On the anniversary of the release of Drake‘s critically acclaimed mixtape So Far Gone, I visit the impact it has had on his career.
“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.” – Drake
Four years ago, the masses finally put the spotlight on a Toronto native who would eventually become one of – if not the biggest name in what we call hip-hop today. On this day in 2009, Aubrey Graham’s transformation into Drake showed that Degrassi wouldn’t hold him back from growing up and being an even bigger star as a rapper/singer. Transcending past the typical hip-hop genre, Drizzy crafted an excellent tape that showed he wasn’t going to conform, impressing many with his voice as well as his lyrical flow. So Far Gone showcased Drake being himself over sounds from the likes of Jay-Z, Kanye West, Lykke Li, Coldplay and more while also creating a stepping stone to mainstream radio in his single, “Best I Ever Had”. I vividly remember playing that song way before radio caught on and people looked at me like, “What is this? This will never catch on” *skips to next song*. Just goes to show you that even four years ago, people didn’t believe the hype until it hit radio. He did eventually turn it into a number one single as well as a great follow up in “Successful”.
“The game need change and I’m the motherf***in’ cashier” – Drake, “Successful”
One can argue that the most significant thing that came from the release of So Far Gone was the bond and relationship Drake showed with his little-known producer/engineer Noah “40” Shebib at the time. With 40 doing most of the original production on the tape, it gave way to one of the best rapper/producer connections we have seen in years in this game. Production by 40 can be seen all over Drake’s debut Thank Me Later, his sophomore effort Take Care and most likely throughout Nothing Was The Same. This goes without saying that 40 helped craft the sound that is Drake.
Drake turned a mixtape into a multimillion dollar record deal and his OVO imprint into an all out empire. Four years later, So Far Gone still gets plays heavy in my speakers from time to time, with the same replay value as when it originally came out. In this day and age of a need for new music weekly or even daily, it’s nice to reminisce on the past and how one mixtape can change someone’s whole career. Two number one albums, 13 number one Hot Rap songs, plenty of platinum and gold plaques later, I’d say things have worked out well. And to that, I salute you, Mr. Graham.