When Drake released the dance-routine-ready “Toosie Slide” roughly a month ahead of his Dark Lane Demo Tapes, fans were near incredulous that he’d discovered yet another musical frontier in which to stake his claim. (Those who weren’t busy choreographing TikTok videos to the song, anyway.) With the release of Dark Lane Demo Tapes, Drake delivers a handful of additional forays into the sound of right now. The project, per Drake’s own Instagram, features music compiled by OVO cohorts Oliver El-Khatib and Noel Cadastre, and comprises “some leaks and some joints from SoundCloud and some new vibes.”
Found within are Drake-helmed masterpieces of post-regional drill music (“Demons,” “War”), linkups with Future (“Desires”) and Chris Brown (“Not You Too”), and a Pi’erre Bourne-produced Playboi Carti collaboration (“Pain 1993”), as well as the kind of hazy, regret-steeped R&B that so many contemporary playlists are built on (“Time Flies”). In its approach to these familiar vibes, this particular collection of music is the most of-the-moment Drake has ever sounded—more present than his usual prescient.