Whenever Drake needs to get something off his chest, he puts it into his music. That’s clear throughout his new verse on Jack Harlow’s Come Home the Kids Miss You highlight “Churchill Downs,” which he fills with updates on his life and subliminal messages for peers.
His flow and subject matter are reminiscent of how he was rapping on “Lemon Pepper Freestyle,” getting into his introspective bag and delivering a more compelling verse than almost anything on Certified Lover Boy.
There are a few caption-worthy bars sprinkled throughout the verse (“How can I address you when you don’t own property?”) but Drake also dives deeper, revealing that he’s been going to therapy for lingering abandonment issues that might have stemmed from his parents’ divorce. Then he raps about how his “urges for revenge are uncontrollable,” and that he’s tired of hearing “plug talk coming from middlemen.” A few of these bars feel like subliminal messages for his rival Pusha-T, who responded to the leak by saying it’s not “scathing” enough for him and reminding everyone that he’s “here to burn down everything.”
Drake’s “Churchill Downs” verse diverges from the radio-friendly, relatively surface-level features he’s been handing out over the last year. It’s one of the few new verses from him that sound menacing, which is wild considering he recorded it while vacationing with Jack Harlow in Turks and Caicos. It almost feels like he drops verses like this just to remind his critics that he can still rap. Of course, it’s ironic that he delivers revelations like these in a guest verse rather than his own song (which promptly inspired Harlow to strengthen his own bars for the final version of the track).
With a lot of new information to dive into and some great wordplay and lyricism, here’s a breakdown of Drake’s verse on “Churchill Downs.”