A Drake demo for dark times

Drake teases upcoming album with a prerequisite medley of discarded songs.

Drake looks back at his past in his latest release.

Drake looks back at his past in his latest release.

Noah Barnes, Reporter

Quarantine has left us with an unprecedented amount of time to ourselves, perhaps more than we would like. This is reflected in the massive deluge of new music that has been released recently. Many notable artists have come out with new singles, albums, and EP’s that have made a splash in the music industry. None of them are more intriguing, however, than the new Drake mixtape titled “Dark Lane Demo Tapes” released May 1st, 2020.

Drake is well known for releasing several summer defining hits such as “In My Feelings” and “Controlla” from 2019 and 2016 respectively. Although DLDT doesn’t quite live up the to hype of past songs, more to come is promised in Drake’s upcoming 6th album.

The mixtape kicks off with a mediocre track “Deep Pockets” where 6 God reminisces about his past and his come up into fame with lyrics like, “Back when the house that I own now was my home screen.” 

The next two tracks “When To Say When” and “Chicago Freestyle” are a familiar listen, as they were released as a combined single prior to the release of DLDT. Both are among the stronger songs on the EP, and have made their way onto my playlist for future listens.

“When To Say When” showcases Drake’s phenomenal storytelling ability in a remake of JAY-Z’s “Song Cry” from 2001. In the song, he gives the deep sigh of a wealthy man who has accomplished much: “Thirty-three years, I gave that to the game/Thirty-three mil, I save that for the rain/Five hundred weeks, I fill the charts with my pain.” He also calls his baby mama a “fluke” which he may come to regret as his son Adonis grows older and sees what his father thinks of his mother.

Heartbreak Drake at its finest is manifest in the melancholy “Chicago Freestyle” where the 6 God laments the drudgery of whirlwind relationships. Newcomer Giveon’s haunting vocals add the final touch to pull the song together and create one of the best songs from the mixtape.

Drake has two collaboration’s with Future, “D4L” and “Desires,” with the former being leagues better in quality. “D4L” is an instant hit with the trio of Future, Young Thug, and of course, Drake coming together with great chemistry to create a fast paced track. None of them seemed to take the song too seriously, with ad-libs being prominent, working well with the slurred verses.

The highly anticipated “Pain 1993” with Playboi Carti was a mixed bag. Drake attempted to imitate the unique high pitched, slurred style of Carti, and succeeded, resulted in some of the best sounding verses from the mixtape. However, the song took a hard left when Carti came on the mic, with one of his worst features ever. His exaggerated baby voice was off-putting and annoying at times, letting down the high expectations that were set by his avid fan base.

The most commercially successful from the project, “Toosie Slide” reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 thanks to the forced appeal to TikTok, creating a viral trend that was easily predictable: “It go, right foot up, left foot slide/Left foot up, right foot slide.” Despite catching attention as a dance trend, the song itself isn’t palatable to listen to on headphones, but rather is better played out loud at events or used to garner views on TikTok.

The mixtape was very satisfactory, especially since it is a collection of cast away songs that didn’t make the cut from previous projects. The best songs were suitable to add to a playlist for future reference, or for use an Instagram caption, but the lower end songs were utterly forgettable. It promises much better to come in Drake’s highly anticipated album coming this summer.