Drake – ‘Dark Lane Demo Tapes’ – Is It Good?

Drake’s first full-length body of work since his 2019 feud with Pusha T has finally arrived. Dark Lane Demo Tapes, named after it’s dark and menacing production, features guest appearances from Future, Young Thug, Chris Brown, and more. Despite a star-studded list of guest appearances, one question remains: Is It Good? 

The album opens with Deep Pockets, a painfully bland intro in which Drake raps in the same monotone voice with little change of flow for nearly four minutes. The next track, When To Say When, is a much better song, and would have been a better introduction since it sounds like Drake is actually trying. However, this is not a common theme throughout the project. On tracks where Drake is the lone artist, the songs start to blend due to Drake’s lazy delivery and similar beat selection.

On songs with features, they are very hit-or-miss, with more misses than hits. Not You Too (feat. Chris Brown), sounds unfinished and could never properly grab me in, and Demons (feat. Fivio Foreign & Sosa Greek), feels very out of place, especially Drake’s verse. It sounds more like a bad imitation of the trendy Drill sub-genre of Hip Hop that he is so obviously trying to capitalize upon. However, the worst song on the project is Pain 1993 (with Playboi carti). This song was one of the most highly anticipated singles off the project because not only was it their first collaboration, but people thought that Playboi Carti would attempt to redeem himself after his widely criticized @ Meh single. Although Drake’s part is fairly good, Carti ruins it by offering a God-awful verse in which he raps in his high pitched “baby voice”.  

Sadly, however, it does not get much better from here. The album drops in whatever potential it had remained as Drake’s lack of passion becomes much more apparent. He begins to recycle flows while offering nothing new to the table. The project finally ends on War, a continuation of Drake’s drill imitation from Demons (feat. Fivio Foreign & Sosa greek), except this time he adds a British accent to sound more like UK rappers.

So, Is It Good? No. Although Dark Lane Demo Tapes mostly consists of previously leaked music, that is no excuse for this project being as bad as it is, especially in the last couple of songs. Though there are a few decent tracks sprinkled throughout, there are no “standout” ones. Scorpion had Mob Ties and Nice for What, More Life had Portland and Sacrifices, but Dark Lane Demo Tapes offers nothing but potential, buildup, and the worst guest appearance of 2020. 

Rating: 4.5/10

Best Tracks: Chicago Freestyle (feat. Giveon), Landed, D4L (feat. Young Thug & Future)

Worst Tracks: Deep Pockets, Toosie Slide, Pain 1993 (with Playboi Carti), From Florida With love, War

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