On Thursday night (April 30), chatter about Drake releasing a surprise project intensified when “Demons” leaked. Later that evening, the self-proclaimed 6 God announced his plans to release Dark Lane Demo Tapes at midnight.
A mixed bag of new music, SoundCloud loosies, and previously teased records shape the 14-track mixtape. As Drake’s prolific output continues to drown his foes, let’s take a look back and see how we got to this point.
Check out our guide to Dark Lane Demo Tapes below.
Songs that Drake released last year: “War”
On Christmas Eve 2019, Drizzy unveiled a new song accompanied by a music video titled “War.” Sporting his U.K.-borrowed accent, Drake stitched together a piercing verse about betrayals and his newly-repaired friendship with The Weeknd. “And the boy that sound like he sang on Thriller, you know that’s been my n—a/ Yeah, we just had to fix things, family, six tings, we can’t split up,” he rapped.
Songs that Drake Previously released on SoundCloud this year: “Desires,” “When to Say When,” and “Chicago Freestyle”
At the top of the year, Drizzy made a resounding comeback in the SoundCloud world when he surprised fans with “Desires” alongside Future. The track came shortly after their Hot 100 smash “Life Is Good.” In March, Drake spoiled his ardent supporters again with his lyrical two-pack of ‘When to Say When” and “Chicago Freestyle.”
Song that Drake released last month… and became a smash: “Toosie Slide”
Drake knows how to fill up the cup when it comes to stringing together Hot 100 hits. This time, the OVO virtuoso shocked everyone with his newest trick: creating a TikTok smash. In part an ode to Michael Jackson’s dance moves — with an explicitly quarantine-filmed music video — “Toosie Slide” debuted at No. 1 on the Hot 100, his third song ever to accomplish that feat.
Songs that Drake previewed ahead of Dark Lane Demo Tapes: “Deep Pockets,” “Pain 1993” and “Demons”
Last month, Drake kicked it with OVO Mark on Instagram Live and hit viewers with a fistful of new records. Fans latched on to the drill-inspired song “Demons,” which showcased Drake seamlessly dribbling through the forceful beat. Many believed “Deep Pockets” was initially named “Rolling” and gravitated towards that one, too. Drake’s wordsmith skills were on display, as he played 80% of the song on Mark’s Live.
Songs that we never heard (and have great features): “Not You Too” (feat. Chris Brown) & “D4L” (feat. Future and Young Thug)
In 2018, Drake and Chris Brown buried the hatchet with their collaboration on “No Guidance.” In his interview with RapRadar last year, Drake revealed he and Breezy had more music stashed in the chamber. “Not You Too” allows Drizzy to take the lead and be in his R&B pocket, while CB plays the background with his soothing ad libs.
As for “D4L,” the triad of Drake, Future, and Thugger is the mouthwatering combination we only pictured in our rap dreams. Luckily, our wishes were heard and surpassed expectations. You have to wonder if this was originally a Super Smiley throwaway, because Future and Thugger had perfect synergy on the hook, which freed up Drake to pen a beastly verse.
New Drake Solo Cuts: “Losses,” “Time Flies,” “From Florida With Love” and “Landed”
These four records have enough juice to make any Drake fan satisfied. “From Florida With Love” and “Losses” are probably the deepest cuts from the bunch, with the former catching Drake reflecting on his past hangouts with Kobe and Lil Wayne. The latter is quintessential Drizzy, as he preaches on the value of friendships and growth.