So Far Gone (mixtape)
|So Far Gone|
|Mixtape by Drake|
|Released||February 14, 2009|
|Label||October's Very Own|
|Singles from So Far Gone|
So Far Gone is the third official mixtape by Canadian rapper Drake; it was released on February 14, 2009, under his October's Very Own label. The mixtape proved to be a major catalyst in the launching of Drake's career on an international scale; So Far Gone was universally well received by professional critics and hip-hop fans alike, and has since been hailed as one of the best mixtape releases of modern music.
The tracks "Best I Ever Had" and "Successful" were released as singles from the mixtape, and attained unexpected unprecedented success on the US Billboard Hot 100. The mixtape was promoted with a release party at Toronto with Drake and LeBron James. The 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 and Boi-1da, whose contributions to the musical direction of the mixtape were applauded by critics.
In an interview with Complex, 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."
The Mixtape's music was characterized by atmospheric keyboards, minor 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.
Typically, lyrics in So Far Gone address his relationships with women, gaining fame, past struggles, and creates metaphors for the struggles of others ("Houstanatlantavegas", 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 experiences.
"Best I Ever Had" was released as the first single, in 7 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 2 on the US 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 Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) indicating sales of over 2,000,000 copies in the United States.
"Successful" was released as the second single from So Far Gone. The single managed to peak at number 17 on the US 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 Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) indicating sales of over 500,000 copies in the United States.
|The Boston Globe||favorable|
The mixtape was acclaimed by critics, currently holding a score of 81 out of 100 on Metacritic, indicating "universal acclaim." 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".
|1.||"Lust for Life"||Aubrey Graham||40||2:56|
|3.||"Successful" (featuring Trey Songz and Lil Wayne)||40||6:14|
|4.||"Let's Call It Off" (featuring Peter Bjorn & John)||Peter Bjorn & John||3:54|
|6.||"Ignant Shit" (featuring Lil Wayne)||5:04|
|7.||"A Night Off" (featuring Lloyd)||
|8.||"Say What's Real"||
|9.||"Little Bit" (featuring Lykke Li)||3:50|
|10.||"Best I Ever Had"||Boi-1da||4:18|
|11.||"Unstoppable (Remix)" (featuring Santigold and Lil Wayne)||3:30|
|12.||"Uptown" (featuring Bun B and Lil Wayne)||
|13.||"Sooner Than Later"||
||Phillip "D10" Tennant||4:22|
|14.||"Bria's Interlude" (featuring Omarion)||
- "Lust for Life" samples "Ideas as Opiates" by Tears for Fears.
- "Lets Call It Off" samples "Let's Call It Off" by Peter Bjorn and John.
- "November 18th" samples "June 27" by DJ Screw, "Da Streets Ain't Right" by Kris Kross and "Warning" by The Notorious B.I.G..
- "Ignant Shit" and "A Night Off" sample "Ignorant Shit" by Jay-Z which in turn samples "Between The Sheets" by The Isley Brothers and "Big Poppa" by The Notorious B.I.G..
- "Say What's Real" samples "Say You Will" by Kanye West.
- "Little Bit" samples "Little Bit" by Lykke Li.
- "Best I Ever Had" samples "Fallin' in Love" by Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds.
- "Unstoppable" samples "Unstoppable" by Santigold.
- "Uptown" samples "Uptown Girl" by Billy Joel.
- "Bria's Interlude" samples "Friendly Skies" by Missy Elliott.
- "Outro" samples "The Tourist" by Gonzales.
- MTV's Hottest Mixtape of The Year
- Complex's #3 Best Albums of 2009
- Complex's #5 Best Mixtape Album of The Decade
- Jayson Rodriguez (June 5, 2009). "Drake's Big Break: Lil Wayne's Protg Graduates From Degrassi to Hip-Hop | Music News". Rolling Stone. Retrieved March 10, 2012.
- "Pictures: So Far Gone Mixtape Release Party With Drake & LeBron James at 6 Degrees". 1vibe.net. Retrieved June 4, 2012.
- "Drake Talks Young Money, Kanye Comparisons & Ghostwriting | Complex Blog". Complex. February 19, 2009. Retrieved May 8, 2010.
- "So Far Gone [Mixtape] Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved January 12, 2014.
- "Drake, 'So Far Gone' - The Boston Globe". Boston.com. March 2, 2009. Retrieved May 8, 2010.
- "Exclaim! Canada's Music Authority". Exclaim.ca. February 22, 2009. Retrieved May 8, 2010.
- "Album Reviews: Drake: So Far Gone". Pitchfork. June 29, 2009. Retrieved May 8, 2010.
- "Drake, So Far Gone". Slant Magazine. Retrieved June 4, 2012.
- "Drake - So Far Gone Review". sputnikmusic. August 10, 2009. Retrieved May 8, 2010.
- "So Far Gone Mixtape". Metacritic. Retrieved July 22, 2012.