If theres one thing we all know about super-star rapper Drake is that he follows the voice of underground Hip-Hop culture and effortlessly brings it to the forefront.
The 6 God recently released his newest project, Dark Lane Demo Tapes, in which he recruited rising Brooklyn rappers (and Brooklyn Drill’s pioneers) Fivio Foreign and Sosa Geek. Both featured on its 13th track — and the second single from the project — “Demons” produced by JB Made It. The result? Listeners were either left with a deep craving for a classic Brooklyn night out to properly break it in and turn things up, or a peaked curiosity to learn more about the emerging genre.
If you weren’t familiar with it, Brooklyn Drill is the sound channeled by artists like Pop Smoke in Meet The Woo, and Fivio Foreign’s “Big Drip.” Drill music gained it’s roots in the culture of violence in Chicago. “Drill music is gangster rap. It was no different than N.W.A in the late ’80s. We had the most shocking, most provocative shit in the world,” said DJ L, a Chicago producer.
“The music came from gang culture,” says Chicago drill producer Chase Davis. “You have all these neighborhoods that have different gangs, and this is the soundtrack to the violence that’s going on in the city. The best way to talk about your opposition or get bragging rights is to do it in a song.”
The most distinguishing characteristic of Drill music is its dark, ambient, and bouncy yet punishing beats, backed by moderate tempos. Loaded with hi-hats, snares, and bells this music is meant to hype you up as the bass courses through your body.
“I’ve gotta be honest, this was the first time in about 20 years that there’s been, like, a whole movement,” says Funkmaster Flex, who has been on the front lines of NYC rap since the early ’90s. The DJ and radio personality acknowledges that A-listers like Cardi B and A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie have come from the city in recent years, but none of them emerged with a whole scene at their backs. “It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a whole part of town have their own thing.”
Now, The Toronto rapper has clearly kept his ear close to the streets and tagged in Fivio and Geek to add their aggressive and authentic flair to his project.
All of this records contributors made sure representation of NYC’s culture is highlighted on “Demons,” as Drake dives right into the song’s ominous crescendo intro by declaring four words: both his guest rappers’ names and two Brooklyn slang terms, “viral,” and “movie”.
“For Drake to show that type of love should remind people no one’s above showing support,” said Fivio in a recent interview. Fivio expresses that his mission is to put on for the city that shaped him and that a co-sign from a rap icon like Drake reminds him of one of his main priorities: to always pay it forward to those coming up under him. “He’s a living legend,” he stated, “It humbles me and reminds me I’ll never be too big to show love. I know that feeling is unlike any other, and I really want to be that one day for other people coming up. It’ll be like ‘Damn, Fivi really rocks with me like that?’ And it’ll mean the world.”
Although artists like Pop Smoke, Fivio Foreign, Sosa Geek, 22Gz and Sheff G have done incredible work as far as putting the Brooklyn Drill sound on the map, Drakes open homage to the genre is guaranteed to catapult the music forward.
Listen to, “Demons,” below!