Drake – Dark Lane Demo Tapes

Drake has released his new 14-track mixtape project made up of leaked tracks and Soundcloud singles with some new music thrown in for his fans too.

The Toronto rapper had already previewed some of the tracks during an Instagram Live session in early April, but this 50-minute collection provides much more as guest spots go-to names like Future, Playboi Carti, Young Thug, Giveon, Fivio Foreign, Sosa Geek and (apparently) Chris Brown – more on that later!

You will probably have already heard the breakout single, ‘Tootsie Slide,’ which debuted at number one on the Billboard Hot 100:

Other singles include the Jay-Z nod of ‘When To Say When:

and the slow, soul-inflected, Giveon-featuring, ‘Chicago Freestyle:’

So far so good, but Drake has caught a little online mocking over his track ‘Not You Too’ because of the Chris Brown feature – which is minimal at best (can you hear him there?):

Drake fans will certainly relish this release as he sticks to the script that has served him so well in his career, with his hook-laden, sing-song, pop-inflected flow carrying the laid-back production.

Of course, it is not Drake’s fault that he has been followed by so many low-grade copy-cats biting his style, but perhaps that has diluted the originality of his appeal over the years.

So, with that said, it is a slight shame that Drake seems to be cruising in his lane on much of this collection rather than stretching to stand out further from the crowd.

Where he goes a little harder, Drake begins to show that he can outpace the biters, such as with ‘Landed’ and the skipping ‘D4L:’

Production-wise, Drake keeps up with the latest trends, with stripped-down backings and deep bass, showing that he has an ear to the charts still. Indeed he even brings a little trap-ready heat with ‘Demons:’

This collection definitely has some strong moments – you know what Drake does – and he does more of it here…

ADÉ – Replacements (Official Music Video)

Bino Rideaux – BRAND NEW ft. Blxst