So Far Gone (mixtape)

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So Far Gone
Mixtape by Drake
Released February 13, 2009 (February 13, 2009)
Recorded 2008
Genre Hip hop, R&B, pop, indie pop
Length 70:35
Label October's Very Own
Producer 40, Boi-1da,[1] Kanye West,[1] Keshown Cassel,[2] Arthur McArthur,[2] Phillip "D10" Tennant,[2] T-Minus,[1] Just Blaze,[1] Swizz Beatz,[1] Needlz,[1] Timbaland[1]
Drake chronology
Comeback Season
(2007)
So Far Gone
(2009)
So Far Gone (EP)
(2009)
Singles from So Far Gone
  1. "Best I Ever Had"
    Released: February 13, 2009
  2. "Successful"
    Released: February 13, 2009

So Far Gone is the third official mixtape by Canadian rapper/singer Drake, under his upcoming label, October's Very Own. Released in February 2009, the mixtape proved to be a major catalyst in the launching of Drake's career on an international scale; So Far Gone has since been hailed as one of the best mixtape releases of modern music, and was universally well received by professional critics and hip-hop fans alike.[3] Tracks "Best I Ever Had" and "Successful" were released as singles from the mixtape, and attained unexpected unprecedented success on the Billboard Hot 100. The mixtape was promoted with a release party in Toronto with Drake and LeBron James.[4] Artists including Omarion, Lloyd, Lykke Li, Lil Wayne and Bun B provided guest vocals on the release. The mixtape helped launch the careers of producers 40, Boi-1da, and T-Minus, whose contributions to the musical direction of the mixtape were applauded by critics.

Background[edit]

In an interview with Complex blog, Drake explains: "The whole tape extends from one of my closest friends Oliver. One night we were having a discussion about women and the way we were talking about them, it was so brazen and so disrespectful. He texted me right after we got off the phone and he was like, 'Are we becoming the men that our mothers divorced?' That's really where the cover comes from, too. It's just this kid in pursuit of love and money. We're good guys, I'm friends with some real good people and for him to even text me after we got off the phone it just showed we have a conscience. But sometimes you just get so far gone, you get wrapped up in this shit. The title has a lot of meanings—as the way we carry ourselves, the way we dress, the way people view us, not to sound cocky, it's just that feeling that we're just distanced in a good way. You’re just elevating past the bullshit and past all the shit that you used to be a part of and you're not that proud of, you're just so far gone."[5]

Composition[edit]

Music[edit]

The Mixtape's music was characterized by atmospheric keyboards, major keys, snare drum, synth lead, smooth piano, live instruments, down tempo and mid tempo tracks, sparse and minimalist beats, and atmospheric chords. In a Complex interview, Drake's Primary Producer, Noah "40" Shebib, said that 808's and Heartbreaks was an influence on the mixtape's atmospheric sounds.

Lyrics[edit]

Typically, lyrics in So Far Gone address his relationships with women, gaining fame, past struggles, and create metaphors for the struggles of others ("Houstonatlantavegas", a stripper, "November 18th", the city of Houston etc.) Many of the more upbeat songs also include themes of braggadociosness, ego, wealth, the music industry, confidence around women and sexual capability.

Singles[edit]

"Best I Ever Had" was released as the first single seven months prior to the release of the EP as a digital download from the So Far Gone mixtape. The song was eventually released as an official single on June 16, 2009. The single is one of Drake's most successful songs to date, and charted for 24 weeks while eventually peaking at number two on the Billboard Hot 100. The single also managed to peak at number one on both the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Songs Chart and the Billboard Rap Songs Chart, thus becoming Drake's first number one hit on both of these charts. The song was certified 2x Platinum by the RIAA indicating sales of over 2,000,000 copies in the US.

"Successful" was released as the second single from So Far Gone. The single managed to peak at number seventeen on the Billboard Hot 100 and spent a total of 18 weeks on the chart. The song also reached the Top 5 on both the R&B/Hip-Hop and Rap charts peaking at number 3 and number 2 respectively. It was certified Gold by the RIAA indicating sales of over 500,000 copies in the US.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic (81/100)[6]
Review scores
Source Rating
The Boston Globe (favorable)[7]
Exclaim! (favorable)[8]
Pitchfork Media (7.4/10)[9]
Slant Magazine 3/5 stars[10]
Sputnikmusic 4/5 stars[11]

The mixtape has had widespread acclaim by critics overall and currently holds a score of 81 out of 100 on Metacritic, indicating "universal acclaim."[6] RapReviews.com gave a positive review of the mixtape and commented on it by saying "So Far Gone is unquestionably one of the most cohesive, atmospheric hip hop records in recent memory--which is almost the antithesis of what one expects from a mixtape." The Boston Globe gave the mixtape a positive score and commented by saying "His materialism threads throughout So Far Gone (champagne flutes, girls, BlackBerrys, more girls), but he chases that with soft touches of humor and honesty." Pitchfork Media reviewed the mixtape positively and said "So Far Gone still scans as one of the most compulsively listenable mixtapes of a great year for mixtapes." Slant Magazine gave the mixtape a mixed review, but commended Drake's effort, "For a beginner, even one whose big-time endorsements seem to have cemented a promising start, So Far Gone is a pretty brave effort, and Drake's ability to juggle standard bling-and-bluster narratives with intelligent narratives bodes well for his future".[12]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Lust for Life"   Aubrey Graham, Noah Shebib 40, Keshown Cassel[2] 2:56
2. "Houstatlantavegas"   Graham, Shebib 40, Keshown Cassel[2] 4:51
3. "Successful" (featuring Trey Songz and Lil Wayne) Graham, Shebib, Tremaine Neverson, Dwayne Carter, Jr. 40[2] 6:14
4. "Let's Call It Off" (featuring Peter Bjorn & John) Graham, Peter Morén, John Eriksson Peter Bjorn & John[2] 3:54
5. "November 18th"   Graham, Robert Davis DJ Screw[2] 3:07
6. "Ignant Shit" (featuring Lil Wayne) Graham, Carter, Jr., Justin Smith, Eric Hudson Just Blaze, Eric Hudson[2] 5:04
7. "A Night Off" (featuring Lloyd) Graham, Shebib, Lloyd Polite 40[2] 3:14
8. "Say What's Real"   Graham Kanye West[2] 3:51
9. "Little Bit" (featuring Lykke Li) Graham, Lykke Li, Björn Yttling Björn Yttling, Lasse Mårtén[2] 3:50
10. "Best I Ever Had"   Graham, Carter, Jr., Matthew Samuels, Danny Hamilton, Nakia Coleman Boi-1da[2] 4:18
11. "Unstoppable (Remix)" (featuring Santigold and Lil Wayne) Graham, Carter, Jr., Santi White, Thomas Pentz, John Hill Diplo, John Hill[2] 3:30
12. "Uptown" (featuring Bun B and Lil Wayne) Graham, Carter, Jr., Samuels, Bernard Freeman, Jeremy McArthur Boi-1da, Arthur McArthur[2] 6:22
13. "Sooner Than Later"   Graham, Shebib, Phillip Tennant Phillip "D10" Tennant[2] 4:22
14. "Bria's Interlude" (featuring Omarion) Graham, Shebib, Omari Grandberry 40[2] 2:19
15. "The Calm"   Graham, Shebib 40[2] 4:04
16. "Outro"   Graham, Chilly Gonzales Gonzales[2] 2:55
17. "Brand New"   Graham, Shebib, Tennant Phillip "D10" Tennant, 40[2] 3:35
18. "Congratulations"   Graham, Orville Mcwhinney Megaman 5:33

Sample credits:

Awards[edit]

  • MTV's Hottest Mixtape of The Year
  • Complex's #3 Best Albums of 2009
  • Complex's #5 Best Mixtape Album of The Decade

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/mar12/articles/it-0312.htm
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t http://wordonroad.net/interview/noah-40-shebib-breaks-far-gone-track-track/
  3. ^ Jayson Rodriguez (2009-06-05). "Drake's Big Break: Lil Wayne's Protg Graduates From Degrassi to Hip-Hop | Music News". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2012-03-10. 
  4. ^ "Pictures: So Far Gone Mixtape Release Party With Drake & LeBron James at 6 Degrees". 1vibe.net. Retrieved 2012-06-04. 
  5. ^ "Drake Talks Young Money, Kanye Comparisons & Ghostwriting | Complex Blog". Complex.com. 2009-02-19. Retrieved 2010-05-08. 
  6. ^ a b "So Far Gone [Mixtape] Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2014-01-12. 
  7. ^ "Drake, 'So Far Gone' - The Boston Globe". Boston.com. 2009-03-02. Retrieved 2010-05-08. 
  8. ^ "Exclaim! Canada's Music Authority". Exclaim.ca. 2009-02-22. Retrieved 2010-05-08. 
  9. ^ "Album Reviews: Drake: So Far Gone". Pitchfork. 2009-06-29. Retrieved 2010-05-08. 
  10. ^ "Drake, So Far Gone". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 2012-06-04. 
  11. ^ "Drake - So Far Gone Review". sputnikmusic. 2009-08-10. Retrieved 2010-05-08. 
  12. ^ "So Far Gone Mixtape". Metacritic. Retrieved 2012-07-22.