Every Producer Who Worked on Drake’s ‘Dark Lane Demo Tapes’

May 3, 2020

Read the full article on Variety.com!

Drake helped break the tedium of lockdown with a mixtape drop on Friday, which had been teased for a few hours before its release.  “Dark Lane Demo Tapes, aptly named for the these somber times, includes all of the rapper’s recent singles including the massive, TikTok-assisted “Toosie Slide,” “When to Say When” and “Chicago Freestyle” (the latter two were released to Drake’s SoundCloud and YouTube pages initially).

Drake described the 14-track project as a collection of “leaks and joints from SoundCloud” and “some new vibes.” On Instagram, he tagged his manager/OVO founder Oliver El-Khatib and producer/engineer Noel Cadastre and credited them for putting the tape together. (He also teased that a sixth studio album is coming this summer.)

“Dark Lane Demo Tapes” features Drake flexing his skills with bars and punchlines about such topics as relationships, fatherhood and being quarantined, and production from both-up-and-comers and longtime collaborators, including:

Noah “40” Shebib (co-produced “From Florida With Love”)

Noah “40” Shebib — who was named Variety‘s Hitmakers Producer of the Year in 2018 — is one of the three founding members of OVO Sound, serving as Drake’s go-to producer and engineer. 40’s signature production incorporates elements of R&B, soul, and trap. 40 has produced tracks every Drake album, working on “Work,” “Hold On, We’re Going Home,” “From Time,” “Marvin’s Room,” “0 To 100,” etc. He also did A$AP Rocky’s “F—in’ Problems.”

Plain Pat (co-produced “Deep Pockets” with 40)

Patrick Reynolds, aka Plain Pat, has worked extensively with Kanye West and Kid Cudi. The American executive, record producer, songwriter is responsible for Kanye’s “Monster” and “Famous,” four songs off West and Cudi’s “Kids See Ghosts,” and most recently, Travis Scott and Cudi’s “THE SCOTTS.”

Alonzo “Roxx” Thornhill (co-produced “When to Say When” with June the Genius)

Johnny Roxx is a Montreal native who spent a few years pursuing a rap career. In 2008, he released a mixtape with songs like “Hands Wet” and “A Blunt and Gin.” Now, he’s Drake’s personal trainer. “When To Say When” is his first production credit.

June James (co-produced “When To Say When” with Roxx)

The Houston producer is signed to Think It’s a Game Entertainment, and has produced YFN Lucci’s standout singles “Key to the Streets” and “Everyday We Lit.”  Helso produced Travis Scott’s “Yosemite,” Yo Gotti’s “Put A Date On It,” and several records for NBA Youngboy.

Noel Cadastre (produced “Chicago Freestyle,” “Not Too You” featuring Chris Brown)

This Toronto native is part of Drake’s OVO crew, and also serves as Drizzy’s engineer. He works closely with Noah 40 Shebib and engineered the majority of Drake’s projects from 2010’s “Thank Me Later” to 2015’s “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late.” He also produced “Persian Rugs” for PARTYNEXTDOOR.

OZ (produced “Toosie Slide” and “Time Flies,” co-produced “Looses”)

Hailing from a small village in Switzerland, Ozan Yildirim is a producer and songwriter who co-produced Travis Scott’s “Highest In the Room” and “Sicko Mode” featuring Drake (nominated for a Grammy for Best Rap Song). He also produced “Life Is Good” featuring Future, Khalid’s Saved,” and Trippie Redd’s “I Kill People.”

D.Hill (co-produced “Desires” featuring Future)

Not even a year ago, the producer was sleeping on friend’s couches in Atlanta trying to find work, getting his start working with Kollision (Quality Control). He produced the initial “Life Is Good” beat for Future, which ended up being the latter half of the current song.

Dez Wright (co-produced “Landed”)

Wright is a successful producer who’s worked with a wide variety of artists, from 070 Shake to PARTYNEXTDOOR to A Boogie wit da Hoodie. Standout songs include Trippie’s “I Kill People,” Tory Lanez’ “FeRRis WhEEl,” and Bad Bunny’s “Pero Ya No.”

Cardo (co-produced “Landed”)

Born Ron LaTour, the Minnesota rapper turned producer first gained recognition by joining Taylor Gang, producing some of Wiz Khalifa’s early singles. He also co-produced Drake’s “God’s Plan,” The Game’s “100,” Travis Scott’s “goodbumps,” and Kendrick Lamar’s “GOD.”

Southside (produced “D4L”)

Discovered by Waka Flocka Flame at 17, Southside (real name: Joshua Luellen) came up as part of production group 808 Mafia alongside Lex Luger in 2010. One of the originators spearheading the trap wave in Atlanta, Southside’s catalog includes Kodak Black’s “Tunnel Vision,” Kanye West’s “Facts,” Gucci Mane’s “I Get The Bag,” Future’s “F— Up Some Commas,” and more.

Pi’erre Bourne (produced “Pain 1993”)

Best known for producing Playboi Carti’s viral hit “Magnolia.” Bourne (real name: Jordan Jenks) is marked by his producer tag: “Yo Pierre, you wanna come out here?” — a line from “The Jamie Foxx Show.” He also produced Tekashi 6ix9ine’s “GUMMO” and is a rapper himself, with his own imprint SossHouse partnered Interscope Records.

Foreign Teck (co-produced “Losses”)

Grammy-nominated producer from Miami with Dominican roots, coming up as one-half of production duo The Mekanics. Best known for producing Bryson Tiller’s “Exchange” which is certified double-Platinum. Also produced Nav’s “Champion,” Tory Lanez’ “Broke Leg,” G-Eazy’s “Still Be Friends,” Chris Brown’s “This Aint,” and more.

Elyas (co-produced “Losses”)

Not much info on Elyas, whose Instagram bio reads “signed to Foreign Teck.” He worked on Tory Lanez’ “MSG 4 GOD’S CHILDREN” alongside Teck.

Sevn Thomas: (co-produced “Losses”)

Real name Rupert Thomas, Jr. is a Toronto producer responsible for Rihanna’s “Work,” Drake’s “Pop Style,” Travis Scott’s “Wake Up,” Lil Wayne’s “Let It Fly.” As a teenager, he performed as a singer under the moniker Suga Prince. His early collaborations include Kelly Rowland and Mobb Deep.

MexikoDro (co-produced “From Florida With Love”)

Hailing from the Southwest region of Atlanta, MexikoDro was previously part of the group BeatPluggz and is responsible for Rich The Kid’s “Plug,” Nebu Kiniza’s “Gassed Up,” and several Playboi Carti records.

JB Made It (produced “Demons”)

This British producer also worked on “That’s A Fact” by French Montana.

AXL Beats (produced “War”)

Hailing from London, the producer is known for exposing his standout UK drill productions to Brooklyn. He produced Fivio Foreign’s viral hit “Big Drip,” and co-produced on Pop Smoke’s “Mannequin.”

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