Drake Teases Sixth Studio Album With “Dark Lane Demo Tapes”

Chris Ramirez//Staff Writer

Following the announcement of his sixth studio album, Drake aka Aubrey Drake Graham, released a mixtape titled “Dark Lane Demo Tapes” on April 30th at midnight.

The mixtape highlights Drake’s career and his strong hold as one of the most-listened to artists of this generation.

“Dark Lane ” is a collection of five previously released tracks, three songs that were already teased, and six new tracks as well.

Via Instagram, Drake mentioned that the mixtape has “some new vibes.” The mixtape is also Drake’s newest full-length project since his “Scorpion” album released in 2018.

Drake credits the OVO label founder Oliver El-Khatib and his producer Noah “40” Shebib in putting together the mixtape. The mixtape includes appearances by Young Thug, Playboi Carti, Chris Brown, Future, and rising rappers like Sosa Geek, Fivio Foreign, and Giveon.

On the back cover of the tape there is a photo of Graham’s deceased friend and OVO collaborator Anthony “Fif.” Anthony “Fif” was 33 years old when he was gunned down by two men in Drake’s hometown of Toronto, Canada.

 The oldest song on the mixtape titled “War” was released in 2019, where he experimented with a Jamaican-like accent. “Toosie Slide”, the Tik-Tok viral dance and song, is also featured in the mixtape. Despite the sporadic release schedules of the songs, “Dark Lane” holds a consistent somber tone. 

Each song features ideas Drake has addressed before. In “Deep Pockets” Drake raps about his luxurious life of wealth, cars, and fame. 

“Time Flies” seems to sound like a return to Drake’s sound in the “Take Care” album. True to his reputation, the song reflects his one of a kind sound and his usual rehashing of regretful romances. Much like the viral “In My Feelings” song, both have a mix of sorrowful lyrics with a lively beat. 

Showing a return to formula, “Not You Too” features Chris Brown and Drake sings on a “Take Care” flow. “Take Care” was released in 2011, and can be seen as Drake’s breakthrough album, where his tone, flow, and beat all slow down for a truly melancholic experience. 

Future and Drake have an accomplished track record together, releasing a collaboration album in 2015 titled, “What A Time To Be Alive.” The album was well received by fans, with mentions of the two being the perfect duo. “Life is Good” is a single released featuring both artists in which they both share a carefree and thrilling tone. In “Dark Lane” the song “Desire” features Future but has Drake set the tone and take over for most of the song even serving as a transition to the next song “Time Flies”. 

About his “new vibes”, Drake’s track with Playboi Carti titled “Pain 1993” shows a new flow from Drake. Drake demonstrates his versatility, by switching from his long bar flow to short bars, much like the featured Playboi Carti’s flow. 

Overall, “Dark Lane” serves its purpose as a tease for Drake’s sixth studio album and tribute to his lost friend Anthony “Fif.” While there are some throwaway songs Drake has admittedly released to support trends and to experiment. Drake’s successful blueprint of somber tones and consistent sound on his “new vibes” shows a promising future for his next album. The mixtape has something for everyone, whether it be to listen to the blues, a lively beat, or a masterful rhyme. 

Rating: 8/10

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