going that long in between solo records, because the industry moves so fast that it is tough to stay relevant; only artists like Kendrick Lamar, Drake, J. Cole, Lil Uzi Vert, and Playboi Carti can go so long in between releases because they have so much star power that fans will wait for their releases. From what I understand, Dark Lane Demo Tapes is meant to be a buffer to hold over fans as they wait for his new record to come out this year at some point. Drake’s fan base has waited for a while for him to release any sort of mixtape or EP, so this is something for them to listen to for now until that new LP comes out. Dark Lane Demo Tapes seems to be a collection of songs Drake has made over the last couple of years that did not meet the cut for any projects. It is probably just a bunch of songs that he did not really know what to do with, so he decided to just round them up and release them as a mixtape. This is why there is no overlying theme to these songs as a whole and it is why they all sound sort of different from one another; they probably were not actually made to be on the same project together. With that being said, here are some of my favorite songs from Drake’s Dark Lane Demo Tapes. Let me know in the comments below if you agree with my selections, and let me know what other songs you like if it is not these ones!
DESIRES FEAT. FUTURE
At this point, it really does not seem like Drake and Future can miss when they collaborate on a track together. These two just have this chemistry that is so palpable; it is actually pretty crazy for two solo rappers to have such awesome chemistry on every single song like these two do. They have got to be one the top superstar rap duos of all time when they decide to work together. ‘Desires’ is one of the lighter and more intimate sounding songs they have released a duo. Even though they both have quite a few melodic and softer sounding songs in their catalogs as solo artists, I feel like this is one of the first times they have had this soft and melodic of a feeling for a song that they are collaborating on. I really like the melody of this song and I really like the vocals from both artists; even though the beat has a typical Trap feeling to it, the melody and vocals almost have a 90s R&B feeling in a way. I definitely would have expected a more hype and brash and in your face kind of song from this duo when they are on the track together, but I really enjoy this more chill and soft change of pace, and I would love to hear them explore this type of sound together in the future.
‘Landed’ is a song that I am almost certain will develop into a top hit. This is a track that Drake needs to release as a single and drop a video for because everything about it is so hype. The instrumental is so simple and perfect; it basically consists of a low key dark synth that is basically just one note over and over again and is super dark with a simple Trap beat. It sort of reminds me of ‘God’s Plan;’ it is bumps hard enough to get Drake in his element, but it does not get in the way or distract us from what he is saying and from how hard his flow is. On ‘Landed,’ Drake is as cocky and bold as he has ever bee. I love it when Drake is this confident in his rapping like this because it leads to some awesome lines. This song a lot of my favorite lyrics from this album. Only on instrumentals like this one and only when he is being this cocky would we get lines like: And I got my dawg a Rollie ’cause he rolled with it. And I bought my girl a shovel ’cause she gold-digging. If he talking ’bout his head, then it’s off with it. Boarding Air Drake. then we taking off in it… Landed is a total bop and I hope it becomes a summer anthem. Hopefully, this song takes off on Tik Tok or something so it gets the credit it deserves.
D4L FEAT. YOUNG THUG AND FUTURE
Remember when I said earlier that I would expect the instrumental for a collaboration from Drake and Future to go a lot harder than the one for ‘Desires’ does? Well ‘D4L, which also has Young Thug on it, goes hard enough to make up for that to the tenth power. The melody for this song is so dirty in the best way; it sort of reminds me of tradition Arabian music in a way, and with the beat and the traditional Trap horns, it just sounds so funky and cold. This track gives the listen almost no time to breathe, and Young Thug and Future jump onto the beat right as it starts with an incredible amount of energy. Future and Young Thug are certainly in their bag on this song. Their flows and vocal tones are constantly switching up and keeping the listener on their toes, and their ad-libs on this song are so great and add so much to the song. Drake feeds off of the energy from his two features in this song, and he goes all the way in his bag to go super hard as well. Sometimes I just need to hear some party Trap music that is so in your face hard as hell, and ‘D4L’ is definitely a song that fills that need for me.
PAIN 1993 FEAT. PLAYBOI CARTI
This is the collaboration that so many music fans have been waiting for since it leaked late last year. Playboi Carti has become one of the most popular rappers over the last few years even though he has hardly dropped any music in 2 years. His album which came out in 2018, Die Lit, is considered to be so good that the music world has been begging him to release more music because he is so loved. Carti is also one of the most sought after features in Hip Hop today because his sound his so distinct, and it was only a matter of time before Drake got him on a track. ‘Pain 1993’ is about exactly what I would expect from a good collaboration from these two. Playboi Carti’s strange rapping style definitely rubs off on Drake in this song. Some of the flows that Drake is using on this track almost make it seem like he’s doing his best Carti impression. As he has done quite a bit in the past(and most recently on his newest single that came out a month ago that is supposed to be on a new record coming out sometime this year), Carti uses his auto-tuned “baby voice” on this song that most fans seem to love. It contrasts Drake’s deep voice nicely and sounds very cool on this song. The instrumental on this track must be heavily influenced by Playboi Carti as well. It has super psychedelic and spacey feeling to it which Carti is known for; Drake has always excelled at rapping over instrumentals with this sound when he has featured similar artists in the past, and he sounds just as natural as Playboi Carti on this one. ‘Pain 1993’ is about exactly what one would expect a collaboration from these two great artists to sound like, and it is for sure as good as it should be.
DEMONS FEAT FIVIO FOREIGN AND SOSA GEEK
As I am sure most people know, Drake has had a tendency over the years to find popular underground types of rap music and make art with artists making waves in these sounds as a way to integrate his way into these sounds and make them popular in the mainstream. Examples of this over the years have been his remix of ‘Tuesday’ with ILoveMakkonen and his song ‘Look Alive’ with Bloccboy JB. Drake has actually done a lot for artists that are creating their own sounds and waves in the past because of this, as he has helped so many different types of Hip Hop become popular just by jumping on to the new underground trends. The underground trend that Drake is trying to highlight in this song is the New York Grime sound that artists like Pop Smoke(RIP) and Rah Swish have brought to the top of the underground NY Hip Hop game over the last couple of years. Sosa Geek and Fivio Foreign were very close with Pop Smoke, as these three all came up together. This is the reason that this song is so reminiscent of Pop Smoke; Fivio and Sosa literally helped create the sound he was known for. ‘Demons’ has a super tough and heavy Grime sound that is really dark and hard, but also has a sweet R&B-style melody that sound a lot like Drake’s softer music. It is a pretty cool marriage between the sound that Drake made popular and the sound that Pop Smoke, Fivio, and Sosa made popular. ‘Demons’ is an absolute banger that is brash yet so smooth, and it is probably my favorite song on this record because it is so unique and even though Drake does not seem like he would make this kind of song, he absolutely kills it and excels at this sound.